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Unix Edition

April 1st, 2000 Part One

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See the Happy Hacker web site at http://www.happyhacker.org
Firewall gives you problems? Try http://happyhacker.org
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*** Editor's Comments

Yes, do not adjust your system clock, this issue is a few days late. No
legitimate reason, other than a research paper... but here it is. As a result,
this week's digest is a little larger than usually, weighing in at somewhere
over 50K. Due to major time constraints, I'm sending this out without Perl 101
this week. No, I promise this won't happen again (at least not within my
control). I'll put a double sized one in next digest... so enjoy!

Just two quick notes:
1. Do not send your technical questions to Carolyn. She just forwards them to
the appropriate editors... so, if you have unix question, send it directly
2. Do not send idiotic questions to anyone. I've been getting more and more of
the "i wanna hack hotmail" messages lately... I'm not going to answer them,
nor will I process your subscribe / unsubscribe requests... even if you send
them several times... send your requests to antionline-(un)subscribe@onelist.com.

*** Readers' Submissions

jim3n3y@hotmail.com asks:

hello mabe you can help me with this ...i just got linux 6.1 a few months
ago and i love the os but cant get connected to the internet. i got my modem
to work with it but the ppp dialer isnt wanting to work with it.... can ya
help me out here??

ohh and great work on all of ur stuff if it wasnt for ur gtmhh i wouldnt
have progressed as fast as i did thanks........

jim3n3y_krik37 out...

[Editor: I guess that would explain why you're sending me mail from hotmail,
using HTML. Anyway, I'm not sure why the ppp dialer isn't working, I assume
you're using RedHat, so the automatic configuration is pretty good... without
know what isn't working (can you see the modem? Does minicom work? etc.) Read
the PPP howto (and the NET-3 HOWTO), it's pretty thorough.]


* * <osten5@mail.com> writes:

Hi am I guy from Sweden using Red-Hat 6.0, and im thining about to start
using Debian or Slackware. But my main quastion is which is best for the
"hacking" supose and how about the programs. Can i run normal .tgz, rpms or
whetever on those types of linux?
I tried Slackware 3.6 but in the network pakage there vasent evan a ping
comand... so pleas help me to chose...

THNX fo a grate page...

[Editor: Ok, good choice :). As I will write below, I don't care for Red Hat
so much, and I think that since Linux is a fundamentally technical OS, you may
as well learn how to actually use it. I love Debian... slack has kind of
fallen out of favor among a lot of people... it's still around, but it's no
where near as common as it used to be. Tarballs (.tgz) are just gzipped and
then tarred, so any distro can handle them. RPM's can be installed under
debian by using the "alien" program... I think Debian's handling of RPM's is
better than Red Hat's, IMHO.]


Tyler Hudson <tyler@exit1.i-55.com> wants to learn:


I know how to program in C++.... that is I've learned the basics that are
taught in school (Arrays, Pointers, etc). But now I am trying to learn about
programming in the Unix environmet. I am having problems finding a place to
start...can you suggest a good book or website??

Thank you,

[Editor: What's so hard? Your code is the same, run gcc and g++ instead of
Visual C++ or whatever you used in school... I'm not really sure what you're
trying to do. If it's things like network programming that you're looking to
do... I can't think of any sites that stand out... maybe a reader has a good


Dave Wright <kekoman@hotmail.com> asks:

Ive got RH5.2, Ive previosly installed it on my new computer and had it up
and working fine. Had the machine on the internet and everything using my
external modem i bought since my winmodem was no good. But i missed windows
for certain things(dont ask).

So out of the closet came my ole 25mhz computer. I bought a new processor
and 36 more mb of ram for it, also a cd drive. Its now a 100mhz with 40mb
ram and a 420 mb hdd.

First off, the cdrom drive wasnt working after i got RH installed, after
messing with fstab i got it goin, then i tried getting on the net with it,
and low and behold the modem wouldnt work, its the same modem from previous
mentioned install. only difference i can figure is that the serial port on
the new comp is a 16550 and the old 1 has a 16450.

Could that be my problem?

what i have done:
ln /dev/cua0 /dev/modem
then went into X and tried bringing up my PPP Network Connection, it said it
was active but the modem wasnt connected....

If you can help me, Id appreciate it.

[Editor: Upgrade to 6.1. Aside from that, the chipset is the problem. Your
newer machine has a 16550A (probabaly, the original 16550's were quickly
abandoned b/c of a few code bugs), and that can support fast xfers. The
16450's, and the 8440 (or whatever number it is, I can't remember right now)
cannot handle high speeds. You should be able to connect at 9600 bps, maybe
even 14.4 or 19.2, but that's the limit on the computer<->modem transfer. You
can buy a serial card, or maybe just look for an old Pentium 100 or so to buy


webmeister <webmeister@v-wave.com> suggests:

I'm not sure if the writer of the above articles is already doing this, but
I'd like to see some coverage of FREESCO (http://www.freesco.org) a great
Linux system that runs off a floppy disk. I use it on my old Ambra 486 for
a firewall, http server, and print server. Some mention of this site along
with a tutorial on the IPFWADM command, I think, would be beneficial to alot
of people. Thanks.

