Older blog entries for jas (starting at number 33)

BLURB: Software repository metadata convention

As a maintainer of several software packages I often find myself copying text snippets from the README file into different places (savannah, github, freecode, emails, etc). Recently I had a need to generate a list of software packages that included every project’s name, brief summary, license and URL. I could have generated that list manually by copying the text from every project’s README and COPYING files. However then I would have to maintain my list manually to keep it in sync with all the projects. This easily leads to stale information, so I thought a better approach would be to put the information I needed into each projects’ source code version control system. The advantage is that the manual work to extract the information may be automated by a script, since the data is in a usable format. I’ll explain here how my solution works.

To be able to find the information using only the URL to the repository, I needed a filename convention. The filename I chose was BLURB; for the etymology, see Wikipedia’s page about Blurb. The data format in the file is similar to normal email headers.

An example illustrate the principles well. Below is the BLURB file for one of my projects.

Author: Yubico
Basename: libyubikey
Homepage: http://opensource.yubico.com/yubico-c/
License: BSD-2-Clause
Name: Yubico C low-level Library
Project: yubico-c
Summary: C library for manipulating Yubico YubiKey One-Time Passwords (OTPs)

The format is simple: UTF-8 text with each line starting with a header followed by a colon (“:”), some whitespace, and some content. If a line starts with whitespace, it is a continuation of the previous line’s content (trim leading whitespace). The following table describes the fields that I use. I may update this blog post in the future with new fields or improved explanations (for reference, current date is 2013-09-24).

Header Meaning
Project Short identifier for the project (e.g., ‘gcc’, ‘emacs’)
Name Official name of the project in English
Summary Brief one-line summary of the project’s purpose in English
Author Origin of the project
Homepage URL to the project’s website
License License keyword, preferrably using one of the SPDX license identifiers
Basename The tarball basename, if different from the project name

Finally some reflection of the solution. After quick design, I thought that I couldn’t be the first one with this problem, and I tried to find other similar efforts. I haven’t been able to find any standardization effort that have the following properties:

  • Stores the information inside each upstream project’s own source code repository
  • Provides a filename convention so that it is possible to find the data with only the source code repository link
  • Encode data in a format that is easy to extract using simple command line tools
  • Not encode information about releases (i.e., what happened in a particular version)

The related efforts that I found were SPDX which at first look seemed to offer what I wanted. However on closer examination it failed to deliver on all the requirements above, and appeared to have somewhat different goals. However I found the SPDX license list useful and refer to it. Another effort is Eric S. Raymond’s freecode-submit and shipper but its primary focus is to encode information about each release. The design of the BLURB file is clearly influenced by these tools. Another influence has been Debian’s specification for machine-readable copyright information. The Free Software Foundation’s list of software projects seemed like another candidate, but it doesn’t suggest any way to store the information in the upstream project itself.

flattr this!

Syndicated 2013-09-24 21:03:45 from Simon Josefsson's blog

Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC) Library

For the past weeks I have been working on implementing RFC 6030, also known as Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC). So what is PSKC? The Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC) format is used to transport and provision symmetric keys to cryptographic devices or software.

My PSKC Library allows you to parse, validate and generate PSKC data. The PSKC Library is written in C, uses LibXML, and is licensed under LGPLv2+. In practice, PSKC is most commonly used to transport secret keys for OATH HOTP/TOTP devices (and other OTP devices) between the personalization machine and the OTP validation server. Yesterday I released version 2.0.0 of OATH Toolkit with the new PSKC Library. See my earlier introduction to OATH Toolkit for background. OATH Toolkit is packaged for Debian/Ubuntu and I hope to refresh the package to include libpskc/pskctool soon.

To get a feeling for the PSKC data format, consider the most minimal valid PSKC data:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<KeyContainer xmlns="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:keyprov:pskc" Version="1.0">

The library can easily be used to export PSKC data into a comma-separated value (CSV) format, in fact the PSKC library tutorial concludes with that as an example. There is complete API documentation for the library. The command line tool is more useful for end-users and allows you to parse and inspect PSKC data. Below is an illustration of how you would use it to parse some PSKC data, first we show the content of a file “pskc-figure2.xml”:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<KeyContainer Version="1.0"
    <Key Id="12345678"

Here is how you would parse and pretty print that PSKC data:

jas@latte:~$ pskctool -c pskc-figure2.xml 
Portable Symmetric Key Container (PSKC):
	Version: 1.0
	Id: exampleID1
	KeyPackage 0:
			Id: 12345678
			Issuer: Issuer-A
			Algorithm: urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:keyprov:pskc:hotp
			Key Secret (base64): MTIzNA==


For more information, see the OATH Toolkit website and the PSKC Library Manual.

flattr this!

Syndicated 2012-10-11 20:32:10 from Simon Josefsson's blog

Using OATH Toolkit with Dropbox

Today there was an announcement that Dropbox supports two-factor authentication. On their page with detailed instructions there is (at the bottom) a link to the man page of the OATH Toolkit command line utility oathtool. OATH Toolkit is available in Ubuntu 12.04 and Debian Wheezy. (Note that the 1.10.4 version in Ubuntu does not support the base32 features.) There is not a lot of details in the documentation on Dropbox’s site on how to use oathtool, but I have experimented a bit with the setup and I’d like to share my findings. I assume you are somewhat familiar with the OATH Toolkit; if not I suggest reading my earlier introduction to OATH Toolkit.

