Picotux - the Smallest Linux Computer in the World

28.06.2006 at 13:53

Today I came across a really fancy project / product, picotux - the smallest Linux Computer in the World.

This thing is apparently build on top off uClinux and busybox. It connects it self to the outside world over RJ45 or a serial connector and can even serve as a simple web or telnet server.

See the technical page for further information.


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Understanding XSS and How to Prevent It

23.06.2006 at 14:41

There was recently a completely stupid XSS story covered on Slashdot whose main argument is quoted below.

XSS vulnerabilities are not a mark of bad or insecure code but rather a nasty but unavoidable risk that's a part of JavaScript - and that even then, XSS 'vulnerable' sites are no less dangerous or vulnerable at heart.

Fortunately, this is completely bullshit. We will later discuss what kind of countermeasures can be taken, but first of all make sure you know what XSS is. For that purpose I suggest to read the XSS FAQ.

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Debugging Java Macros for with Eclipse

13.06.2006 at 12:04

I recently had the pleasure to develop a Java Macro and from that experience I can tell you that it is a pain in the ass.

No really, to start with the API is well not that simple and easy to work with. I understand that it is a complex task to create a cross platform cross language, network aware component framework but the whole UNO thing is probably a bit over designed (see the Developer Guide with 1100+ pages).

Maybe I just don't grasp it yet, so to let you judge yourself here is a junk of code. It's a simple helper class which demonstrates some basic functions like filling out form fields.

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Combine Winpooch and ClamWin to Protect Windows Clients

09.06.2006 at 14:41

You probably know ClamAV the popular opensource antivirus scanner which is widely used on mail servers etc. There is also a Windows Port, ClamWin available which can be used to scan files on the Windows platform. Unfortunately, ClamWin currently lacks an on-access scanner, which is a must have for a modern desktop virus scanner.

This is where winpooch comes in. Winpooch is a API-Hooker that is it catches System calls checks them against a filter list and then proceed according to the configured action. Therefore it can be used to pass executed files over to ClamWin which checks them for viruses, resulting in an on-access scanner. If you are extra paranoid and don't care about potential performance issues you can even configure Winpooch to call ClamWin on every opened file.

To configure Winpooch you have to go to the configuration tab and there select ClamWin as antivirus solution. If this is done, you should test your setup with a test virus. Download and run it, ClamWin should now detect the virus and Winpooch should ask whether you want proceed.

Winpooch also detects when a program want's to place itself in a auto startup position, for example via the registry or a startup folder, and asks if you want to allow or deny the action.

So you get a 100% opensource and free software antivirus/spyware solution for your Windows client computers.


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Using Debootstrap and Pbuilder to Build Debian Packages

09.06.2006 at 09:27

Building Debian packages within your normal system can be quite dangerous because care has to be taken that the resulting binary won't link against wrong libraries etc. To simplify this process there are a few useful tools available. These can not only be used to build packages, other use cases include building a chroot environment from a given distribution or install a base system.

Creating a chroot environment

Debootstrap builds a chroot environment of a given distribution. First take a look at what will be installed.

debootstrap --print-debs sid .

If it looks ok, then download the packages. I prefer to keep them in a tarball for further use:

debootstrap --make-tarball sid-chroot.tgz sid .

Later you can use that tarball to actually extract the debs an install them into a given directory.

mkdir ~/sid-chroot && cd ~/sid-chroot
debootstrap --unpack-tarball sid-chroot.tgz sid .

If everything worked so far you should now have a complete root filesystem which is ready to chroot into.

chroot . /bin/sh

Another package which can do nearly the same is cdebootstrap, it is mostly a re-implementation od debootstrap written in C for use in the debian-installer.

cdbootstrap -f minimal sid .

Compiling packages in a clean room environment

If you want to compile Debian packages in a clean room environment then take a look at pbuilder. First you will need to create a build environment, as a side note pbuilder uses debootstrap to accomplish this.

pbuilder create --distribution sid

This will create a base.tgz file in /var/cache/pbuilder. By default changes to the pbuilder environment will be lost after logout. To prevent this you have to login as follows:

pbuilder login --save-after-login

Now we are able to build actual packages for example do something like

apt-get source gcc-4.1-source
pbuilder build *.dsc

Further information

For further information consult the man pages of the corresponding programs. In addition the following sites could be quite interesting.

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