cultural reviewer and dabbler in stylistic premonitions

  • 61 Posts
  • 107 Comments
Joined 3 years ago
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Cake day: January 17th, 2022

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  • xzbot from Anthony Weems enables to patch the corrupted liblzma to change the private key used to compare it to the signed ssh certificate, so adding this to your instructions might enable me to demonstrate sshing into the VM :)

    Fun :)

    Btw, instead of installing individual vulnerable debs as those kali instructions I linked to earlier suggest, you could also point debootstrap at the snapshot service so that you get a complete system with everything as it would’ve been in late March and then run that in a VM… or in a container. You can find various instructions for creating containers and VMs using debootstrap (eg, this one which tells you how to run a container with systemd-nspawn; but you could also do it with podman or docker or lxc). When the instructions tell you to run debootstrap, you just want to specify a snapshot URL like https://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20240325T212344Z/ in place of the usual Debian repository url (typically https://deb.debian.org/debian/).


  • A daily ISO of Debian testing or Ubuntu 24.04 (noble) beta from prior to the first week of April would be easiest, but those aren’t archived anywhere that I know of. It didn’t make it in to any stable releases of any Debian-based distros.

    But even when you have a vulnerable system running sshd in a vulnerable configuration, you can’t fully demo the backdoor because it requires the attacker to authenticate with their private key (which has not been revealed).

    But, if you just want to run it and observe the sshd slowness that caused the backdoor to be discovered, here are instructions for installing the vulnerable liblzma deb from snapshot.debian.org.





  • I do have wireguard on my server as well, I guess it’s similar to what tailscale does?

    Tailscale uses wireguard but adds a coordination server to manage peers and facilitate NAT traversal (directly when possible, and via a intermediary server when it isn’t).

    If your NAT gateway isn’t rewriting source port numbers it is sometimes possible to make wireguard punch through NAT on its own if both peers configure endpoints for eachother and turn on keepalives.

    Do you know if Yggdrasil does something similar and if we exchange data directly when playing over Yggdrasil virtual IPv6 network?

    From this FAQ it sounds like yggdrasil does not attempt to do any kind of NAT traversal so two hosts can only be peers if at least one of them has an open port. I don’t know much about yggdrasil but from this FAQ answer it sounds like it runs over TCP (so using TCP applications means two layers of TCP) which is not going to be conducive to a good gaming experience.

    Samy Kamkar’s amazing pwnat tool might be of interest to you.


  • I have a device without public IP, AFAIK behind NAT, and a server. If I use bore to open a port through my server and host a game, and my friends connect to me via IP, will we have big ping (as in, do packets travel to the server first, then to me) or low ping (as in, do packets travel straight to me)?

    No, you will have “big ping”. bore (and everything on that page i linked) is strictly for tunneling which means all packets are going through the tunnel server.

    Instead of tunneling, you can try various forms of hole punching for NAT traversal which, depending on the NAT implementation, will work sometimes to have a direct connection between users. You can use something like tailscale (and if you want to run your own server, headscale) which will try its best to punch a hole for a p2p connection and will only fall back to relaying through a server if absolutely necessary.



  • Mattermost isn’t e2ee, but if the server is run by someone competent and they’re allowed to see everything anyway (eg it’s all group chat, and they’re in all the groups) then e2ee isn’t as important as it would be otherwise as it is only protecting against the server being compromised (a scenario which, if you’re using web-based solutions which do have e2ee, also leads to circumvention of it).

    If you’re OK with not having e2ee, I would recommend Zulip over Mattermost. Mattermost is nice too though.

    edit: oops, i see you also want DMs… Mattermost and Zulip both have them, but without e2ee. 😢

    I could write a book about problems with Matrix, but if you want something relatively easy and full featured with (optional, and non-forward-secret) e2ee then it is probably your best bet today.



  • As the image transcript in the post body explains, the image at the bottom is a scene from a well-known 1998 film (which, according to Wikipedia, was in 2014 selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”).

    This meme will not make as much sense to people who have not seen the film. You can watch the referenced scene here. The context is that the main character, The Dude (played by Jeff Bridges) has recently had his private residence invaded by a group of nihilists with a pet marmot (actually portrayed by a ferret) and they have threatened to “cut off his Johnson”. In an attempt to express sympathy, The Dude’s friend Walter (played by John Goodman) points out that, in addition to the home invasion and threats, the nihilists’ exotic pet is also illegal. The Dude’s retort “what, are you a fucking park ranger now” is expressing irritation with that observation, because it is insignificant compared with the threat of the removal of his penis.

    This meme attempts to draw a parallel between this humorous scene and XZ developer Lasse Collin’s observation that the XZ backdoor was also a violation of Debian’s software licensing policies.

    Thank you for reading my artist’s statement.




  • Not necessarily true - that right to modify/redistribute depends on the exact license being applied.

    If you don’t have the right to modify and redistribute it (and to do so commercially) then it does not meet the definitions of free software or open source.

    For example, the Open Watcom Public License claims to be an “open source” license, but it actually doesn’t allow making modifications.

    The Sybase Open Watcom Public License does allow making modifications, and distributing modified versions. The reason why the FSF has not approved it is that it requires you to publish source code even if you only wanted to run your modified version yourself and didn’t actually want to distribute anything to anyone. (The Watcom license is one of the few licenses which is approved by OSI but not FSF. You can see the other licenses which are approved by one but not the other by sorting this table.)

    The FSF’s own AGPL license is somewhat similar, but it only imposes the requirement if you run the software for someone else over a network. (Neither of these requirements are likely to be enforceable by copyright law, as I explained in my comment about the AGPL in the thread which this thread is about…)

    This is also why we specifically have the terms “free software” or “FOSS” which imply they you are indeed allowed to modify and redistribute.

    I would recommend reading this: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.en.html

    I would recommend that you re-read that, because it actually explains that the two terms refer to essentially the same category of software licenses (while it advocates for using the term free software to emphasize the philosophical aspects of those licenses).