To use OATH Toolkit’s command line utility to generate OTPs that are accepted by Dropbox, here is how you proceed. When you enable two-factor authentication on Dropbox’s site, you must select “Use a mobile app” and on the next screen with the QR code image, click the “enter your secret key manually” link. You will then be presented with a code that looks like this: gr6d 5br7 25s6 vnck v4vl hlao re

Now this code is actually space-delimitted base32 encoded data, without any padding. Since version 1.12.0, oathtool can read base32 encoded keys. However, parsing the raw string fails, so to make it work, you need to remove the spaces and add padding characters. I have yet to see any documentation on the Dropbox implementation, but I assume they always generate 16 binary octets that are base32 encoded into 26 characters like the codes that I have seen. The code is the cryptographic key used for the HMAC-SHA1 computation described in the RFC 6238 that specify OATH TOTP. If you study the base32 encoding you discover that 26 characters needs six pad characters. So converted into proper base32, the string would be gr6d5br725s6vnckv4vlhlaore======. Now generating OTPs are easy, see below.

jas@latte:~$ oathtool --verbose --totp --base32 "gr6d5br725s6vnckv4vlhlaore======"
Hex secret: 347c3e863fd765eab44aaf2ab3ac0e89
Base32 secret: GR6D5BR725S6VNCKV4VLHLAORE======
Digits: 6
Window size: 0
Step size (seconds): 30
Start time: 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC (0)
Current time: 2012-08-27 21:22:54 UTC (1346102574)
Counter: 0x2ACA9C5 (44870085)


Dropbox’s implementation is robust in that it requests a valid OTP from me, generated using the secret they just displayed, before proceeding. This verifies that the user was able to import the key correctly, and that the users’ OATH TOTP implementation appears to work. If I type in the OTP generated from oathtool this way, it allowed me to enable two-factor authentication and I agreed. From that point, signing into the Dropbox service will require an OTP. I invoke the tool, using the same arguments as above, and the tool will use the current time to compute a fresh OTP.

Reflecting on how things could work smoother, I suppose oathtool could be more permissive when it performs the base32 decoding so that the user doesn’t have to fix the base32 spacing/padding manually. I’ll consider this for future releases.

flattr this!

Syndicated 2012-08-27 21:42:08 from Simon Josefsson's blog

Small syslog server

My home network has several devices that do not have large persistent storage to keep log files. For example, my wireless routers based on OpenWRT doesn’t log to the limited local storage it has, and a Flukso energy metering device log power readings to a ramdisk. These devices log a fair amount of information that I ideally would like to keep for later analysis. I have never before seen a need to setup a syslogd server, thinking that storing logs locally and keeping regular backups of the machine is good enough. However, it appears like this situation calls for a syslogd server. I found an old NSLU2 in my drawer and installed Debian Squeeze on it following Martin Michlmayr’s instructions. I’m using a 4GB USB memory stick for storage, which should hold plenty of log data. I keep backups of the machine in case the USB memory stick wears out.

After customizing the installation to my preferences (disable ssh passwords, disable portmap/rpc.statd/exim4, installing etckeeper, emacs23-nox, etc) I am ready to configure Rsyslog. I found what looked like the perfect configuration example, “Storing messages from a remote system into a specific file”, but it requires me to hard code a bit too much information in the configuration file for my taste. Instead, I found the DynFile concept. With a file /etc/rsyslogd.d/logger.conf as below I can point any new device to my log server and it will automatically create a new file for it. And since the dates are embedded into the filename, I get log rotation suitable for rsync-style backups for free.

$ModLoad imudp
$UDPServerRun 514

$ModLoad imtcp
$InputTCPServerRun 514

$template DynFile,”/var/log/network-%HOSTNAME%-%$year%-%$month%-%$day%.log”
:fromhost-ip, !isequal, “″ ?DynFile
:fromhost-ip, !isequal, “″ ~

flattr this!

Syndicated 2011-12-12 11:19:45 from Simon Josefsson's blog

Unattended SSH with Smartcard

I have several backup servers that run the excellent rsnapshot software, which uses Secure Shell (SSH) for remote access. The SSH private key of the backup server can be a weak link in the overall security. To see how it can be a problem, consider if someone breaks into your backup server and manages to copy your SSH private key, they will now have the ability to login to all machines that you take backups off (and that should be all of your machines, right?).

The traditional way to mitigate SSH private key theft is by password protecting the private key. This works poorly in an unattended server environment because either the decryption password needs to be stored in disk (where the attacker can read it) or the decrypted private key has to be available in decrypted form in memory (where attacker can read it).

A better way to deal with the problem is to move the SSH private key to a smartcard. The idea is that the private key cannot be copied by an attacker who roots your backup server. (Careful readers may have spotted a flaw here, and I need to explain one weakness with my solution: an attacker will still be able to login to all your systems by going through your backup server, however it will require an open inbound network connection to your backup server and the attacker will never know what your private key is. What this does is to allow you to more easily do damage control by removing the smartcard from the backup server.)

