Install PiHole With SSL On Apache Running Ubuntu Server 20 LTS

This is another quick post to serve as a general note. This post will cover the install of PiHole with SSL on Apache. The guide should work for most Debian-based Linux distributions. We are running PHP7.4 as it’s native to the OS and does not require any PPA addons. You can install PHP8/+ if you like.

Step 1: Bash Into root


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     sudo bash

Enter your password.

Step 2: Install Apache2


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     apt-get install apache2 -y

Step 3: Install PHP 7.4


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     apt-get install php -y
     apt-get install php-common php-mysql php-xml php-curl php-cli php-imap php-mbstring php-opcache php-soap php-zip php-intl php-sqlite3 -y

Step 4: Install PiHole


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     curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

During the course of the install, you will be prompted ~5 times. At the last prompt, you will be asked if you want to install the Lighttpd web server. At this point, you want to select no and complete the install process.

Once completed your PiHole setup should work. and should be accessible via ip/domain.com/admin/

Step 5 Cleanup:

As of today, I have noticed a rare glitch that will cause the folder structure to be odd after the pihole install. This can be easily fixed with the following details.

The default install will create folders like this:


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     pihole folder: /var/www/html/pihole
     admin folder: /var/www/html/admin

Although not a big deal, this causes a problem when trying to access the admin dashboard from the default pihole URL (http://ip/pihole), the link on the page that is supposed to link to the admin page will be broken. At this point, you can update the page link manually in pihole/index.php to forward to the correct URL or you can change/move folders to your liking.

To fix this issue, as root, first we move the folder to the correct directory.


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     mv /var/www/html/admin /var/www/html/pihole

Second, we update the default pihole root index file links


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    vim /var/www/www/html/pihole/index.php

We want to edit three lines 77, 81, and 83 to reflect the new URL structure.


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     Line 77:
     <link rel='shortcut icon' href='/pihole/admin/img/favicons/favicon.ico' type='image/x-icon'>

     Line 81:
     <img src='/pihole/admin/img/logo.svg' alt='Pi-hole logo' id="pihole_logo_splash" />

     Line 83:
     <a href='/pihole/admin/'>Did you mean to go to the admin panel?</a>

Once done you can consider the process complete.

Step S: Installing SSL on PiHole:

To keep things classy, if not already, bash into root:


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     sudo bash

Let’s enable the PHP’s SSL module and make our SSL folder to house our certs.


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     a2enmod ssl
     mkdir /etc/apache2/certs/pihole

Now let’s generate our self-signed cert:


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     openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/apache2/certs/pihole/piholio.key -out /etc/apache2/certs/pihole/piholio.crt

Edit our default SSL virtual hosts config:


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     vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf

Replace lines 32 and 33 with the following lines


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     SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/certs/pihole/piholio.crt
     SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/certs/pihole/piholio.key

Save and exit.

Next, enable SSL and restart the apache service:


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     a2ensite default-ssl.conf && systemctl apache2 restart

At this point, you’ve successfully installed PiHole with SSL. We have another issue, by default apache does not reroute to SSL so you will still be able to visit the non-SSL URL. To fix this we need to enable the Rewrite module and enter our conditions into our domain’s virtual host configuration (or .htaccess).

Let’s enable that rewrite module:


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     a2enmod rewrite
     systemctl apache2 restart

Let’s edit our default virtual host file:


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     vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Add the following three lines of code before the </VirtualHost> closing tag. You can replace the * on the second line with your local IP or domain.


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     RewriteEngine On
     RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =*
     RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

Save the file and restart Apache.


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     systemctl apache2 restart

Your PiHole install should now be “running in SSL”. If anyone viewing my notes has questions feel free to leave a comment.

Install PHP8 on Ubuntu Server 18 & 20 LTS Running Apache

This post is a quick post to serve as a note, don’t expect long explanations of general LAMP stack design concepts. If you encounter any issues feel free to leave a comment below.

