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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Posted on by other

Save Paper, Save the Environment

Climate change and pollution are major issues that concern all countries across the globe. At present, it is imperative that more environmentally conscious practices are incorporated into everyday routines.

More importantly, the urgency to continuously act on current environmental problems has never been more emphasized. One such example that many people can relate to is saving paper.

Environmental campaigns have taught consumers to recycle paper, but the damage doesn’t stop there. The goal should be to stop use in the first place! With the widespread problem of pollution, saving paper and curbing wastage is now a more pressing concern, because of the harmful pollutants released during the manufacturing process, and the chain of negative effects associated with this.

During the manufacturing process there are many area’s that for different reasons, produce pollution. In paper manufacturing, pollution begins with pulp pills, where wood chips are made into thick fibreboards, which are later sent to paper mills for further processing.

The process of burning bark so it can be transformed into usable fibre releases toxic greenhouse gases, which eventually can cause acid rain, destroying marine life, crops, and polluting drinking water.

The process of bleaching pulp to create various finishes on paper also involves draining water that contains bleach chemicals and harmful dioxins, which instantly pollute water catchments.

In addition, transporting mass quantities of wood chips by sea cargo is often the most cost-effective, but has recently been scrutinized for the high levels of CO2 produced by ships and their associated long distance travel.

Hence, saving paper and making the most of daily usage in homes and the workplace is important not only to save on unnecessary extra spending, but also to cut down on the unnecessary harmful effects unleashed into our environment.

Now seeing we’re on the PaperCut website, we have to say that the obvious: To help cut down the paper usage in your school or business, take a look at PaperCut. It’s easy to install and to use. With handy features like printing charge and control, print quotas, real-time environmental impact reporting, and seamless function across various operating systems and multiple servers, using PaperCut for your print management is the easy step in your paper-saving efforts.

Posted in General | 1 Comment


Posted on by Chris

Using KVM to securely host servers in a DMZ

We host a number of web services and applications on the servers in here in the PaperCut office. We’ve always planned on hosting these on an isolated server inside a demilitarized zone (DMZ) to ensure public applications are isolated from internal servers. This usually requires separate dedicated servers, however with the recent growth in virtualization technology, we decided to see if we could accomplish the same in a virtual environment. There was not a lot of information out there so I embarked on a project to develop our own. The solution has worked very well over the past 6 months so I’ve decided to open source the configuration and control script so others in the Linux community can benefit. (One of my Friday projects when I’m not working on print accounting software!).

The crux of the script is to host a Qemu or KVM virtual machine on an independent subnet via a tun/tap interface. iptables on the host (Dom0) is used to ensure that connections can not be instigated from the VM in the DMZ to any system in the internal network. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a diagram:

Network Setup - KVM running in a DMZ

The key items are:

  • The host (dom0) hosted the VM on a tun/tap interface.
  • The VM is on a separate subnet.
  • A firewall on dom0 (important) prevents access to the internal network.
  • A static route has been added to the router so internal network can “find” the systems in the DMZ.
  • Public ports (e.g. port 80) on the router are forwarded into the server in the DMZ.

This strategy will provide an extra layer of protection as a compromise on the server in the DMZ (say hosting your website) will not automatically mean a compromise on your internal network. There are however come caveats to this: It may be possible to “jailbreak” from the VM into the host by exploiting vulnerabilities in the hypervisor/host. For example, some exploits were found in QEMU in 2007.

The control script and its brief setup procedure should work on most modern Linux distributions.

file: dmz-vm-controller

#!/bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides:          vm-dmz-controller
# Required-Start:    $local_fs $network
# Required-Stop:     $local_fs $network
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: VM Management in a DMZ
# Description:       QEMU/KVM VM Management in a semi-secured DMZ.
### END INIT INFO


##############################################################################
#
# VM-DMZ-Controller is a wrapper script written to help with the management
# and setup of a VM running inside a secured demilitarized zone (DMZ).  The
# objective is to ensure the host/vm inside the DMZ are firewalled in a way
# that ensures connections from the DMZ to the internal network are not
# possible.
#
# Brief summary:
#
#   1. Install QEMU or KVM, and socat, iptables and tun/tap tunctl
#      (uml-utilities).
#
#   2. Create non-privileged user on your system called "vm".
#
#   3. Create a sub-directory in the VM user's home directory to host your VM
#      files.
#
#   4. Create your disk images (e.g. qemu-img) in this sub-directory.
#
#   5. Copy this script into the directory and modify configuration section
#      below.
#
#   6. Link in this script into /etc/init.d/ and configure runlevels as
#      appropriate.
#
#   7. Add a static route in your internal network default router so internal
#      systems can connect to the VM.
#
#   8. Start your VM and test.  Confirm that the VM is unable to access your
#      internal network.
#
# See here for details:
# https://www.papercut.com/blog/chris/2008/11/14/using-kvm-to-securely-host-servers-in-a-dmz/
# 
#
# Copyright (c) 2008, PaperCut Software International Pty. Ltd.
# https://www.papercut.com/
# All rights reserved.
#
# Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
# modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
#     * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
#       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
#     * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
#       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
#       documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
#     * Neither the name of the  nor the
#       names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products
#       derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
#
# THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY PAPERCUT SOFTWARE ''AS IS'' AND ANY
# EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED
# WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
# DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL  BE LIABLE FOR ANY
# DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
# (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES;
# LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND
# ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
# (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
# SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
#
###############################################################################