In this writeup, I’ll explain how to accomplish all this on a Debian/Ubuntu-system using a OpenPGP smartcard, a Gemalto USB Shell Token v2 with gpg-agent/scdaemon from GnuPG together with OpenSSH.

First we need to install some packages. The goal is to configure OpenSSH to talk to the gpg-agent which will start and talk to scdaemon which in turn talks to pcscd which talks to the smart card reader. For some strange reason, the scdaemon binary is shipped with GnuPG’s S/MIME interface in the gpgsm package.

# apt-get install pcscd gnupg-agent gpgsm

The above command should install and start pcscd and if all works well, you should be able to check the status of the smartcard using GnuPG.

# gpg --card-status

You need to initialize the smartcard and generate a private key on it, again using GnuPG. If you trust GnuPG more than the smartcard to generate a good private key, you may generate the private key using GnuPG and then move it onto the smartcard (hint: use the keytocard command). Make sure you don’t leave a copy of the private key on the same machine!

# gpg --card-edit
gpg: detected reader `Gemalto GemPC Key 00 00'
gpg/card> admin
Admin commands are allowed

gpg/card> name
Cardholder's surname:
Cardholder's given name: host.example.org
gpg: 3 Admin PIN attempts remaining before card is permanently locked

Please enter the Admin PIN
gpg: gpg-agent is not available in this session

gpg/card> lang
Language preferences: en

gpg/card> generate
Make off-card backup of encryption key? (Y/n) n

Please enter the PIN
What keysize do you want for the Signature key? (2048)
What keysize do you want for the Encryption key? (2048)
What keysize do you want for the Authentication key? (2048)
Please specify how long the key should be valid.
         0 = key does not expire
      <n>  = key expires in n days
      <n>w = key expires in n weeks
      <n>m = key expires in n months
      <n>y = key expires in n years
Key is valid for? (0)
Key does not expire at all
Is this correct? (y/N) y

You need a user ID to identify your key; the software constructs the user ID
from the Real Name, Comment and Email Address in this form:
    "Heinrich Heine (Der Dichter) <heinrichh@duesseldorf.de>"

Real name: host.example.org
Email address:
You selected this USER-ID:

Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? o
gpg: existing key will be replaced
gpg: please wait while key is being generated ...
gpg: key generation completed (33 seconds)
gpg: signatures created so far: 0
gpg: existing key will be replaced
gpg: please wait while key is being generated ...
gpg: key generation completed (18 seconds)
gpg: signatures created so far: 1
gpg: signatures created so far: 2
gpg: existing key will be replaced
gpg: please wait while key is being generated ...
gpg: key generation completed (23 seconds)
gpg: signatures created so far: 3
gpg: signatures created so far: 4
gpg: key 12345678 marked as ultimately trusted
public and secret key created and signed.

gpg: checking the trustdb
gpg: 3 marginal(s) needed, 1 complete(s) needed, PGP trust model
gpg: depth: 0  valid:   1  signed:   0  trust: 0-, 0q, 0n, 0m, 0f, 1u
pub   2048R/12345678 2011-09-19
      Key fingerprint = 1234 5678 1234 5678 1234  5678 1234 5678 1234 5678
uid                  host.example.org
sub   2048R/23456789 2011-09-19
sub   2048R/34567890 2011-09-19

gpg/card> quit

Now for the interesting part. OpenSSH talks to an agent for private key handling, and GnuPG’s gpg-agent supports this protocol when the --enable-ssh-support parameter is given. During startup, gpg-agent will print some environment variables that needs to be set when ssh is run. Normally gpg-agent is invoked by the Xsession.d login scripts, so that the environment variables are inherited by all your processes. However, for an unattended machine without any normal login process, we need to write a script to start gpg-agent. First do these manual steps, to confirm that everything works.

# gpg-agent --daemon --enable-ssh-support > /var/run/gpg-agent-info.env
# . /var/run/gpg-agent-info.env
# ssh-add -L
ssh-rsa AAAAB3N... cardno:000500000BD8

If the final step printed a SSH public id, the (sometimes) tricky part in getting the hardware to work is (hopefully) complete. What remains is to script things so that gpg-agent is started on boot and to make sure that your backup scripts has the proper environment variables before launching whatever processes will launch ssh. Further, since we will be running unattended, we need a mechanism to unlock the smartcard using a PIN interactively once on each boot of the machine. I prefer manually entering the PIN on every boot over having the PIN stored in a file on the disk.

I will use the /etc/rc.local mechanism to start gpg-agent, like this:

# cat> /etc/rc.local
#!/bin/sh -e
exec gpg-agent --daemon --enable-ssh-support \
    --pinentry-program /usr/local/sbin/pinentry-unattended \
    --write-env-file /var/run/gpg-agent-info.env

The astute reader will now ask what /usr/local/sbin/pinentry-unattended is and why it is needed. Now here is the situation. scdaemon will normally query the user for a PIN using a tool called pinentry which reads and write to the user’s TTY directly. This won’t work in unattended mode, so we want the scdaemon to signal failure here — unless we are actually unlocking the smartcard manually. Here is the entire script:

# /usr/local/sbin/pinentry-unattended -- by Simon Josefsson
if test x"$PINENTRY_USER_DATA" = xinteractive; then
    exec pinentry "$@"
exit 1

What remains is a script to unlock the smartcard by providing the PIN. This is typically invoked manually if the server has restarted for some reason. Don’t worry, any ssh sessions invoked by cron until you have managed to unlock the smartcard will fail with an authentication error — it won’t hang waiting for a PIN to be entered.

