Protect your dangerously insecure redis server

22 May, 2022 - 4 minutes
If you’ve put Redis on the internet you’ve probably had your box hacked one way or another. Unfortunately, the service has very weak defaults with no authentication, encryption, or meaningful access control. While it’s true that redis is a back-end service that should only be used between servers, it’s often misused and abused. For example, there are about 40,000 redis instances indexed on, about half of which are not in protected mode.

Debian: the luxurious boring lifestyle

6 May, 2022 - 2 minutes
Since late 2018, I had been a full-time Arch Linux user. At that time, it was worth it for me to spend the extra time dealing with Arch’s quirks, meticulously updating my AUR software, fiddling with all-manual configuration, and manually migrating any software between major versions whenever Pacman updated them. It was both a great learning experience, and… well… A bit of a waste of time ;) Needless to say, things have changed in my life since then, and I now place a much larger emphasis on ‘boring’ stuff.

Monitor radiation with a Raspberry Pi

4 Feb, 2022 - 2 minutes
I have an odd fascination with radiation… Not to the point that I’m buying “Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials” (or NORMs for short) on eBay, but certainly to the point that I own a digital geiger counter and regularly measure… things… Recently, I discovered, a site where users can connect a counter to their API and send data to the network of scientists that study background radiation in real time.

Simple Linux server alerts: Know your performance, errors, security, syslog, and security

18 Dec, 2021 - 10 minutes
Log aggregation systems are fantastic. As are time-series metrics databases. But that’s not what this post is about. These methods aren’t a replacement for those systems at all, but a basic way to implement the core basics of monitoring and alerting. You see, the strength of a SIEM or log aggregation system is its numbers. It correlates data from hundreds or thousands of sources, giving very important insights about overall system usage patterns, login activity, audit trails, and more.

NUC crashes on debian 11 - How I fixed it

13 Dec, 2021 - 3 minutes
I recently installed Debian Bullseye on an old Intel NUCCAY6H mini PC I had lying around. It’s a great little device for a home server, as it’s very cheap, fits 16G of memory, and with 4 mini-cores it’s no slouch. The first install attempt didn’t go well, with missing firmware for the NIC causing hanging for a couple minutes during boot. This happens quite a bit with Debian’s hard-line stance on binary blobs, so I re-installed with the non-free install media.