Step 1: Bash Into root User


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    sudo bash
    ("sudo -su" if you prefer)

Enter your password to enter the root superuser account.

Step 2: Preparation

As root enter


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     apt-get update -y && apt-get upgrade -y && apt-get dist-upgrade -y && apt-get autoremove -y && apt-get autoclean -y

Step 3: Adding PHP8 Repository


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     apt-get install ca-certificates apt-transport-https software-properties-common -y

Once the command above completes its process:


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     add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php -y && apt-get update -y

Step 4: Installing PHP8


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     apt-get install php8.0 libapache2-mod-php8.0 -y && systemctl restart apache2

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     apt-get install php8.0-fpm libapache2-mod-fcgid

Enable default PHP8 FastCGI manager module and config:


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     a2enmod proxy_fcgi setenvif
     a2enconf php8.0-fpm

Restart Apache:


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systemctl restart apache2

You might need these as well… MySQL, MBString, and MailParse


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     apt-get install php8.0-mbstring php8.0-mailparse php8.0-mysql php8.0-xml php8.0-zip -y

WordPress Modules


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     apt-get install php8.0-imagick -y

*****

To get jiggy with it… (installs all PHP modules, typically reserved for DevOps/Sandboxing)


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     apt-get install php8.0-dev

*****

Once you’re done with installing any additional modules, although not required, it’s recommended you reboot your machine. Let’s do a little cleanup in case something unnecessary (like previous PHP7 packages) was left behind.


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     apt-get update -y && apt-get upgrade -y && dist-upgrade -y && apt-get autoclean -y && apt-get autoremove -y && reboot

Step 5 (Optional): Additional Caching Modules

Memcached


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     apt-get install php8.0-memcached

Redis


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     apt-get install php8.0-redis

ODROID-C2 Headless Ubuntu 20 Image

This is a quick post for anyone who was looking to get a headless image from HardKernal but couldn’t actually find it (It doesn’t exist). This guide will use their hosted image for general security reasons.

Why would you want to do this? If you don’t plan on using it as a desktop. Also, why not save ~100MB of RAM and have an even more stable system.

If you haven’t already you can download the official HardKernal Odroid-C2 Ubuntu Image for your Odroid-C2 here.

Skipping The Install Process…

It’s 2021, I’m not going over the install process. This guide assumes you already have a clean Ubuntu 20 installed (from the OFFICIAL repository) and running on your C2. If your ODROID starts auto-patching security updates as soon as you connect it to your network, let it complete before starting.

(Optional)

You can install whatever ssh server you like for your C2, it will make the process much easier to copy and paste commands.

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     sudo apt-get install openssh-server -y

Removing Mate

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     sudo apt-get purge $(dpkg --://www.php.net/list">list | grep MATE | awk '{print $2}')

Once the command above completes, continue removing additional traces left behind

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     sudo apt-get purge libmate-sensors-applet-plugin0 -y
     && sudo apt-get purge libmateweather-common libmateweather1:amd64 -y
     && sudo apt-get purge mate-accessibility-profiles -y
     && sudo apt-get purge mate-notification-daemon -y
     && sudo apt-get purge mate-notification-daemon-common -y
     && sudo apt-get purge plymouth-theme-ubuntu-mate-logo -y
     && sudo apt-get purge plymouth-theme-ubuntu-mate-text -y

Finally Remove The LightDM “Screen Greeter”

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     sudo apt-get remove lightdm -y

Additional Apps You Might Want To Remove

This is what I chose to remove, feel free to remove any apps you also wont be using without any desktop GUI.

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     sudo apt-get remove firefox -y

Finish cleaning up

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     sudo apt-get autoclean -y && apt-get autoremove -y && reboot

That should pretty much sum up the process, let me know if you encounter any issues.

