Networking

A Quick and Practical Reference for tcpdump

When it comes to tcpdump most admins fall into two categories; they either know tcpdump and all of its flags like the back of their hand, or they kind of know it but need to use a reference for anything outside of the basic usage. The reason for this is because tcpdump is a pretty advanced command and it is pretty easy to get into the depths of how networking works when using it.

Managing DNS locally with /etc/hosts

Before the advent of a distributed domain name system; networked computers used local files to map hostnames to IP addresses. On Unix systems this file was named /etc/hosts or “the hosts file”. In those days, networks were small and managing a file with a handful of hosts was easy. However as the networks grew so did the methods of mapping hostnames and IP addresses. In modern days with the internet totaling at somewhere around 246 million domain names (as of 2012) the hosts file has been replaced with a more scalable distributed DNS service.

Adding and Troubleshooting Static Routes on Red Hat based Linux Distributions

Adding static routes in Linux can be troublesome, but also absolutely necessary depending on your network configuration. I call static routes troublesome because they can often be the cause of long troubleshooting sessions wondering why one server can’t connect to another. This is especially true when dealing with teams that may not fully understand or know the remote servers IP configuration. The Default Route Linux, like any other OS has a routing table that determines what is the next hop for every packet.

10 nmap Commands Every Sysadmin Should Know

Recently I was compiling a list of Linux commands that every sysadmin should know. One of the first commands that came to mind was nmap. nmap is a powerful network scanner used to identify systems and services. nmap was originally developed with network security in mind, it is a tool that was designed to find vulnerabilities within a network. nmap is more than just a simple port scanner though, you can use nmap to find specific versions of services, certain OS types, or even find that pesky printer someone put on your network without telling you.

Mitigating DoS Attacks with a null (or Blackhole) Route on Linux

In a world where the Anonymous group is petitioning the US Government to make DDoS attacks a legal means of protest; For internet facing systems the threat of Denial of Service attacks are very real. The cold harsh reality of DoS attacks are that there is no way to stop them. While there are services out there that are designed to take the brunt of the attack for you these costs a significant amount of money (update: CloudFlare seems pretty decent).

iptables: Linux firewall rules for a basic Web Server

For today’s article I am going to explain how to create a basic firewall allow and deny filter list using the iptables package. We will be focused on creating a filtering rule-set for a basic everyday Linux web server running Web, FTP, SSH, MySQL, and DNS services. Before we begin lets get an understanding of iptables and firewall filtering in general. What is iptables? iptables is a package and kernel module for Linux that uses the netfilter hooks within the Linux kernel to provide filtering, network address translation, and packet mangling.