###############################################################################
# VM Configuration - modify below as appropriate
###############################################################################

# The name of the VM instance (should be unique if hosting multiple VMs)
#
VM_NAME=external-web-server

# The non-privileged user ID used to run the VM.
#
VM_USER=vm

# The VM kernel module to load (e.g. kvm-intel, kvm-amd, qemu). Leave blank if
# using QEmu as a kernel model is required.
#
VM_MODULE=kvm-intel

# The name of the virtual network tap to bind/host to the DMZ network on.
#
IFNAME=tap0

# The .1 gateway address that denotes the DMZ subnet.
#
DMZ_IP=192.168.100.1

# The subnet range of the internal network (the range to firewall/protect)
#
INTERNAL_SUBNET=192.168.1.0/24

# Your DMZ system may need DNS access provided by your internal network.
# Set this if required. This will leave a hole in the firewall allowing
# DNZ access (UDP source port 53).
#
INTERNAL_DNS_IP=

# The directory with disk images (and pid files, etc.) are hosted
#
VM_DIR=/home/${VM_USER}/${VM_NAME}

MONITORFILE=${VM_DIR}/.${VM_NAME}.monitor
PIDFILE=${VM_DIR}/.${VM_NAME}.pid
LOGFILE=${VM_DIR}/${VM_NAME}.log

# VM Start command-line. No need to define:
#    -pidfile, -net, or -monitor
# as these are all appended as part of this script.
# Add -cdrom and -boot d to boot and install your VM off a CD.
#
VM_START_CMD="kvm \
        -hda disk1.qcow2 \
        -m 384 \
        -vnc :0"

# The maximum time to provide the VM to conduct a graceful shutdown.
#
SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT=20

###############################################################################
# End Configuration - DO NOT MODIFY BELOW THIS LINE
###############################################################################

start_vm() {

    echo_n "Starting VM ${VM_NAME}..."
    if isrunning; then
        echo "ALREADY RUNNING"
        exit 0
    fi

    setup_networking
    start_firewall

    if [ ! -z "${VM_MODULE}" ]; then
        modprobe "${VM_MODULE}"
    fi
    cd "${VM_DIR}"
    su "${VM_USER}" -c "${VM_START_CMD} \
                -net nic -net tap,ifname=${IFNAME},script=no \


                -pidfile ${PIDFILE} \
                -monitor unix:${MONITORFILE},server,nowait \
                >> ${LOGFILE} 2>&1 &"

    for i in 0 1 2 3; do
        sleep 2
        if isrunning; then
            echo "Started ${VM_NAME} at: `date`" >> ${LOGFILE}
            echo "started."
            exit 0
        else
            echo_n "."
        fi
    done

    echo "ERROR"
    exit 1
}

stop_vm() {

    echo_n "Stopping VM ${VM_NAME}..."
    if isrunning; then
        # Send nice powerdown command
        echo "system_powerdown" | socat - UNIX-CONNECT:${MONITORFILE} \
                >/dev/null
        clean_shutdown=
        for (( i = 0 ; i <= ${SHUTDOWN_TIMEOUT} ; i++ )); do
            sleep 1
            if isrunning; then
                echo_n "."
            else
                clean_shutdown=y
                break;
            fi
        done

        if [ -z "${clean_shutdown}" ]; then
            echo_n "forcing..."
            kill -TERM "${pid}"
            sleep 2
        fi
           
        if isrunning; then
            echo "problem stopping!"
            exit 1
        fi

        rm ${MONITORFILE}
        rm ${PIDFILE}
        stop_firewall
        stop_networking
    fi
    echo "Stopped ${VM_NAME} at: `date`" >> ${LOGFILE}
    echo "stopped."
}

status() {

    if isrunning; then
        echo "Running (pid: ${pid})."
    else
        echo "Not Running."
    fi
}

forcekill() {

    if isrunning; then
        kill -9 "${pid}"
    else
        echo "Not running!"
    fi
}

isrunning() {

    if [ -r ${PIDFILE} ]; then
        pid=`cat ${PIDFILE} 2>/dev/null`
        if [ ! -z "${pid}" -a -d /proc/${pid} ]; then
            return 0 #Success - running
        else
            return 1 #Failure - not running
        fi
    else
        return 1 #Failure - not running
    fi
}

setup_networking() {
   
    tunctl -u ${VM_USER} -t ${IFNAME} >/dev/null

    ifconfig ${IFNAME} ${DMZ_IP} netmask 255.255.255.0 up >/dev/null

}

start_firewall() {

    modprobe ip_tables
    modprobe iptable_nat
   
    echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

    #
    # Deny new connections to internal network (forwarded) and Dom0 (input)
    #
    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p tcp --syn \
            -m limit --limit 6/h --limit-burst 5 -j LOG