Northwest Victims Tricked Into Calling Scammers Fake Support Number

There seems to be some hilarious tomfoolery going on where victims are tricked into calling a fake support number via email. The worst part is the scammer’s effort or IQ level, put some effort loser, but I digress. The worst part seems to be it targeting the poor (those experiencing financial hardship if you want to be P.C.) as they would be most likely to panic and call. Beware if you’re lucky enough to fall for it, you are further exploited into giving account details, credit cards numbers, nuclear codes, etc. The scam is some basic sh*t but for the uninitiated, it can spell a bad week or month/s of the recovery process. So the moral of the post is if you get a shady email telling you to thank you for your some unknown purchase from Amazon (or wherever), with a crazy price, support numbers listed in the same email multiple times… I’d probably call it, f*ck it.

No, no, don’t call. Validate the sender’s address, no support email from any big company will come from Gmail or Hotmail, it will come from the companies domain. If you’re still in doubt, don’t panic, do a quick search on Google, look up the company visit the site, look up their support information, and contact them. Don’t be a statistic.

New Email Scam Targeting Small-Medium Sized Businesses In The Pacific Northwest

I decided to write a quick post on the topic as I just received one of these new scams and almost fell for it and hopefully can prevent someone else from falling for it. The scam campaign seems to be targeting small-medium sized businesses and may variate in tactics depending on the industry targeted, the email example below is real and should be used as a template for what to look out for.

The prospect, in this case, is also the attacker (a fake prospect), sends a vague email as the one below (this is an actual scam email ):


 

scammer email


It Looks ok, right? Weary of the pdf attachment I scan it for malware or trojan but nothing was detected. I was still weary, being a computer & network security expert I decided to upload it to Google drive (lol) and previewed it there. To my surprise, it actually was a banner design…


fake salf banner


At this point, I was 75% convinced that this was a legitimate prospect. I decided to reply with additional questions required to effectively do the job or at least provide an accurate quote. The next day I received a reply:


scammer reply


After receiving the reply, I took some time to further analyze the entire conversation and began to find problems in his requests such as:

1. His email address, it was a Gmail address, easy to create anonymously.
2. Why is Save A Life Foundation (SALF) making banners for HIV/AIDS?
3. The banners mention sponsors but nothing about the SALF.
4. The banner size is an odd size, not a standard size, and doesn’t mind “any good” size.

Still weary but curious, I decided to go further down the rabbit hole and give them a quote which they then replied:


scam email 3


After I received this response I was convinced it was a scam and decided to do some research.

So SALF is asking me to send banners to a Mexican Address huh? let’s check it out…



Yeah doesn’t look like the Save a Life Foundation unless they’ve downsized and are outsourcing now, it’s obviously not any organization saving lives.

The email midlandshipping@usa.com looks absolutely wrong but somewhat legitimate because of the @usa.com domain behind it, which is why attacker used it. Thinking the attacker had compromised a mail server belonging to the domain, I decided to look at the domain in search for their abuse email so I could notify them of a possible breach with their mail server. Upon my search of the usa.com site, I came upon this on the usa.com site contact page.



So now we see how he was able to get the @usa.com email, it’s completely free.

This experience was annoying because of the time wasted but was good practice. I suggest people research companies who want to send your business requests for quotes and then ask to ship outside the country. Make sure their request makes logical sense, someone asking for something in quantity should be asking for standardized items and should require a standardized transactional process, no special or shady instructions, if it feels wrong don’t do it! In my case, it saved me a few thousand dollars that would have been most likely through a chargeback from a stolen credit card the attacker used.

sihost exe Hard Error Fix, Windows 10 Derp Edition

We noticed that a lot of customer PC’s where coming in with the same problem after installing a Windows update, specifically the April update. After a few hours of troubleshooting, the only conclusion to fixing the problem was creating a USB Windows 10 installation media and reinitiating the update process from the USB media (It will reinstall windows but download everything via USB update instead of the OS). We tried everything (sfc /scannow, dism…) and this was the ONLY solution that worked. So the solution to your broken windows is simply restarting the updating process through a Windows 10 USB installation media, the process should leave all your old files intact and only fix the broken OS, specifically the Administrative/System accounts which is what caused this problem originally.

