Interacting With the Cisco ASA CLI Using the HTTPS Interface

December 5th, 2012 No comments

Most people are familiar with interacting with the ASA over HTTPS to get captures off the box, but every CLI mode is available using a browser. There are a lot of handy practical situations where you’d want to do this, including simply avoiding using a steaming pile of Java. Below is the simplest way to both show off how this works, and one of the better usage cases:

https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/show run

Just drop in the IP address and port you’d normally use to access HTTPS/ASDM on your ASA. leave the spaces in the command, the ASA will take care of %20-ifying them. An HTTP basic auth box will pop up – just enter the credentials you’d normally use for HTTPS/ASDM access. You will be greeted by a web page with simply “show run” output. This is even more useful with incredibly verbose things like “show conn” or “show tech”. No more ASCII transfers in SecureCRT or worrying about right-click auto-pasting the whole output back into putty by mistake. It saves a ton of time if you’re like me, and you use screen or tmux with pretty much every session. Getting verbose output out of a tmux/screen session can be awful. Another great use:

https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/packet-tracer input inside icmp 192.168.254.254 8 0 8.8.8.8 detail

The above came up recently in IRC, and I find it to be a particularly good use case for direct HTTPS interaction. With packet-tracer, especially in verbose mode, I tend to need to do some correlation between different parts of the output. I find a web browser to be a much more convenient place to Ctrl+f, or just scroll around to different parts of the output.

As I mentioned up top, every CLI mode I can think of is available via the HTTPS interface…including config mode. Let’s say you’re on a machine in a freshly provisioned DMZ, and you need to get into the ASA and tweak some ACL settings or something, but the ticket monkeys forgot to include SSH access in your change request. Assuming you’re cool enough to not have to wait for a new change request to go through, you could do this:

https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/ssh 192.168.254.254 255.255.255.255 DMZ1

Note that “exec” is still there – it doesn’t change to “config” like you might expect. Using config mode in this way will obviously be a corner case, but it can come in handy nonetheless. I’ve used it a few times to enable telnet temporarily if I hit the “it says I’ve used all 5 SSH connections but none are actually used” bug where SSH sessions become orphaned and eventually none are available for actual use (CSCts72188 I believe, but I could be wrong…bug details on that ID are currently unavailable).

There are a couple caveats. Normally, you can type naturally as you would on the command line. But if you need to access a sub-config mode or use a command that includes the slash character, using the HTTPS interface is a little different. To access sub-config modes like interface config, you need to use a slash in the browser address bar instead of a space. And to use an actual “slash” character, you need to specify “%2F” in the browser address bar since the slash itself is a delimiter:

https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/interface Ethernet0%2F0/security-level 100

So, the above is the equivalent of issuing the following at the actual CLI:

interface Ethernet0/0
security-level 100

One of the coolest uses for accessing the CLI using HTTPS is scripting. You can use it on a Linux CLI or in scripts to get periodic output for something like perfmon. Or in cronjobs to get output from the box without having to fumble around with expect scripts. Note that in this case, you’ll probably have to irresponsibly specify authorization credentials inline. Or store them in a script if you want to dodge leaving auth traces in your history file. So be careful what systems you run scripts like this from.

lynx -auth=username:password --source "https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/show ver"

using “–source” here allows for use of CLI pipes and redirects or inclusion in loops:

while true ; do lynx -auth=username:password --source "https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/show perfmon" ; sleep 1 ; done

It’s probably safest to store auth creds in a script under /root/scrtipts/ or something like that where the unwashed public can’t get to it without pwning the box. A simple script like the one below will do the trick in most cases, using $1 to let you specify the command you want to run as a command line argument:

#!/bin/bash
lynx -auth=username:password --source "https://x.x.x.x:port/exec/$1"

Used as such:

[0][root@iggmcp:/root/scriptss]# ./asa_https.sh "show int ip brief"
Interface IP-Address OK? Method Status Protocol
Ethernet0/0 X.X.X.X YES CONFIG up up
Ethernet0/1 unassigned YES unset up up
---SNIP---

Still have to use %2F in place of the slash character:

[0][root@iggmcp:/root/scriptss]# ./asa_https.sh "show int eth0%2F0"
Interface Ethernet0/0 "outside", is up, line protocol is up
Hardware is i82546GB rev03, BW 100 Mbps, DLY 100 usec
Auto-Duplex(Full-duplex), Auto-Speed(100 Mbps)
Input flow control is unsupported, output flow control is off
---SNIP---

Credit here goes to Magnus Mortensen via the Cisco TAC Security Podcast episode 18, which is surprisingly good for being a vendor podcast. I recommend it for those awful moments when you realize you’re up to current with Packet Pushers but you still need more audio Nerd-Kibble to keep your brain going.

