Packt’s celebrates 10 years with a special $10 offer 10 year anniversity 10 year anniversity

Press release


Packt’s celebrates 10 years with a special $10 offer

This month marks 10 years since Packt Publishing embarked on its mission to deliver effective learning and information services to IT professionals. In that time it’s published over 2000 titles and helped projects become household names, awarding over $400,000 through its Open Source Project Royalty Scheme.

To celebrate this huge milestone, from June 26th Packt is offering all of its eBooks and Videos at just $10 each for 10 days – this promotion covers every title and customers can stock up on as many copies as they like until July 5th.

Dave Maclean, Managing Director explains ‘From our very first book published back in 2004, we’ve always focused on giving IT professionals the actionable knowledge they need to get the job done. As we look forward to the next 10 years, everything we do here at Packt will focus on helping those IT professionals, and the wider world, put software to work in innovative new ways.

We’re very excited to take our customers on this new journey with us, and we would like to thank them for coming this far with this special 10-day celebration, when we’ll be opening up our comprehensive range of titles for $10 each.

If you’ve already tried a Packt title in the past, you’ll know this is a great opportunity to explore what’s new and maintain your personal and professional development. If you’re new to Packt, then now is the time to try our extensive range – we’re confident that in our 2000+ titles you’ll find the knowledge you really need , whether that’s specific learning on an emerging technology or the key skills to keep you ahead of the competition in more established tech.’

Are You Looking for a Cloud Server?

keyboard-1 has a very reasonably pricing structure and is easy to use. You can get a small server instance, with 1/2GB RAM and 1 CPU for about $5 per month.  This is a great price for developers who use a test server a couple of hours a month.  They have larger instances for larger requirements, up to 20 CPUs and 64GB RAM. Your server could be in New York, San Francisco, Singapore, or Amsterdam.  You can also refer your friends and colleagues, as I am doing here, so your usage could be subsidized at least in part.  Check it out:  I am using it for testing code and security.

Learn Metasploit!

The new Expert Metasploit Penetration Testing shows you how to use 8 general categories of Metasploit from scanning on the command line using the Metasploit database to store your scans, to using the Armitage web front-end.  You need this tutorial if you are a network admin and are expected to keep up with security on the network, or if you are a penetration tester helping to keep cyberspace safer.

Web Front-end for the metasploit tutorialThe Expert Metasploit Penetration Testing Tutorial is ery straightforward and understandable.  There were a couple of things that gave me trouble.  I run Ubuntu Studio Linux on the desktop and the webpage front-end didn’t work very well for me.  The videos played alright through my video application.  The other thing I had an issue with was that the base OS in the videos was BackTrack.  I use the newer Kali Linux as an OS base.  I have Kali installed on an older laptop for pen-testing engagements.

Nmap running under Metasploit

If you are better suited to video learning, this is a good addition to your video library.  If you are better suited to reading, take a look at “Learning Metasploit Exploitation
and Development” by Aditya Balapure (2013) or “Mastering Metasploit” by Nipun Jaswal (2014) – both are available from Packt Publishing.

Chmod Files and Folders Differentially

I am sure you have had situations where all the files and folders in a subdirectory are accidentally changed to the wrong permissions.

Basic permissions of the files on a website, so visitors can interact: 644

== Files can be read but nobody is allowed to write (edit) the files but the owner.

Owner | Group | Others
R W -  | R – -   | R  -  – ====

R=Read, W=Write, X=eXecute

To get the octal permission number (i.e.644) which is additive

R=4, W=2, X=1 (“-” also means zero)

Read more

NMap Noisy Example Output

This post is a complement to an article I wrote for eForensics Magazine, which is coming out in 2014.

