Friday, November 23, 2007

WPA and Slackware (or in this case, Backtrack)

I've got Slackware (OK, actually Backtrack...the differences between the two are subtle but defined pretty well and is a discussion for another day) running wpa_supplicant. In the last week, I've seen several people complaining on the lack of documentation on how to get this running. Another issue that isn't well-documented is the fact that Slackware has no GUI that'll allow the user to switch wireless networks as quickly as possible. My only answer is to use Slackware's KDE-based wifi management tool.

I've used ndiswrapper with a closed-source card on a Toshiba Satellite 1805-S274, in this case.

Anyways, I'm going to attempt to describe how I use wpa-supplicant. My wifi setup uses a PCMCIA card (Linksys WPC54GS) in which I have to use win32 drivers (via ndiswrapper). I created a script in the root directory:


#Start of script

wpa_supplicant -ieth1 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -dP -Dndiswrapper -B

dhcpcd -d -t 10 eth1

#End of script

I've also added the following to the bottom of the /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file:

psk="There are a lot of steps to this document and the process should be simplified!"
I usually run the first script above, then the second. I'm then instantly connected without trouble:

bt ~ # ./
Initializing interface 'eth1' conf '/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf' driver 'default' ctrl_interface 'N/A'
bridge 'N/A'
Configuration file '/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf' -> '/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf'
Reading configuration file '/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf'
ctrl_interface_group='wheel' (DEPRECATED)
Priority group 99
id=0 ssid='youarebeingwatched2'
Initializing interface (2) 'eth1'
EAP: EAP entering state DISABLED
EAPOL: External notification - portEnabled=0
EAPOL: External notification - portValid=0
SIOCGIWRANGE: WE(compiled)=21 WE(source)=18 enc_capa=0xf
capabilities: key_mgmt 0xf enc 0xf
WEXT: Operstate: linkmode=1, operstate=5
Own MAC address: 00:0f:66:4a:42:6a
wpa_driver_wext_set_key: alg=0 key_idx=0 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_wext_set_key: alg=0 key_idx=1 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_wext_set_key: alg=0 key_idx=2 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_wext_set_key: alg=0 key_idx=3 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
Setting scan request: 0 sec 100000 usec
Using existing control interface directory.
ctrl_interface_group=10 (from group name 'wheel')
Added interface eth1
dhcpcd: MAC address = 00:0f:66:4a:42:6a
dhcpcd: your IP address =
Now, this is a cheap hack and this can be done using the existing Slackware scripts, most was quicker for me to script this on my own and get internet connectivity up and running quickly. Besides that, I'm OK using this hack. Usually I just turn on the laptop, plug in the wireless PCMCIA adapter (Linksys WPC54GS), run the scripts, and commence to browse!

Any of you got any wireless hacks?

A Good Read: Snort for Dummies

Don't laugh. I bought this book a long time ago so that I could understand some things about Snort that were described in other expensive books that I didn't understand. Somtimes, very basic explanations in a non-technical jargon is best and every little bit of understanding helps, right? Here's the link: Snort for Dummies

Sunday, November 18, 2007

58 Cool Hacks...and more

Here are fifty-eight (58) cool hacks that are posted on the Linux Format Wiki. Some of these are actually cool and insightful. I plan on attemtping to regularly use a few of them. I'll let you know a bit later which ones they are and how well my implementation and usage goes.

Here is another good link. It describes in detail how to build your own distribution (build, not create, as you will build from a pre-existing Linux ISO file). If I'd enough time to do this, I would...maybe during my next holiday, I'll begin this, with the idea of making a seriously light yet secure distro.

This one is a good one, but I've only skimmed it so far. It is LinuxFormat's Slackware documentation. Since I know they are a bit biased in their views of Slackware (they seem to think that apt-get-like package management is a requirement and that the distribution is a bit 'behind the times'), I know I need to read this part of their wiki with some attention to detail.