# /usr/local/sbin/unlock-smartcard -- by Simon Josefsson.
. /var/run/gpg-agent-info.env; export GPG_AGENT_INFO SSH_AUTH_SOCK SSH_AGENT_PID
gpg-connect-agent 'scd killscd' /bye > /dev/null
while ! gpg-connect-agent 'scd serialno' /bye | grep -q SERIALNO; do
    sleep 1

And the script checkpin is as follows:

# /usr/local/sbin/checkpin -- by Simon Josefsson.
id=`gpg-connect-agent 'scd serialno' /bye | head -1 | cut -d\  -f3`
gpg-connect-agent "scd checkpin $id" /bye | grep -q OK

At this point, you should have everything configured and installed. Don’t forget to chmod +x the scripts. The typical use-pattern is as follows. After the machine has been started, gpg-agent is running but the smartcard is not unlocked with the PIN. You need to manually login to the machine and run ‘unlock-smartcard’ and enter the PIN. In the script that runs the backup jobs, invoked via cron, make sure that the first line of the scripts reads (assuming Bourne shell script syntax):

. /var/run/gpg-agent-info.env; export GPG_AGENT_INFO SSH_AUTH_SOCK SSH_AGENT_PID

To avoid needlessly attempting ssh connections if the smartcard is not unlocked, your backup script can also call the checkpin code and abort if it doesn’t return true.

checkpin || exit 1

Some final words about debugging. A basic command to run to check that the GnuPG side is working is gpg --card-status, it should print some information about the smartcard if successful. To check that the SSH agent part is working, use ssh-add -L. If you get error messages, try killing the scdaemon process by running killall -9 scdaemon and let gpg-agent respawn a new scdaemon process.

That’s it! If you like my writeup, please flattr it. :)

flattr this!

Syndicated 2011-10-11 09:34:41 from Simon Josefsson's blog

OpenWRT with Huawei E367 and TP-Link TL-WR1043ND

The ability to connect a 3G modem to a wireless router to form a Internet connected ad-hoc network of machines is very powerful. I’ve done this many times and have written about it before (e.g., see my OpenWRT writeup page) but I recently did it with modern hardware again. Here I will use the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND wireless router (available here for around $50) together with the Huawei E367 3G UMTS/HSDPA modem. Other wireless routers and modem should work fine. The software is OpenWRT 10.03 although I hope to redo this with LibreWRT eventually. My writeup is mostly focused around what is happening around the prompt, so it is mostly a cut’n'paste terminal session with a comment interlined.

TL-WR1043ND and Huawei 367

Router and modem

The first step is to flash the firmware with OpenWRT. The OpenWRT wiki page for the TL-WR1043ND covers this in detail, and for any other hardware you should find what you need in the OpenWRT wiki. If you have already installed OpenWRT on the TL-WR1043ND, and want to wipe it out and start from scratch (like I did for this writeup) here is how to do it:
root@choco:~# cd /tmp
root@choco:/tmp# wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/ar71xx/openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
Connecting to downloads.openwrt.org (
openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr 100% |*******************************|  2688k 00:00:00 ETA
root@choco:/tmp# md5sum openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
9927973ba5da65d0d52e255397452b87  openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
root@choco:/tmp# mtd -r write /tmp/openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin firmware
Unlocking firmware ...
Writing from /tmp/openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin to firmware ...
Rebooting ...

The device will reboot automatically when it is done. After say 30 seconds, try to connect to it using the default IPv4 address I have connected the WAN port to the Internet and connect to the router over local network connected to the router’s LAN1 input. Let’s configure OpenWRT, I’m calling the host ‘choco’ and giving it the IPv4 address I’ll also set a good root password to disable telnet, and add some SSH keys to simplify remote login.

jas@latte:~$ telnet
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
 === IMPORTANT ============================
  Use 'passwd' to set your login password
  this will disable telnet and enable SSH

BusyBox v1.15.3 (2010-04-06 03:14:11 CEST) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 Backfire (10.03, r20728) --------------------------
  * 1/3 shot Kahlua    In a shot glass, layer Kahlua
  * 1/3 shot Bailey's  on the bottom, then Bailey's,
  * 1/3 shot Vodka     then Vodka.
root@OpenWrt:/# passwd
Changing password for root
New password:
Retype password:
Password for root changed by root
root@OpenWrt:/# sed -i -e 's/OpenWrt/choco/' /etc/config/system
root@OpenWrt:/# sed -i -e 's/' /etc/config/network
root@OpenWrt:/# cat>/etc/dropbear/authorized_keys
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2...
root@OpenWrt:/# dropbearkey -y -f /etc/dropbear/dropbear_rsa_host_key
Public key portion is:
ssh-rsa AAAA... root@OpenWrt
Fingerprint: md5 45:fd:62...

