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Alexis Wilke's blog

Security Issue in many mail systems

It always amazes me when one finds a security issue that looks like something that should never have happened in the first place.

This one was found earlier this year by Wietse Venema who first discovered the issue in Postfix.

He fixed the Postfix server quickly, however, he went further. He actually tested many other servers sending commands that bypass that very security measure and to his surprised he found out that Postfix wasn't the only system affected by the problem.

For those interested, all the details of the problem can be found on the Postfix website as CVE-2011-411.

A ...

Upgrade to PHP 5.3.3 or newer because of security issue

If you are responsible for a Debian or Ubuntu server and run PHP on it, make sure to run the following command to fix several security issues found in PHP:

sudo apt-get install php5-suhosin

This will make the necessary and your PHP version (security wise) will look like you have PHP 5.3.3.

What I found quite annoying in regard to this issue is the fact that it was very difficult to find a mention of this upgrade. All I could find in large number were people saying that you'd have to get an upgrade using the source code of PHP. Somehow, I did not feel like upgrading PHP from ...

IPv4 exhausted!

That's it! It's official, the IPv4 address space is now exhausted. This happened this year on February 3, 2011. Now what?

Well, first of all the exhaustion was at the level of the IANA, not for each single Internet provider. This means many more IPs are still available.

However, it is important now for everyone to think of writing any new Internet based software so that it works with IPv61

  • 1. Remember that if you support IPv6, then your system is capable of accessing all IPv4 addresses since the IPv6 address range includes the IPv4. Now let's hope that the IPv6 is not going to be ...

Google Panda Change Beneficial to Press Releases

Today, BusinessWire disclosed the fact that they and their customers were benefiting from the changes made by Google to improve the giant search engine results.

The news is not that surprising since the Panda change was to eliminate most of the so called farmer websites. Websites that would copy news, most often as is, and not themselves create any additional value (Except to the owner by having advertising and other products and services for sale on their otherwise fairly useless website.)

Of course, many people are not happy as this change affected 11.8% of the US websites. Yet, users will ...

Put the label of an HTML Input inside the Input element

Today I was looking into creating a small module for Drupal that would allow me to move the labels of my HTML Input elements inside the element itself. This is useful for small forms such as the Search, Log In, and Newsletter Subscription forms. Bigger forms are better left alone (I think.)

First, it took me some time to find the right keywords to search with. Once I included Label Inside Input Element, I started to get good answers.

Before it was done by setting some default value in the Input element. There are two drawbacks with that method: one you need to test and remove that default ...

How to bypass Drupal strong security?

Interestingly enough, today I received a Security Advisory from Drupal saying that users received an email from a hacker asking them to install a Trojan module on their Drupal system.

I find it quite interesting since, if Drupal wasn't secure, the hackers would not have to ask you to make it unsecure, would they?

However, this shows how many CMS systems introduce a security issue problem to your web server installation since it is required to let your web server execute any one PHP file...

All the files installed on your web server and that are directly accessible from the outside (i.e. ...

gVim editor in SeaMonkey and FireFox

Today I discovered It's All Text. This is a FireFox (also works in SeaMonkey) extension that gives you the capability of editing a box of text in your favorite editor.

I love to use SeaMonkey, but the text editor is a bit light when it comes to writing code or fix broken HTML. To palliate to this problem, I often copy and paste the content of my posts from SeaMonkey to gVim, my favorite editor, apply the fixes lightning fast, and then copy the result back in SeaMonkey before saving.

This is a rather tedious process and prone to mistakes. To avoid problems, you can instead install ...

What Country is this Domain Name Extension from?

Domain Descriptions

Got a URL with a weird extension at the end (i.e. not a .com, .org, .info, .tv...) Wondering where that extension is from? Some, you may know because it is the usual country code, such as .de, .fr or .it. Others are harder to know because you probably did not learn the name of the some 276 countries of the world (know of .fm, .vc, .vg, .ws and .ng?)

How do I add my Facebook badge to my Blogger page?

When I created my blog on Blogger, I felt like it was a bit dry at first. So I looked into what to add in the column on the side... Since I like to make friends on Facebook, I thought that adding my badge would be a good idea.

It is quick to do and everyone can do it, really! So... first log in both Blogger and Facebook. In Facebook, go to your wall and click on Edit My Profile. The link is under your picture (and I hope you uploaded a photo! People want to see your face!!! Not your dog or your car.)

Facebook Profile sample (Apr 2010)

Once in your profile, click on the Contact Information bar. Then click on the ...

What are yellow pages good for?

Since I work a lot with the Internet, I often have people asking me whether the Yellow Pages are still useful...

The fact is, there are still many people using the Yellow Pages. Most advanced geek will use an online directory such as superpages.com. Yet, for certain things such as looking for a plumber, people still use the Yellow Pages.

So, how do I choose whether to have an ad in the Yellow Pages?

Simple! Take the latest Yellow Pages book you've received and look under your category and see what your competition does. If you have 1 or more full page advertiser, you bet that you have ...

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