How to speed up OpenSSL/GnuPG Entropy For Random Number Generation On Linux

last updated in Categories Howto, Open Source, Security

Entropy is nothing but the measure of “randomness” in a sequence of bits. The PRNG ( pseudorandom number generator ) is a special device (e.g. /dev/random on Linux) to create randomness from server hardware activities. It uses interrupts generated from the keyboard, hard disk, mouse, network and other sources. The random number generator gathers environmental noise from device drivers and other sources into an entropy pool. The randomness usually used for security purposes like creating TLS/SSL keys and the quality source of random bits is critical. For example, OpenSSL APIs can use quality randomness to make your program cryptographically secure. However, a poor source of randomness could result in loss of security. In this post, I will cover haveged and rng-utils/rng-tools to generate random numbers and feed linux random device for your virtual or dedicated Linux server.

Secure Your Linux Desktop and SSH Login Using Two Factor Google Authenticator

last updated in Categories Open Source, Security

Two factor authentication is increasingly becoming a strongly recommended way of protecting user accounts in web applications from attackers by requiring a second method of authentication in addition to the standard username and password pair.

Although two factor authentication can encompass a wide range of techniques like biometrics or smart cards, the most commonly deployed technique in web applications is the one time password. If you have used applications like Gmail, you are probably familiar with the one time password generated by the Google Authenticator app that’s available on iOS or Android devices.

The algorithm used for the one time password in the Google Authenticator app is known as the Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) algorithm. The TOTP algorithm is a standard algorithm approved by the IETF in (RFC 6238) totp-rfc.

Installing Tails Live Linux Operating System For Preserving Privacy and Anonymity On The Net

last updated in Categories Open Source, Security

Nowadays, privacy does not hold much value when it comes to the privacy of our data on our digital devices or on the internet. In the past few weeks, we learned that everyone who tries to maintain privacy on the net is under suspicion which is all the more reason to try to keep our data, contacts, communications, and whereabouts on the internet anonymous and hidden from prying eyes as much as possible. This holds true even more for people that are more exposed like human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and even doctors. Some of the distributions that try to assist us with this build on the Tor network.

Secure Password Hashing for Python Developers

last updated in Categories Programming, Python, Security, Web Developer

It is important to store the passwords of user accounts in a secure fashion. There have been many high profile incidents where a security breach resulted in hackers obtaining database dumps of user passwords. The 2012 LinkedIn hack and the recent Adobe hack are two out of many similar cases. Due to the fact that the passwords were stored in an inappropriate fashion, the hackers (read as crackers) were able to recover the passwords of many user accounts and publish them on the Internet, resulting in an embarrassing PR fiasco for the companies.

Download of the day: Kali Linux ( BackTrack Linux )

last updated in Categories Linux News, Open Source, Security

Kali Linux is the successor of the BackTrack Penetration Testing Linux distribution has been released. From the official project page:

Kali is a complete re-build of BackTrack Linux, adhering completely to Debian development standards. All-new infrastructure has been put in place, all tools were reviewed and packaged, and we use Git for our VCS.

Top 32 Nmap Command Examples For Linux Sys/Network Admins

last updated in Categories Command Line Hacks, Howto, Networking, Security

Nmap is short for Network Mapper. It is an open source security tool for network exploration, security scanning and auditing. However, nmap command comes with lots of options that can make the utility more robust and difficult to follow for new users.

The purpose of this post is to introduce a user to the nmap command line tool to scan a host and/or network, so to find out the possible vulnerable points in the hosts. You will also learn how to use Nmap for offensive and defensive purposes.

HowTo: Linux Check Password Strength With Cracklib-check Command

last updated in Categories Command Line Hacks, Security

Using the same password on different servers allows attackers to access your accounts if cracker manage to steal your password from a less secure server. This is true for online website accounts too. So solution is to create unique passwords for server accounts like your email, sftp and ssh accounts. General guideline to create a strong and unique password is as follows: