Do all the things like ++ or -- rants, post your own rants, comment on others' rants and build your customized dev avatarSign Up
Get a devDuck
Rubber duck debugging has never been so cute! Get your favorite coding language devDuckBuy Now
Search - "pfsense"
Paranoid Developers - It's a long one
Backstory: I was a freelance web developer when I managed to land a place on a cyber security program with who I consider to be the world leaders in the field (details deliberately withheld; who's paranoid now?). Other than the basic security practices of web dev, my experience with Cyber was limited to the OU introduction course, so I was wholly unprepared for the level of, occasionally hysterical, paranoia that my fellow cohort seemed to perpetually live in. The following is a collection of stories from several of these people, because if I only wrote about one they would accuse me of providing too much data allowing an attacker to aggregate and steal their identity. They do use devrant so if you're reading this, know that I love you and that something is wrong with you.
That time when...
He wrote a social media network with end-to-end encryption before it was cool.
He wrote custom 64kb encryption for his academic HDD.
He removed the 3 HDD from his desktop and stored them in a safe, whenever he left the house.
He set up a pfsense virtualbox with a firewall policy to block the port the student monitoring software used (effectively rendering it useless and definitely in breach of the IT policy).
He used only hashes of passwords as passwords (which isn't actually good).
He kept a drill on the desk ready to destroy his HDD at a moments notice.
He started developing a device to drill through his HDD when he pushed a button. May or may not have finished it.
He set up a new email account for each individual online service.
He hosted a website from his own home server so he didn't have to host the files elsewhere (which is just awful for home network security).
He unplugged the home router and began scanning his devices and manually searching through the process list when his music stopped playing on the laptop several times (turns out he had a wobbly spacebar and the shaking washing machine provided enough jittering for a button press).
He brought his own privacy screen to work (remember, this is a security place, with like background checks and all sorts).
He gave his C programming coursework (a simple messaging program) 2048 bit encryption, which was not required.
He wrote a custom encryption for his other C programming coursework as well as writing out the enigma encryption because there was no library, again not required.
He bought a burner phone to visit the capital city.
He bought a burner phone whenever he left his hometown come to think of it.
He bought a smartphone online, wiped it and installed new firmware (it was Chinese; I'm not saying anything about the Chinese, you're the one thinking it).
He bought a smartphone and installed Kali Linux NetHunter so he could test WiFi networks he connected to before using them on his personal device.
(You might be noticing it's all he's. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't).
He ate a sim card.
He brought a balaclava to pentesting training (it was pretty meme).
He printed out his source code as a manual read-only method.
He made a rule on his academic email to block incoming mail from the academic body (to be fair this is a good spam policy).
He withdraws money from a different cashpoint everytime to avoid patterns in his behaviour (the irony).
He reported someone for hacking the centre's network when they built their own website for practice using XAMMP.
I'm going to stop there. I could tell you so many more stories about these guys, some about them being paranoid and some about the stupid antics Cyber Security and Information Assurance students get up to. Well done for making it this far. Hope you enjoyed it.34
Built a pFSense box for home with said proxy. Even though my internet connection is slow it seems fast now thanks to squids MITM https proxy and http proxy. Plus a little QoS helps. And it has so many more features than a regular router.... WTF didn't I do this sooner?4
This moment when your PFSense routers IDS lights up like a christmas tree when you try to play a game. Also this moment when you are a programmer and only rant about sysadmin stuff because your programming almost never is a problem.
I HATE VPN SETUP
- Trying OpenSwan
Installing open swan on a Debian machine.. setting up the config.
Restarting openswan. Syntax error. No syntax error to be found.
Different tutorial.. it starts! Try to connect.. I can’t connect. Look at the logs. No errors.
Tcpdump. My traffic is coming through.. all fine.. try to connect again.. it works! (Nothing changed!)
Try to ping somewhere else.. no connectivity.
Try to ping an IP in the same network.. works fine. So I have connectivity, just no internet.
Spend an hour finding out about traffic directions of which no one seems to know what they really mean.
Boss tells me to stop using openswan because it’s deprecated and replaced by strong swan..
Reinstall Debian machine, install strongswan. Copy openswan config. Oh, they’re incompatible? Look up strong swan config, and the service starts.
Connect to the VPN.. it works! Again, no internet, just connectivity in the same network. Spend 2h debugging the config, disable firewalls everywhere, find an ancient bug in the Debian package related to my issues.. ok, let’s try compiling from source.. you know what, let’s not. I’ll throw this Debian machine away and try something completely different.
Ok, this looks easy enough! Let’s just click through the initial setup, change some firewall rules, create an L2TP VPN with a simple wizard.
Try to connect to VPN. First, it times out. Maybe a firewall issue? Turn off firewall.. ah, something happens now. I get an error message right after trying to connect to the VPN. Hmm, the port doesn’t even get opened when I enable the firewall.. this implementation seems a bit buggy.. let’s try their OpenVPN module.
Configure OpenVPN. Documentation isn’t that clear.. apparently a client isn’t actually a client but a user is a client.. ok, there’s a hidden checkbox somewhere.
Now where do I download my certificate? Oh, I need a plug-in for that.. ok, interesting. Able to download the certificate, import it, connect and.. YES!!! I can ping! But, I have no DNS..
Apparently, ICMP isn’t getting filtered but all outbound ports are.. yet the firewall is completely disabled. Maybe I need outbound NAT? Oh. There’s no clear documentation on where to configure it. Find some ancient doc, set it up, still no outbound connectivity.
Then I tried VyOS. I had a great L2TP VPN working in less than 15 mins. Thank you VyOS for actually providing proper docs and proper software.3
So I'm interested in building a Raspberry Pi stack at home to continue securing and adding my smart home capabilities, 👍
Have ideas for 2/3 but what else could I look to add?
1. Pi. Hole with cloudflared argo proxy for all DNS
2. Home Automation server
3. IPS / IDS like Bro or snort? Or firewall like pfsense?
4. Log server with Splunk agent from other pi's and router....
5. What else?
Ideas in the comments
Fuckin damn it Google! I setup a transparent proxy and for some fucking reason Google home doesn't like that at all. I think I have a fix but it's a real fucking pain in the ass. I call your support people who I specifically tell that I'm running a fucking proxy and they tell me that I need to talk to their Google WiFi team. It has nothing Todo with my fucking wifi bitch. Its your price of shit price of crap hardware that doesn't like fucking proxies.
I'll update everyone what the fix is when I find it.
Btw, this is a HTTPS transparent proxy and HTTP transparent proxy running on my pFSense firewall box.3
Updated my pfsense router today, from 2.3.2_1 to 2.3.3.
Its a task I have done before and so has a buddy of mine, but for some reason only known to it and the devil it decided to crap it's pants and completely crash.. 😢
I wasn't home, had to travel home force shut it down only to find out that it worked perfectly fine, when I was looking at it 😐
Lesson learned, some times a task will work when you hover over it, contrary to popular belief 😐