[Editor: Ok, I'll expect a tutorial from you in a few days. Of course,
ipchains made ipfwadm kind of obsolete... but... :). Anyway, for anyone who
hasn't seen it, FREESCO (=FREE ciSCO) is a cisco router emulator... it's
pretty slick, check it out. I have to install it here... maybe if I get
another computer...]

Mr.Q <Pool_Q@worldnet.att.net> asks:

Ms. Meinel, [Editor: Not quite.]

Hello. I am a student (CIS Major) interested in going into programming
and network security(basically a combo of the 2).
I recently installed a firewall on my home system and was suprised at
the many attempts to connect to my system actually occur while connected
to the net.
Most of them were, I assume for ad tickers and such.
But, one in particular really interests me and I want to know if there
is any way that I can trace it to its source without involving a third
party. It occured while I was connected to the internet, but, I didn't
have any applications running(browser, etc.) that may have warranted it.
In about a 5-10 minute time frame it occured several times.
After a few times I started up my browser and typed in the address, what
I got was a page that said an error has occured and to contact "
I stopped then and did a traceroute and it ended up being an "unknown"
source and it wouldn't allow me to obtain information on who it was.
Which has in all peaked my curiosity even more!!!!!!....
I do not try and get into anyone elses boxes or anything like that and
have no desire to do so without permission( I did get into my
girlfriend's Win98 box over the internet, but I had permission to make
the attempt. She had shares running so it wasn't anything of bragging
rights....hehehe.... :-P )....
But, back to the question at hand. I have an avid interest in computers
and am interested in exploring it to its fullest.
Any reading of interest you could recommend would also be of help?!?!?!
Do you offer a student discount on your books????....heheh........ :-)

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated......

Thank You Very Much,

William Wood

[Editor: Ok, yeah, there are all kinds of people misusing legatimate tools
like nmap to scan entire domains.... it's amazing how frequent it is. Fire up
ip loggin on your linux box, don't have it use syslog, and see how fast your
hard disk space vanishes... wow. I wonder how often that's responsible for
slowing down a modem connection.... whatever. Back to your question--
traceroute and ping can be fool (deny ICMP, use a program like rotorouter,
etc.), if you have the IP address, you can try a nslookup and whois, etc.
Depending on if it's a class A, B, or C, you may be able to get something
meaningful by dropping off parts of the address (cutting off the last number,
the last two, etc.).]


NAS2132@aol.com/bu_gg@hotmail.com asks:

Hi, I am trying to set up an Ethernet LAN of 4 LINUX computers. I need a
little info on what kind of program(s) I would need so I could send mail to a
user from one computer and access that mail account from another client of
the LAN or from a remote computer with windows?
I would like to have one of the computers to be online(server?). If I did
have one computer as the server, I would use RedHat 6.1 on it, but for all
the others I want to use Caldera OpenLinux. How would I get the computers
using Caldera to access and use the modem on the main server computer running

If you have time to answer these questions, please do so by emailing me at:


PS: it would be of great help if you could answer these questions without
confusing me, as i am not a pro networker ;)

[Editor: Ok, as far as networking goes, plug 'em in, run ifconfig (read the
NET-3 HOWTO), and you're in business. To be online, use IP Masquarading (see
last week's issue and the end of this week's), and you'll create a route on
the other machines that says something like:
route add -net gw <gateway add>. To pick up your mail, run a POP3 or
IMAP4 server (like qpopper), and an MTA like sendmail (or better yet, qmail or
smail or exim).]


sunsetnights@webtv.net needs help:

Dear Mr. Miller
I am havind some problems with someone hacking into and leaving
freeze bombs in my email and last night they cleared my girlfriends
webtv completely out of her addresses and storage info, and I might add
it was all done on her primary email. They come in different names and I
have a list of them and a web site that they sent her. We have notifid
webtv abust, hotmail abuse and they say they will monature them but in
the mean time everyone is losing all their stuff. Is there anything to
do about protecting ourselves in the mean time. I hope you will be a be
to give me some answers.
thank you
sunsetnights {JoJo}

[Editor: Cool, Mr. Miller :). I'm not sure what exactly a freeze bomb is... do
you mean they crash the computer? That's why you shouldn't use a web based
(HTML) email or read email using Outlook Express. Sol'n: switch to pine. Other
than that... I'm not sure what else to tell you... good luck though.]


Mike Roode <MROODE@flemingc.on.ca>

Dear mike

I am having a problem making my programs executabe in linux. For instance chmod +x "ffilename.filename",chmod 700 "filename" etc do not make any of my
scripts or c programs "executable". Furthermore if I use bash "scriptname" it
works but I cannot just use the just filename after making it executable. the
same with c++ proggies I compile them using G++ -c "name of file" and make an
executable binary and it just isn't working. I use turbolinux just in case you
needed to know thanx man.

Mike Roode

[Editor: It should. Are you typing ./program instead of just program? Do you
scripts contain a first like that looks something like #!/bin/sh? If they do,
and you are... I dunno.]

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