You could reboot the machine here to switch from telnet to SSH, but I’ll install a bunch of packages while I’m at it. Run ‘opkg update’ to update the package list, and then install the wireless modules for the TL-WR1043ND.

root@OpenWrt:/# opkg update
Downloading http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/ar71xx/packages/Packages.gz.
Inflating http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/ar71xx/packages/Packages.gz.
Updated list of available packages in /var/opkg-lists/packages.
root@OpenWrt:/# opkg install kmod-ath9k wpad-mini
Configuring iw.
Configuring kmod-crypto-core.
Configuring kmod-crypto-arc4.
Configuring kmod-crypto-aes.
Configuring wireless-tools.
Configuring kmod-cfg80211.
Configuring kmod-mac80211.
Configuring kmod-ath.
Configuring kmod-ath9k.
Configuring crda.
Configuring wpad-mini.

Next I’ll install some packages that will are needed for the modem.

root@OpenWrt:/# opkg install comgt kmod-usb-serial kmod-usb2 kmod-usb-uhci kmod-usb-ohci usb-modeswitch
Configuring kmod-nls-base.
Configuring kmod-usb-core.
Configuring chat.
Configuring kmod-usb-ohci.
Configuring kmod-usb2.
Configuring comgt.
Configuring usb-modeswitch.
Configuring kmod-usb-serial.
Configuring kmod-usb-uhci.

Now let’s reboot the machine and try to get things to really work.

root@OpenWrt:/# sync
root@OpenWrt:/# reboot

Use SSH to connect to the router, and don’t forget the use its new IPv4 address!

3G modems are notoriously known for not acting as a modem directly. Instead they often simulate a CD-ROM that will install device driver software, for inferior operating systems. Fortunately the usb_modeswitch tool “fixes” the hardware for us. My Huawei E367 start up with the USB vendor/product IDs 0x12d1:0×1446, you normally find this out by looking in /proc/bus/usb/devices. Here is the output on my device:

root@choco:~# cat /proc/bus/usb/devices
T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  2 Spd=480 MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=12d1 ProdID=1446 Rev= 0.00
S:  Manufacturer=Huawei Technologies
S:  Product=HUAWEI Mobile
C:* #Ifs= 2 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=500mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
I:* If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms

This means I have to go find a usb-modeswitch configuration for this device. Fortunately, I found it on my Debian Squeeze box in /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1:1446 (from the usb-modeswitch-data package). There was a slight problem with the file, it didn’t specify the correct USB vendor/product ID of the device after it has been “switched”. My Huawei E367 switches to 12d1:1506, so I add ’1506′ to the ‘TargetProductList’ list. Here is the final configuration:

root@choco:~# cat>/etc/usb-modeswitch.conf

DefaultVendor= 0x12d1

TargetVendor=  0x12d1



Now you should be able to run usb_modeswitch to perform the “switch”:

root@choco:~# usb_modeswitch 

Looking for target devices ...
 No devices in target mode or class found
Looking for default devices ...
 Found default devices (1)
Accessing device 002 on bus 001 ...
Using endpoints 0x01 (out) and 0x81 (in)
Inquiring device details; driver will be detached ...
Looking for active driver ...
 No driver found. Either detached before or never attached

SCSI inquiry data (for identification)
  Vendor String: HUAWEI
   Model String: Mass Storage
Revision String: 2.31

USB description data (for identification)
Manufacturer: Huawei Technologies
     Product: HUAWEI Mobile
  Serial No.: not provided
Setting up communication with interface 0 ...
Trying to send the message to endpoint 0x01 ...
 OK, message successfully sent

Checking for mode switch (max. 20 times, once per second) ...
 Waiting for original device to vanish ...
 Original device can't be accessed anymore. Good.
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Found correct target device

Mode switch succeeded. Bye.


The /proc/bus/usb/devices file will now contain information about the real device:

root@choco:~# cat /proc/bus/usb/devices
T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  3 Spd=480 MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=ef(misc ) Sub=02 Prot=01 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=12d1 ProdID=1506 Rev= 0.00
S:  Manufacturer=Huawei Technologies
S:  Product=HUAWEI Mobile
C:* #Ifs= 7 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=500mA
A:  FirstIf#= 1 IfCount= 2 Cls=02(comm.) Sub=00 Prot=00
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 3 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=01 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=  64 Ivl=2ms
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=09 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=83(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=  64 Ivl=2ms
I:* If#= 2 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=08 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=84(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 3 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=03 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=85(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=03(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 4 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=02 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=86(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=04(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 5 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=87(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=05(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
I:* If#= 6 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=06(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=88(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms

Let’s put that command in /etc/rc.local so that it will be run on every boot.

root@choco:~# cat /etc/rc.local
# Put your custom commands here that should be executed once
# the system init finished. By default this file does nothing.