Streaming 1080p Video Through The Browser On An Odroid-C2

If your trying to build a video kiosk using a RasperryPi 3 guess what, you can’t and trust me I tried. I stumbled upon the Odroid-C2 and my whole life changed…

To build a 1080p capable video kiosk simply follow the outlined steps below.

  1. Download VideoJS (Open Source Javascript HTML5 Player)
  2. HTML5 Video (.mp4)
  3. Encode your Video at 24/25 fps or at a max of 6Mbps stream, ideally 5Mpbs.

I tested multiple in-browser video players and VideoJS outperformed all. I was able to get movies like The Matrix to play very smooth at even the most GPU intensive scenes. For more information about other methods used or to view the odroid forum thread that dealt with this issue visit here.

 

Updating To OpenSSL 1.0.2g On Ubuntu Server 12.04 & 14.04 LTS To Stop CVE-2016-0800 (DROWN attack)

It was a bit difficult to find any real information on fixing the latest openSSL CVE-2016-0800 (DROWN attack) so I decided to write this quick post on how to update your Ubuntu Server 12.04/14.04 OpenSSL (or any debian-based distro with apache2) to the latest 1.0.2g build to avoid the DROWN/Heartbleed attacks. I’m not going to go into the details of how the exploit works and how it’s exploited as there are many blogs/sites that already go over this. Instead I will only focus on the fix, I have provided 2 methods, a method using cURL or wget.

*** UPDATED 7/4/2017 ***
Because this is a popular post, I’ve gone ahead and updated it to reflect latest SSL binaries, it’s good practice to check what the latest binaries are regardless of this post.

cURL Method

  1. sudo apt-get install php5-curl (Install cURL library)
  2. sudo apt-get install make (Install compiling library Make)
  3. curl https://www.openssl.org/source/openssl-1.0.2l.tar.gz | tar xz && cd openssl-1.0.2l && sudo ./config && sudo make && sudo make install (single command that will download latest binaries, extract them, cd into the directory, compile configuration and then install the files)
  4. sudo ln -sf /usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl ‘which openssl’ (This will create a sym link to the new binaries)
  5. openssl version -v (Used to check the version of the Current OpenSSL binaries)

wget method

  1. sudo apt-get install make (Install compiling library Make)
  2. wget https://www.openssl.org/source/openssl-1.0.2l.tar.gz (Download the latest OpenSSL 1.0.2g binaries)
  3. tar -xzvf openssl-1.0.2l.tar.gz (Extract the tar ball to the local directory)
  4. cd openssl-1.0.2l (Enter extracted OpenSSL directory)
  5. sudo ./config (Configure binaries for compiling)
  6. sudo make install (install configured binaries)
  7. sudo ln -sf /usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl `which openssl` (This will create a sym link to the new binaries)
  8. openssl version -v (Used to check the version of the Current OpenSSL binaries)

This was tested on both Ubuntu Server 12.04 & 14.04 LTS versions. Questions? Comments?

How To Change Network Location On Windows Server 2012 R2

This is one of those quick posts designed more as a note, I had fun trying to find the way to update the network location on my 2012 Server sandbox so I figured I would create a short post on the matter…

It can be found by following:

Server Manager>Tools>Local Security Policy>Network List Manager Policies>Network

This is of course assuming that you have a fresh install with GUI.

If you’re using PowerShell you will want to run the following command (this requires PowerShell 4)

Get-NetConnectionProfile | Set-NetConnectionProfile -NetworkCategory Private

nVidia Shield Tablet Diagnostic Mode On Android Lollipop

I found the Diagnostic mode for the nvidia shield tablet, you can find it at the following path…

Settings > About Tablet

At this screen you want to scroll down to “Kernal version” and tap it numerous times until it goes into diagnostics.

nvidia shield tablet diagnostic mode

This is what it will looks like…

Screenshot_2015-06-27-23-58-05

 

Hope this helps anyone…