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Swimming Upstream

October 30, 2010

Linux Security Round Table, Linux Lockdown.

Filed under: Events at 12:35 am Comments Off

Just a week after the firs GNU/Linux meeting I attended in NYC, the group come up with another meeting on the topic of Linux Security. Being a CISSP and Security Specialist at my job, I would certainly not miss this meeting even I had to finish a painting of an old man in my painting class at the same night.

Fortunately the meeting is just 2 blocks away from my class. I told my teacher about the plan and he allowed me to sneak out of the classroom after the class started and came back to work on the painting before 10pm.

After primed some crimson on canvas, I thought it’s a good time to leave, as it would take some time for the color to completely dry before I resume the work.

I rushed to the Linux Security Round Table meeting in Yodle office. The meeting had started. I saw some familiar faces from the last meeting, they are a friendly crowd and seems not minding my late at all.

The presentation was excellent. It really tap into the potential of Linux’s configuration capabilities. Indeed the owner of a Linux OS is in full control and could lock down the OS via various configurations tools.

I usually don’t bring my laptop around these days, but this time I didn’t even have my sketchpad with me so I didn’t take any notes. I could barely remember half of the presentation on the second day, so I posted a comment on the GNU Linux Meetup site asking if the presentation could be me shared.

I thought my request was quite lame and didn’t expect any response at all. To my surprise Aaron responded in length and shared his full notes with all group members. Cheers to the spirit of Open Source!

Here is the summary of Aaron’s notes:

* Physical security: where data is stored. Backup facilities included.

* Soft security: Limit access to information, attack surface.
Layered approach: (((data, application, host, internal network, perimeter)Phscial Security)Policies e.g. check out universities)

* Perimeter: IPTables ingress and egress firewall on host and user?

* Policy, drop, deny by default.

* Host based security
quotas: edquota
cgroups: user groups with allowances, virtual machines increase risk
chroot jails
APP Armor

* SeLinux (security enhanced linux, NSA dev, mandatory access control, NSA uses multilabel security, no one else does, makes everything impossible, targeted mode, processes are confined)

* RES exploit works on everything?, module blacklist e.g. /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf get all modules from lsmod

* Host Based Security Detection
Tripwire http://sourceforge.net/projects/tripwire/
AIDE (automated intrusion detection and )
Chkrootkit http://www.chkrootkit.org/
Syslog? Read the logs, store them off host. Feed them into splunk (commercial, free version)?

* Hardening
Limit daemons, (especially in servers), know what you’re running,
Less is more: Remove users, remove software, limit kernel module autoloading!, isolate processes systems and data

* SSH disabled – default in new Fedora

* zeitgeist log operations, file access

* Test your system: (available in backtrack linux)
nessus www.nessus.org
nmap your system remotely

* using ssh keys for authentication
truecrypt for usb

Many security topics were brought up and discussed during discussion. It was wonderful to share experience with people coming from wildly different backgrounds. I will absolutely come back to the meeting when there is a next one.

I ran back to my class before the meeting finished (missed the beer!). The model was still posing, but I had barely 50 minutes left to finish the painting. It’s been a productive day!

October 27, 2010

Introduction to Puppet @ NY GNU/Linux Meetup Group

Filed under: Events andJournals at 4:59 am Comments Off

Finally, I made myself a member of local GNU/Linux User Group in NYC, after moved to here 2 years ago. The first meetup meeting I attended was about Puppet.

It’s indeed a cute name for a data center configuration management tool. Puppet configuration (.pp files) are written in Ruby, which allows great flexibility to configure how software are installed and configured on client machine. Facert, another Ruby project, discovers all system information to be used by Puppet configuration.

Several group members are experienced user of Puppet and share their knowledge selflessly. I look forward to the next meeting on Linux security tomorrow.

Product link: http://www.puppetlabs.com/

I also found a good technical article about Puppet online: http://www.sparksupport.com/blog/puppet-configuration-management-tool

September 2, 2007

Ubuntu China Community Logo

Filed under: Events at 2:43 pm Comments Off

Before I realized it, it’s two weeks away to Software Freedom Day. I have been traveling again and haven’t done much to contribute, so I received some official complaint from Fred (the BLUG president) and scrambling to figure out how to help. Well, there is at least one task I am keen to do (and I promised to deliver long ago) – which is to design the logo of Ubuntu China community.

After one day’s serious head scratching, this is the output from Amy’s petit art workshop today:


Next I will work with some community people to print T-shirts/other gifts for the event. Fancy to get a T-shirt with the new design of Ubuntu China community? It’s all cool stuff (Open source, SFD, Ubuntu):


Come and join the event in TshingHua University this year. Detail here: http://sfd.beijinglug.org

April 19, 2007

Intel Solution Summit ’07

Filed under: Events at 7:42 pm Comments Off

This was my first time to Auckland, a city with unpretentious beauty. I was also a bit confused that it’s late summer there, then I realized that it’s just different weather from where I come from, the term summer doesn’t mean it’s different time… as usually the season stands for.

That disappointed me a bit. Subconsciously I was hoping to travel to a place where I can go back in time, like autumn of last year!

The event was organized in an extreme professional manner, as Intel always do. I was hugely impressed during the keynote speech session when Donald McDonald announced that Intel will make 10 billion media impressions to public this year. 10 billion. Now you must understand why Intel is everywhere.

This is Canonical’s booth:


We met friendly people everywhere! It’s hard to stay modest when everyone we met talking favorably about Canonical and Ubuntu. I literally has nothing to do with this, our engineer team is the real heros and the honor is theirs. : )

Having said that, our Canonical business team is quite cool too. We were active during the event, and we know how to have fun while doing a good job.