exit 0

We are not quite ready, the “usbserial” module needs to be told which USB vendor/product to use. The /etc/modules.d/60-usb-serial file is used during boot to set the right parameters. You can also run ‘rmmod’ followed by ‘insmod’ with the proper parameters to avoid a reboot. You can use the “gcom info” tool to find some information about the modem. Normally you use /dev/ttyUSB0 but for some reason it does not work for me and instead I had to use /dev/ttyUSB3.

root@choco:~# cat>/etc/modules.d/60-usb-serial
usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1506 maxSize=4096
root@choco:~# rmmod usbserial
root@choco:~# insmod usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1506 maxSize=4096
root@choco:~# gcom -d /dev/ttyUSB3 info
##### Wireless WAN Modem Configuration #####
Product text:

Manufacturer: huawei
Model: E367
Revision: 11.807.05.00.00
IMEI: 353613040739180
Manufacturer:           huawei
IMEI and Serial Number: 353613040739180
Manufacturer's Revision:
Hardware Revision:      NOT
Network Locked:         ERROR:
Customisation:          NOT SUPPORT
Band settings:          (NOT)
APN:                    ERROR:
##### END #####

Let’s configure network and wireless. The configurations files are /etc/config/network and /etc/config/wireless. Edit them using your favorite editor, or vi. I’m setting up a PSK2 encrypted WLAN and I have a WDS to connect two wireless routers. Note that you need to use the correct PIN for your SIM card (here I’m using 8328) and set the APN correctly (I’m using ‘bredband.tre.se’). Reboot after making these changes.

root@choco:~# cat /etc/config/network
config 'interface' 'loopback'
       option 'ifname'   'lo'
       option 'proto'    'static'
       option 'ipaddr'   ''
       option 'netmask'  ''

config 'interface' 'lan'
        option 'ifname'   'eth0.1'
        option 'type'     'bridge'
        option 'proto'    'static'
        option 'ipaddr'   ''
        option 'netmask'  ''

#config 'interface' 'wan'
#        option 'ifname' 'eth0.2'
#        option 'proto' 'dhcp'

config 'switch'
	option 'name' 'rtl8366rb'
        option 'reset' '1'
        option 'enable_vlan' '1'

config 'switch_vlan'
        option 'device' 'rtl8366rb'
        option 'vlan' '1'
        option 'ports' '1 2 3 4 5t'

config 'switch_vlan'
        option 'device' 'rtl8366rb'
        option 'vlan' '2'
        option 'ports' '0 5t'

config interface wan
        option ifname   ppp0
        option proto    3g
        option device   /dev/ttyUSB0
        option apn      bredband.tre.se
        option pincode  8328
root@choco:~# cat /etc/config/wireless
config wifi-device  radio0
	option type     mac80211
	option channel  5
	option macaddr	00:27:19:fc:87:b2
	option hwmode	11ng
	option htmode	HT20
	list ht_capab	SHORT-GI-40
	list ht_capab	DSSS_CCK-40

config wifi-iface
	option device   radio0
	option network  lan
	option mode     ap
	option ssid     Grisslan
	option encryption psk2
	option key	  notforyoutosee

config wifi-iface
        option device     radio0
        option network    lan
        option mode       wds
        option bssid      00:1F:C6:60:D3:11
        option ssid       GrisslanWDS
        option encryption psk2
        option key        thisisalsosecret
root@choco:~# reboot

Once the machine have rebooted, you can bring up the 3G connection by using “ifup wan”. Look at the log by using “logread” and tail the log in the background by doing “logread -f &”.

root@choco:~# ifup wan
Trying to set PIN
PIN set successfully
root@choco:~# logread |tail -20
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: send (ATD*99***1#^M)
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: expect (CONNECT)
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: ^M
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: ATD*99***1#^M^M
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: CONNECT
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]:  -- got it
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: send ( ^M)
May 21 13:41:20 choco daemon.info pppd[2412]: Serial connection established.
May 21 13:41:20 choco daemon.info pppd[2412]: Using interface ppp0
May 21 13:41:20 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: Connect: ppp0  /dev/ttyUSB0
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.warn pppd[2412]: Could not determine remote IP address: defaulting to
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: local  IP address
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: remote IP address
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: primary   DNS address
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: secondary DNS address
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: reading /tmp/resolv.conf.auto
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: using nameserver
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: using nameserver
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: using local addresses only for domain lan
May 21 13:41:25 choco user.notice rdate: Synced with ptbtime1.ptb.de


Or almost so… usually the first time you connect, I often get incorrect DNS servers from the server. It shows up like this in the log:

May 21 12:25:04 choco daemon.notice pppd[1157]: primary   DNS address
May 21 12:25:04 choco daemon.notice pppd[1157]: secondary DNS address

The exact reason why this happens is beyond me. There are patches floating around for pppd, but I haven’t tried them. A common workaround is to hardcode static DNS servers (like Google DNS or OpenDNS). I have come up with my own workaround, based on the observation that when the problem has occurred it will not happen again if I disconnect and reconnect. Thus I have written a small script which is invoked whenever an interface is brought up (typically the WAN interface).

# Written by Simon Josefsson May 2011.
root@choco:~# cat> /etc/hotplug.d/iface/01-reconnect-if-dns-is-broken
case "${ACTION:-ifup}" in
	    if grep -q /tmp/resolv.conf.auto; then
		(sleep 30 && ifdown wan && ifup wan) &
root@choco:~# chmod +x /etc/hotplug.d/iface/01-reconnect-if-dns-is-broken

That’s it! If you found this writeup useful, please flattr it.