    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p tcp --syn \
            -j DROP

    iptables -A INPUT -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p tcp --syn \
            -m limit --limit 6/h --limit-burst 5 -j LOG

    iptables -A INPUT -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p tcp --syn \
            -j DROP

    # Also need to protect the DMZ side of host box.
    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p tcp --syn \
            -m limit --limit 6/h --limit-burst 5 -j LOG

    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p tcp --syn \
            -j DROP

    #
    # Allow DNS UDP packets to DNS server (required if on internal network)
    #
    if [ ! -z "${INTERNAL_DNS_IP}" ]; then
        iptables -A FORWARD -p udp -d $INTERNAL_DNS_IP \
            --dport 53 -i $IFNAME -j ACCEPT
    fi

    #
    # Deny UDP packets to internal network
    #
    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p udp \
            -m limit --limit 6/h --limit-burst 5 -j LOG

    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p udp -j DROP

    iptables -A INPUT -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p udp \
            -m limit --limit 6/h --limit-burst 5 -j LOG

    iptables -A INPUT -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p udp -j DROP

    # Don't log Windows/Samba name broadcasts as they will occure often
    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p udp --dport 137 -j DROP

    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p udp \
            -m limit --limit 6/h --limit-burst 5 -j LOG

    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p udp -j DROP

    #
    # Deny selected ICMP to internal network
    #
    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type echo-request -j DROP
    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type redirect -j DROP
    iptables -A FORWARD -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type router-advertisement -j DROP

    iptables -A INPUT  -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type echo-request -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type redirect -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -d $INTERNAL_SUBNET -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type router-advertisement -j DROP

    iptables -A INPUT  -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type echo-request -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type redirect -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -d $DMZ_IP -i $IFNAME -p icmp \
            --icmp-type router-advertisement -j DROP


    #
    # Deny spoofed packets from DMZ
    #
    iptables -A INPUT -s ! ${DMZ_IP}/24 -i $IFNAME -j DROP
    iptables -A FORWARD -s ! ${DMZ_IP}/24 -i $IFNAME -j DROP

}

stop_firewall() {

    #
    # Remove all rules added on the IFNAME interface
    #
    iptables -S | \
            egrep "${IFNAME}" | \
            egrep "^-A " | \
            sed "s/-A //" | \
            while read rulespec; do
                iptables -D ${rulespec}
            done
}

stop_networking() {

    tunctl -d ${IFNAME} >/dev/null

}

# Hack for POSIX echo -n support on all platforms
if [ "X`echo -n`" = "X-n" ]; then
    echo_n() { echo ${1+"$@"}"\c"; }
else
    echo_n() { echo -n ${1+"$@"}; }
fi
           

#
# Begin Main
#

userid=`id | sed "s/^uid=\([0-9][0-9]*\).*$/\1/"`
if test "${userid}" -ne 0; then
    echo "Error: You must be root to run this program" 1>&2
    exit 1
fi

if [ -z `which iptables` ]; then
    echo "Error: Please install iptables." 1>&2
    exit 1
fi

if [ -z `which socat` ]; then
    echo "Error: Please install socat." 1>&2
    exit 1
fi

if [ -z `which tunctl` ]; then
    echo "Error: Please install tunctl." 1>&2
    exit 1
fi


case "${1}" in
    start)
        start_vm
        ;;

    stop)
        stop_vm
        ;;
   
    forcekill)
        forcekill
        ;;

    restart)
        stop_vm
        sleep 1
        start_vm
        ;;

    stopfirewall)
        stop_firewall
        ;;

    startfirewall)
        start_firewall
        ;;

    status)
        status
        ;;

    *)
        echo "Usage: vm-dmz-controller start|stop|restart|status" >&2
        echo "Advanced Options: stopfirewall|startfirewall|forcekill" >&2
        exit 1
        ;;
esac

Posted in General | 2 Comments


Posted on by Chris

Novell OES Update – New Bugfix release

A quick thanks to all the beta testers helping us with testing our new PaperCut version for iPrint on OES Linux. We’ve had a series of bugs/suggests reported and I’ve actioned most of these in today’s release. The 8.5.6708 release contains:

  • Support for a various username formats seen on Novell networks (e.g. username@macadd, .username.domain, username\domain).
  • Improved auto detection of eDirectory LDAP settings.
  • Added warning if installing on any 64-bit OS. The beta release is currently targeting 32-bit only but we’ll support 64-bit on final release. (We’re just trying to minimize variables during the beta program!)
  • Documented the need to open ports 9191 and 9192 in the firewall. OES has strict firewall defaults!
  • Miscellaneous documentation improvements that should make installation a little easier and/or more “the Novell way”.

The remaining suggestion not actioned in this release is the auto-registration of printers. At the moment a single print job is required on each printer to trigger of the registration of the printer. I’m conducting some R&D in this area and hope to have a better solution soon.

You’ll find the latest release on the PaperCut NG downloads page.

Thanks again to all the testers and please continue to email me with your ideas (and dare I say, “bugs”!).

Posted in Novell/iPrint | Leave a comment


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