November 5, 2006

Unexpected, with delightment…

Filed under: Events at 1:00 am Comments Off

The day November 2nd started with several unexpected bad news… Traffic will be super bad for a whole day, since several main roads will be blocked to welcome Sino-Africa Summit guests; some people claimed they haven’t received my email about the Edgy Eft Release party yet; I was told T-shirts and sweaters are not made as I designed cause the cost was too high for small orders; 2 people called me apologizing for not going to make the Edgy Release party, and one said I shouldn’t expect seeing too many students considering this is weekday night + traffic is bad.

After several rounds of phone calls, I am even more frustrated to realize that I am running late for the first business meeting of the day… It’s definitely one of the worst start of a day for this year.

… …

How was the party? Look at these pics:

We planned the party for 200 people, 600 showed up, since nobody got ultrawide lens to take the whole meeting hall, this picture shows about half of the room:

Meeting Hall

Many people sit on the floor:

Ones sit on floor

The whole speech + Q&A lasted for an intensive 1 and half hours (felt like 30 minutes as one student said, I shared his feeling), there was no one left, no one had seperate meetings, no one even diverts their attentions… Mark was the star of the night.

Fascinated and Inspired

I was the intepretor.

On getting free Edgy Eft CDs and entering the meeting hall, community has asked attendees to put down their company name and email address on paper – that’s how I got a name list of almost 400 people (out 600) , to find the population was actually quite distributed – from almost all big science universities in Beijing (Peking, Tsinghua, Beihang, Beiyou, Beijing Normal University etc…) as well Google, IBM, Sun, Oracle, TongFang (PC brand), Founder and plenty of software companies including some other linux distros.


I mean, WOW.

I must admit the organization of the party is a bit awkward, as we didn’t expect so many people to show up. The event was blogged by several bloggers who attended the meeting, all criticizing about the crowdy venue and less-than-perfect translation (yeah I am a bit nervous and my intepretation is lower than my average level), none the less all of them are praising Mark’s passionate speech and the legend of Ubuntu.

For the ones who’d like to watch Mark’s speech again, I will put video on internet later.

Thanks for Fridge’s support to put the event up on your site:

Hou ZhengPeng and Yu ShiQi are the heros to make the party happen, my Beijing LUG friends have been helping spreading the words around the town, and by google search I also found some OSS geeks who I have never met in the past also helped advertising the event on IRC/Forum/BBS this time.

I have already started planning the bigger, fancier, cooler, geekier, and all the way better “Beijing Feisty Fawn release party” for next April, mark your calendar, NOW! : )

October 28, 2006

Gifts, Designs, CD Roms for Edgy Eft Release Party

Filed under: Events at 7:06 pm Comments Off

Today I spent sometime to help Ubuntu community people organizing the Edgy Release party coming next week. We have decided to do everything by ourselves – including downloading ISO and burning CD Roms!

This is the design of CD-Rom sticker, we will distribute 200 CD Roms during the event (Free).


In stead of making and giving away gifts, we have decided to make and sell them. After several rounds of brainstorming, T-shirts and sweaters are considered the best souviniors for the occasion (it’s easy to make, and students love wearing them).

Beijing is getting cold these days – average 10C during day time, originally I proposed we should only make sweaters in this season, but it seems that many students can’t afford buying sweater so T-shirts are still in high demand.

Here is the design of the T-shirt, price: RMB40.00 (USD5.00)


and sweater here, price: RMB80.00 (USD10.00)


It’s going to be hot sales!

October 25, 2006

Meeting Mark Shuttleworth at Edgy Release Party in Beijing!

Filed under: Events at 7:08 pm Comments Off

click to view bigger image.

Mark Shuttleworth will be in Beijing on November 2nd, and we will throw an Edgy release party to celebrate the occasion with him together!

This poster will be posted in several billboards of different campuses and some office buildings (where geeks are most often seen). I contacted several student commity leader of the most famous universities here (Peking unversity, Tsinghua University etc.), all are keen to organize the party! In a few days, we have got 3 options of free party venue in the campus area, and finally we decided to pick the one in Automation Research lab, which is a great meeting hall for about 200 people. I bet it will be packed on the day. We are working on making a fancy presentation about Edgy for the party now, anyone got good ideas, or slide to share?

The event will be reported by local media here. Please drop me an email at amy@ubuntu.com for pictures/media report of the event if you are interested. (I can only reply after November 2nd, of course) : )

Event vanue and time details: (if the link on poster is not quite easy to read)




September 29, 2006

Software Freedom Day

Filed under: Events at 8:58 pm Comments Off

On September 16th the Software Freedom Day, I was invited to attend the a celebration event in Beijing University. It was exciting to meet so many young students after left campus many years ago. To my surprise, many of them have heard of Ubuntu, some of them are quite hard core fan of Linux and Open Source softwares. I brought several Ubuntu T-shirts and 50 Dapper installation CDs, they soon became the most popular and demanded gifts in the event. : )

Details of the event: http://news.csdn.net/n/20060911/94604.html

The event also give away a lovely penguin doll (from LPI):

Banners of the event and Ubuntu’s name in sponsors’ list:

Software Freedom Day’s website: http://www.softwarefreedomday.com, the president of SFD is Pia Waugh, who is a very good friend, using that connection I registered China event on SFD site at a very late time (the last one to register), as you could see here.

Pia also gave a talk on LugRadio on the topic of Software Freedom Day, available here.