Syndicated 2011-05-22 07:25:56 from Simon Josefsson's blog

Introducing the OATH Toolkit

I am happy to announce a project that I have been working quietly on for about a year: the OATH Toolkit. OATH stands for Open AuTHentication and is an organization that specify standards around authentication. That is a pretty broad focus, but practically it has translated into work on specifying standards around deploying and using electronic token based user authentication such as the YubiKey.


OATH’s most visible specification has been the HOTP algorithm which is a way to generate event-based one-time passwords from a shared secret using HMAC-SHA1. HOTP has been published through the IETF as RFC 4226. Built on top of HOTP is the time-based variant called TOTP, which requires a clock in the token. OATH do some other work too, like specifying a data format for transferring the token configuration data (e.g., serial number and shared secret) called PSKC.

The aim of my project OATH Toolkit is to provide an implementation of various OATH related technologies. I’m intentionally leaving it open ended because you never know what they may specify that I find interesting. However, the primary goal has been to focus on HOTP and TOTP. Throughout 2010, the project was called HOTP Toolkit but that name made it difficult to support TOTP in a non-confusing way. During the last month, after discussion with Daniel Pocock on Dynalogin which is a potential consumer of my package, I took the time to create a fork of the HOTP Toolkit and the OATH Toolkit was born.

Now what does the OATH Toolkit actually do? Primarily it provides a library called liboath that implements HOTP and TOTP. Liboath is a relatively small library, and my goal is to keep it well documented and of high quality. There is GTK-DOC generated API documentation. Of course there is a command line tool to go with it, called oathtool which makes working with HOTP/TOTP from the command line easier. It can generate and validate one-time passwords. Let’s say you want to generate the first four OTP based on the dummy key 1234.

jas@latte:~$ oathtool -w4 1234

By default the tool is using HOTP, but you can switch it into TOTP mode with the –totp parameter. The output OTP will now depend on the current time on your machine, unless you specify the time manually using the –now parameter.

jas@latte:~$ oathtool –now=”2011-01-20 15:46 UTC” –totp 1234

The tool can do more, check the oathtool man page for all the details.

The final component of the OATH Toolkit is a PAM module pam_oath. With it, you can login to your machine using an OTP and optionally a password. Right now the user and password management is simplistic, but that should improve over time. To setup single-factor authentication for su you would create a file containing the user information and HOTP key as /etc/users.oath like this:

HOTP root – 1234

Then configure PAM to use the pam_oath module like this in /etc/pam.d/su:

auth requisite pam_oath.so debug usersfile=/etc/users.oath window=20

The user file will be rewritten every time you su to hold the current state. There is a README for the PAM-module with more documentation.

That’s it for an intro! From the OATH Toolkit webpage we link to binary packages for Debian and Ubuntu so please try the OATH Toolkit yourself and provide feedback to the oath-toolkit-help mailing list.

Syndicated 2011-01-20 16:09:37 from Simon Josefsson's blog

On Password Hashing and RFC 6070

The RFC Editor has announced a new document, RFC 6070, with test vectors for PKCS5 PBKDF2. The document grow out of my implementation of SCRAM for GNU SASL. During interop testing, more than one other implementation turned out to have mistakes in the PBKDF2 implementation. It didn’t help that there weren’t any stable test vectors for PBKDF2, so that we could do black-box testing of our PBKDF2 implementations against well-known and stable test vectors. Debugging this was time consuming. The document addresses this problem.

So what is PBKDF2?

Briefly, the PBKDF2 is the state of the art way to convert a password string into a cryptographic binary key. There are many ways to design such an algorithm. To understand why PBKDF2 is designed the way it is we need some basic understanding. The typical attack you would be concerned with is if someone compromises your authentication servers and steals the credential database. This is what happened with the recent Gawker attack, where passwords were apparently stored in clear text.

The first security improvement compared to storing passwords in clear text is to only store a hashed or encrypted form of the password. Hashing is preferable over encryption in this context, because with encryption it is possible to go back to the unencrypted form (if you know the key) whereas with a hash it is computationally infeasible to do so.

The downside of hashing is that it is impossible to be compatible with all kind of authentication systems: the hash of the password in the database needs to be computed using the same algorithm as the system will be using. Unfortunately there are many different schemes out there to do password hashing, including the old Unix crypt(3) algorithm and the Windows LM-hash. You normally never know in advance what kind of systems your hashed credential database needs to work for, so you have to pick some set of algorithms and hope for the best.

The next security improvements are iterations and salting.

Iterations means to run the hash function not once, but hundreds or even thousands of times, on the input data (e.g., password). The extra time is hardly noticeable for the user, but for an attacker who is testing an entire dictionary of common passwords against your hash, making the work cost thousand times higher quickly makes the attack vector computationally infeasible.