NMap Noisy Example Output

# Nmap 6.40 scan initiated Tue Dec 3 22:55:48 2013 as: nmap -T5 -v -A -oN Kali-method-2.txt

Nmap scan report for \24

Nmap scan report for unknownBCC8108BEB97 (

  Read more

EtherApe Example Output

This EtherApe output complements my article in eForensics Magazine which is coming out in 2014

<?xml version=”1.0″?>

<!– traffic data in bytes. last_heard in seconds from dump time –>




<timestamp>2013-12-03 20:44:47 -0500</timestamp>



Read more

Trying Sikuli Test Automation

I tried out a “new to me” test automation framework recently.  I liked it and can see a great value for test automation.  I got to play with it when reviewing Ben Lau’s new book “Instant Sikuli Test Automation”

Instant Sikuli Test Automation

Instant Sikuli Test Automation Book Cover



Virtual Web Servers: Apache2 on Debian

This is a short How-To about setting up multiple domain names, or sub-domains on Debian Squeeze using Apache 2.2
The following is the actual configurations of a working server with 2 subdomains on it.
It throws an error that does not stop it from working.

#=======snippet from apache2.conf

# Include generic snippets of statements
Include conf.d/

#=======Contents of conf.d directory=======================
wolf@SERVER-01:/etc/apache2/conf.d$ ls
charset localized-error-pages other-vhosts-access-log security virtual.conf

#=======Configuration of virtual.conf=======================

wolf@SERVER-01:/etc/apache2/conf.d$ cat virtual.conf
# running virtual hosts
NameVirtualHost *

#======Contents of the sites-available directory============

wolf@SERVER-01:/etc/apache2/sites-available$ ls
default default-ssl legacy

#======Configuration for

wolf@SERVER-01:/etc/apache2/sites-available$ cat default

ServerAdmin wolf.halton@

DocumentRoot /var/www/http/

Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all

ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/

AllowOverride None
Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log

# Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
# alert, emerg.
LogLevel warn

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined

Alias /doc/ "/usr/share/doc/"

Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from ::1/128

#========Configuration for
wolf@SERVER-01:/etc/apache2/sites-available$ cat legacy
# This is the settings file for the site

ServerAdmin wolf.halton@

# Indexes + Directory Root.
DirectoryIndex index.html
DocumentRoot /var/www/legacy/htdocs/

# CGI Directory
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /var/www/legacy/cgi-bin/

Options +ExecCGI

# Logfiles
ErrorLog /var/www/legacy/logs/error.log
CustomLog /var/www/legacy/logs/access.log combined

Nagios Plugins 1.4.16 Installation Notes

Even simple things are hard when you have never done them.
There is a pretty good How-to at for installing Nagios, and plugins, generally. I use Debian, so there may be a few minor differences between an Ubuntu install and my installation on Debian. Mostly I wanted to add a few notes about issues I run into when adding a remote server to the nagios family. You have to do a few things that are not in the instructions.
Before you begin, make sure you have a C-language compiler installed as well as ‘make.’
# aptitude install gcc make
also, your ssl_version in Nagios-Plugins will fail if you do not have libssl-dev installed.
# aptitude install libssl-dev
Your make will continue to fail in an unhelpful manner if you do not now re-run your configure command.
[nagios-plugins-src-dir]$ ./configure --with-nagios-user=nagios --with-nagios-group=nagios
Then run make and it will run properly.
[nagios-plugins-src-dir]$ make
Run make install as root.
[nagios-plugins-src-dir]# make install
Change ownership of the nagios-installation directory to nagios.
# chown -R nagios:nagios /usr/local/nagios
The plugins live in the /usr/local/nagios/libexec folder.

Make sure your nagios@nagiosserver can shell into the nagios@remote-server without a pass-phrase or it will not be able to run "command_over_ssl." I am not yet running the NRE as I understand ssl well enough to use it.

Thanks to Dave Bonnell for the libssl-dev suggestion

Make sure you ssh into each remote server as nagios@nagiosserver to get past the "Add this server to known hosts" dialog, otherwise nagios will not be able to send test requests automatically.

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