Some Recent WordPress Theme Hacking Issues (Mass Emails To Non-Existent Domain Name Addresses) And A Couple Of Things To Look For

I’ve spent the past few weeks making several new email client filters each day, with subject lists that look like the following:

Saturday and Sunday Only! Today’s Special Buy of the Day!

One day sale event – today only, [ insert date here ]

[ insert name here ], check out this weeks specials – up to 75% off on selected items

[ Insert name here ], 10% discount for Brand or Generics for purchases placed before [ insert date here ]

We appreciate your past business with us

[ insert name here ], some of your items are back in stock now – complete your order today

[ insert date here ] deals and savings from your supplier

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Private Internet Access, OpenVPN (2.3.2), and Ubuntu 14.04 (.2 LTS) – Yet Another Reported Way To Get Them Working (And The Only One That Works For Me)

Update: 17 May 2016 – Doesn’t happen often and is always nice to see. Thanks to Lucas Nell (on 26 April – that’s my bad) for taking one additional step out of the whole process with the script below. Simply replace “[put-your-password-here]” with your actual password (and no brackets), same the below as some_name.script (or whatever), chmod +x some_name.script to make it official, and you’re good to go to make the additional mod.

sudo -s

cd /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections

export pwd="\n[vpn-secrets]\npassword=[put-your-password-here]"

for f in PIA*
do
  sed -i 's/password-flags=1/password-flags=0/g' "${f}"
  echo -e "${pwd}" >> "${f}"
done

exit

If you sign up for an account with Private Internet Access (and this may go for some other VPN providers as well) and follow the only prominent Ubuntu link (12.04) in the Support Section (www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/client-support/ubuntu-openvpn), you’ll be taken to a reasonably straightforward 9-step process that walks you through the OpenVPN setup – from the install_ubuntu.sh script download to the selection of PIA-points (I just made that up) in your Network Manager GUI (that radial wifi icon or arrows in the upper-right corner).

That is, for Ubuntu 12.04.

The Problem

If you try this in Ubuntu 14.04, everything more-or-less looks and runs the same way. That said, when you try to connect to a PIA-point in the Network Manager, nothing happens. Your wifi radial doesn’t change, flash, or provide any indication that something has gone right or wrong. More importantly (to the lack of feedback, anyway), you are not asked for your PIA password (having put in your username in the install process). This lack of password requesting turns out to be the real kicker (and diagnostic for the fix presented down below).

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Led Astray By (A) Photon – WordPress, Jetpack, and The Perils Of Embedded Clear Sky Charts (And Other)

A re-post from the CNY Observers website (www.cnyo.org).

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

CNYO has been anticipating our first observing session at Beaver Lake for this year, with the first of our two Spring dates (April 23rd) already clouded/snowed out. The forecast for April 30th hadn’t looked too much better based on Monday estimates, leaving us to wonder if attendees would be stuck indoors with a lecture instead of outdoors with the rest of the universe.

I woke up early on the 30th to blue skies and a very bright Sun, certainly already exceeding the expectations of the past few days. But what of the afternoon and evening?

As I am prone to do on the day of an observing session, I headed right for the CNYO Cheat Sheet, where one can find the sky conditions for a large part of Central New York in the form of several Clear Sky Charts (CSCs – and, based on the different cloud cover at different locations, even begin to piece together how the skies at your location may change). The morning’s CSCs are shown in the image below.

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Stupid-Simple (*nix-Specific) Sed Scripts To Get (All Current) Gaussian09 Output Files Working With aClimax

The following three snippets of Gaussian output are for an optimization and normal mode analysis of simple olde methane (CH4).

...
 ******************************************
 Gaussian 03:  EM64L-G03RevE.01 11-Sep-2007
                31-Aug-2014 
 ******************************************
...
 incident light, reduced masses (AMU), force constants (mDyne/A),
 and normal coordinates:
                     1                      2                      3
                     T                      T                      T
 Frequencies --  1356.0070              1356.0070              1356.0070
 Red. masses --     1.1789                 1.1789                 1.1789
 Frc consts  --     1.2771                 1.2771                 1.2771
 IR Inten    --    14.1122                14.1122                14.1122
 Atom AN      X      Y      Z        X      Y      Z        X      Y      Z
   1   1     0.02  -0.42   0.43    -0.34  -0.13  -0.08    -0.36  -0.23  -0.23
   2   6     0.00   0.08  -0.09     0.00   0.09   0.08     0.12   0.00   0.00
...
 -------------------
 - Thermochemistry -
 -------------------
 Temperature   298.150 Kelvin.  Pressure   1.00000 Atm.
 Atom  1 has atomic number  1 and mass   1.00783
...