Salting means to include something other than the password in the input to the hash function, typically a random string. Without salting, a pre-computed rainbow table would provide a dictionary attack against all hashed password databases (one rainbow table per hashing algorithm). By using a sufficiently long and random salt, a rainbow table for one system is not applicable to another system. Since generating a rainbow table is time consuming, this adds another barrier to the attacker.

PBKDF2 combines these three concepts — hashing, iteration and salting — into one construct, and it is designed flexible enough so that it can work on any pseudo-random function. In practice, I’ve only ever seen HMAC-SHA1 be used.

Some final words on the publication behind RFC 6070: Out of my earlier publications, this was the document that (by a large margin) spent the least time in the IETF process. You see various milestones of the document in the RFC 6070 datatracker history page. The time in the publication process was from 2010-08-09 to 2011-01-06. One month was in the AUTH48 state, of which the initial 20 days were waiting for me to respond. Thank you to my sponsoring AD, Sean Turner, for making this possible!

Syndicated 2011-01-07 12:55:05 from Simon Josefsson's blog


I have finished the SCRAM implementation in GNU SASL. The remaining feature to be added were support for the “enhanced” SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS variant instead of just the normal SCRAM-SHA-1 mechanism. The difference is that the latter supports channel bindings to TLS, which makes it possible to detect man-in-the-middle attacks even if TLS is not used with server authentication. In GnuTLS we recently added an API for applications to extract channel bindings, which you will need to use in order to use SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS. I announced the experimental version 1.5.4 release together with a writeup on how to test it. With this, our support for SCRAM should be complete.

Syndicated 2010-11-16 23:24:48 from Simon Josefsson's blog

Debian on Lenovo X201

I have bought a new laptop/netbook, a Lenovo X201. My initial reactions are positive. It runs Debian better than my old Dell laptop does (see my Debian on Dell Precision M65 writeup). The rest of this article will be devoted to notes and information about running a GNU/Linux system on the Lenovo X201.

First the hardware configuration and quick status summary of how well each piece is working:

CPU Intel Core i7 620M 2.67GHz OK
RAMSamsung 4GB RAM DDR3 1333 MHz PC3-10600 OK
BIOS Lenovo v1.22 dated 2010-08-23 OK
Disk Seagate Momentus 320GB ST9320423AS OK
Graphics Intel GMA HD integrated OK
Screen (internal) 1200×800 12.1″ WXGA TFT OK
Screen (external) DisplayPort support for at least 1920×1200 OK
Webcam Lenovo/Chicony Camera OK
Mouse UltraNav TrackPoint/TouchPad OK
Ethernet Intel PRO/1000 (e1000) 82577LM OK
CD/DVD burner Matshita DVD-RAM (in Lenovo X200 UltraBase) OK
Card reader Generic USB2.0-CRW ID 0bda:0159 OK
Bluetooth Broadcom USB ID 0a5c:217f OK
Fingerprint Upek USB ID 147e:2016 ?
Modem ? ?
Audio Intel 5 Series/3400 HD-Audio FAIL
Wireless Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 FAIL
3G Qualcomm Gobi 2000 FAIL
GPS Qualcomm Gobi 2000 FAIL

I’m also using a Omnikey 4321 ExpressCard smart card reader, but it was not included in the laptop.

For reference, this laptop was labeled “3323″ and “NUSRCMS” from the reseller. It included the UltraBase X200 as a combo.


The installation was unexciting except for software bugs that were easy to work around and that I expect will be resolved eventually. For more information, see my installation report. It also contains “lsusb” and “lspci” output if you are curious about hardware details.

Hdparm testing of the hard drive:

 Timing cached reads:   9188 MB in  2.00 seconds = 4596.31 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  280 MB in  3.02 seconds =  92.78 MB/sec

The Intel graphics is working fine, both the internal TFT and the external DisplayPort. I’m driving my Dell 2405FPW (DVI) to 1920×1200 without issues. Cycling through monitors with Fn-F7 works out of the box.

Wired ethernet via X200 UltraBase works. The UltraBase do not appear to contain another ethernet card, it is just another ethernet socket for the internal ethernet port.

I have tested bluetooth for file browsing and connecting to the Internet via my Nokia N900.

The card reader handled a SD card fine, haven’t tested other formats.

The ExpressCard54 slot handles my OmniKey 4321 smart card reader without issues, together with pcscd and GnuPG. However, the mecanical button used to eject cards is poorly made and does not handle the force required to eject the card.

Suspend to RAM+Disk is working fine, and the special keys Fn+F4 to suspend works.

I’m able to hotplug connect to the UltraBase docking station.

Fingerprint reader is not yet tested.

Audio does not work

Not working out of the box. I’ll update this section when I know how to fix it.

Wireless does not work

The built-in Intel Centrino 6300 does not work without non-free software installed.

Workaround: I downloaded the firmware from Intel Linux Wireless and unpacked it into /lib/firmware. An older version of the firmware is available from the firmware-iwlwifi Debian package in non-free. With this installed, it is working reliable and handles suspend fine.

Gobi 2000 3G/GPS does not work

It appears to require non-free drivers. It works under Ubuntu 10.10 so it should be possible to get it to work under Debian as well. I’ll add more details here later once I figure things out.

Syndicated 2010-10-25 22:39:54 from Simon Josefsson's blog

24 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!