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“From Kurdistan With Love” or Some Things To Do Before And/Or After Your WordPress Site Gets Hacked

“Hopefully, because he’s busy.” – Commissioner Gordon, The Dark Knight

On the plus side, www.somewhereville.com received its first update in just over 5 months. On the minus side, the new post was less than useful in many ways. I received a timely email from Dr. Obi Griffith of the Washington University in St. Louis Division of Oncology noting that my entire site was differently-down (thanks to the hijacking of my Sanger (And Illumina 1.3+ (And Solexa)) Phred Score (Q) ASCII Glyph Base Error Conversion Tables page that he linked to on a biostars site thread – so my thanks to Obi for catching something I likely would have gone weeks without noticing!).

The snapshot below shows the state of swv as of 3 December 2014. On the bright side (minus a friendly conspiracy to get someone else in trouble), I can say with some certainty that Serwan performed the content-ectomy (twitter: @S3RW4N, current email (although I suspect it won’t last long): serwan_007 – at cymbal – hotmail.com, on the Facebook, etc. All sites subject to change as people try to track him/her down post-attack (he/she’s been prolific if nothing else)).

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The “Stone Boulders” – All 12-Group (4,096) and 16-Group (65,536) L/R Sticking Combinations In PDF Format

George L. Stone's Stick Control

You should have a copy regardless (amazon.com direct link).

[Drafted as an article for somewhere, stuck here instead…]

You could spend your life on the first six pages of “Stick Control” and still not cover all the possibilities. Dynamics, accents, foot-hand, foot-foot, fast/slow, hands on top of foot patterns, feet on top of hand patterns, regroupings and accenting in 5-7-4 (regrouping of the 16 strokes per pattern), 7-5-4 (re-regrouping of the 16 strokes), yadda yadda. If you see the first six pages of Stick Control as just exercises, you miss the fantastic complexity YOU can introduce to constantly humble yourself while hovering over a practice pad.

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BclConverter-1.7.1 Installation In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (And Related)

What follows is the procedure for successfully building and running BclConverter-1.7.1 under Ubuntu (specifically 10.04, but this will likely be generic for other versions) using only apt-get to install missing programs and libraries, thereby trying to keep the install process as build-friendly as possible to the general (non-coding) user.

So, What’s BCL And Why Does It Need Converting?

The newest version of the Illumina sequencing software no longer uses the QSEQ format during the sequencing run, relying now on BCL files. This 12 January 2010 post snip from www.politigenomics.com covers the intro nicely.

Gone are the QSEQ files, they are replaced by BCL files which are binary, per image, per cycle files that contain the base call and quality information. Because they are per image, per cycle files, they can be transferred cycle by cycle as they are generated (as opposed to QSEQ files which are read based). The BCL files are also more compact, requiring only 1 byte/base (B/b) as compared to QSEQ files which require about 2.5 B/b. In addition, the intensity files are also not transferred by default, so RTA output goes from 10 B/b to just 1 B/b. Thus, even though you are generating five times more sequence data than a GA, your RTA directory will actually be smaller (about 250 GB).

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Internet Connection Sharing – Ubuntu 10.04 NAT Gateway Setup (Abridged Version)

Had I known it would be this straightforward, I would have done it much sooner.

As is the case in many posts here, what follows is a summary of what I had to do to do what it is I’m writing about, kept largely for reference purposes but around just in case someone wants to do the same and would rather not take several web pages and combine them into one procedure that they may still have the stumble through to make work.

This page would not have been possible without the procedure outlined at ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=713874.

My current cluster configuration (say, as the one shown above) contains one system board dedicated to web access (with a single available IP address from my provider) and general file transfer hosting, then several boards dedicated to computation. As an Ubuntu user, every fresh install of some new program may require the addition of libraries or subordinate programs not available in the “standard” Ubuntu installation.

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When Hackers And Their Little Scripts Attack WordPress Themes, Or Dr. D-Allis Talking To You About The Hidden Dangers Of Cialis (Links)

In the slightly Web 2.0-modified sentiments of the master, George Carlin,

Our thrust is to prick holes in the stiff front erected by the smut hackers. We must keep mounting an offensive to penetrate any crack in their defenses, so we can lay to rest their dominate position. We want them hung and we want stiff action. Let’s get on them. Let’s ram through a stiff permission change so it’ll be hard for them to get their hacks up. WordPress’ers have got to come together so we can whip this thing into submission. It’ll be hard on us but we can’t lick it by being soft.

There are many, many, many, many, many informative pages on WordPress hacks and their potentially long and involved fixes.  The contents of this post address one specific hack that happened recently to my own site, how to fix the hacked php file, and the steps to take to keep the hack from occurring again.  As usual, I provide as much of the text as I can in this post so that your google search for a particular phrase or snippet of php will land your here, as it well may have.  Speaking of google…

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Changes To ions.itp Format For AMBER Implementations In GROMACS 3.3.x

No idea how to best propagate a change in a text file (amber_ions.txt) needed for running a force field (ffAMBER) in an open source program (GROMACS), so letting the RSS aggregators do as much of the work as possible.

Alan Wilter S. da Silva, D.Sc., CCPN Research Associate,Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge (yes, that one), pointed out a formatting error in the previous version of my ions.itp file (posted on this site as amber_ions.itp, which only identifies it as an AMBER-specific file).

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