Crossposted from my article at Packet Pushers

 

Categories: Technical Tags: , , , ,

Quick note on running vSphere on Virtualbox

March 16th, 2012 No comments

So I’ve got 2 HP servers I use at home as VM hosts. An older DL380 G4 and a less old DL360 G5. Neither has much RAM or disk space (8G/~340GB and 6GB/200GB respectively), but the price was right… They were tagged for recycling at my workplace. One person’s trash is another person’s lab gear. After a few days of playing with ESXi, I knew I was going to want to play with vCenter. As one of my coworkers said, “VMware isn’t VMware without vCenter”. I basically didn’t have the spare resources to drop vCenter on either VM host without having it do nothing but vCenter, which was a poor option. I thought about it for a while and eventually decided to try to throw it on my “main” server in Virtualbox. My “main” server is just a pile of commodity bits and pieces sourced from the local Buy More for under ~$800 total. But what it lacks in performance and grace it makes up for in storage. On this server I used to run a to lab/learn for work on Virtualbox. I thought I’d give running vCenter on it a shot. Turns out VMware doesn’t really put much in your way in terms of doing this. There was an upside and a downside.

The upside is that in VMware, vCenter whined at me when I tried to trim down its RAM usage. I couldnt get vpxd to start, it would just crap out. The Googles told me errors I was getting were related to reducing the RAM on the guest below what the template had set up. However on Virtualbox it seemed more lenient. My environment isn’t terribly demanding and I’m getting by fine (for now) on only 5GB of ram for the guest.

The downside is a minor annoyance. During boot, the vCenter server does a quick check to see if it’s running on VMware flavored virutal hardware. The part that sucks is if you’re starting the VM from the CLI or a web interface, it stops during boot if it thinks it’s on a non-vmware host machine and requests you hit the any key. Its very minor, but not cool if you’re starting/restarting it on the command line or via a web interface. Basically it runs this little diddy in /etc/init.d/boot.vmware_warning:

       # Check if the vendor of the graphic card is VMware
       if ! hwinfo --gfxcard | grep -i "0x15ad" ; then

And then goes on to put a wall of text warning you about the sins of running non-vmware hypervisors. To get around this on my machine I simply ran that command (hwinfo --gfxcard), looked for the line the VMware script was most likely referencing (any string in the output would probably suffice), and dropped the string that appears for my Virtualbox hypervisor (and left the old one in for posterity)

        # Check if the vendor of the graphic card is VMware
        #if ! hwinfo --gfxcard | grep -i "0x15ad" ; then
        # Check if the vendor of the graphic card is Virtualbox
        if ! hwinfo --gfxcard | grep -i "0xbeef" ; then

Now it boots without missing a beat, and so far it’s been doing just fine running on virtualbox. No big hack, but I’m hoping it’ll help at least one of you out there in internet-land.

Standard disclaimer: I have and use free or legit licenses for everything I run. Don’t copy that floppy.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Attn – Media, unwashed masses: Stop saying “cyber”

October 24th, 2011 No comments

As the title says, please stop saying “cyber”. It means nothing. More specifically, what it does mean is “blah blah networks and/or security”. In the industry, this is so non-specific that it essentially means nothing anyways.

As a security engineer, I get pretty sick of seeing/hearing the term “cyber” thrown around to describe pretty much anything I do. Cyber security, cyber attack, cyber defense. Our team doesn’t sit down in a conference room discussing “how are the cyber defenses on company X holding up?”, or “company Y has been experiencing a higher number of cyber-threats recently”. Nobody says crap like that in real life. I decided to see how little the term actually gets thrown around. I know we never use it verbally except while making “air quotes” with our fingers and making fun of the sorts of people who DO actually say it. But I thought I should at least check my email to see if it ever sneaks its way in unnoticed.

I have 9001 emails in my inbox from the last six months or so when I last hit the “I cant send email anymore because I have too much crap in my inbox” button. 102 matched the search term “cyber”.

- A little more than half was vendor spam from companies I deal with, promoting new products, services, and whatnot else.
- A little less than half was internal emails from our global or pre-sales groups, discussing news or vendor spam.
- To my surprise there was in fact a single legitimate ticket email in the last 6 months with the term “cyber” in it.

I had to look into that one ticket to find out what the deal was. It was a ticket for a BlueCoat issue, and nowhere did the term cyber seem to appear. However there was a sysinfo attached (like a “show tech” for BlueCoat boxen), and tucked in there was a reference to a russian domain name containing the word “cyber”. That’s what had matched.

Close call, but in the end I was right. Nobody in my workplace actually uses the term “cyber” in referene to what goes on in the realm of network security.

Categories: Non-Technical Tags: , , , , ,

Tech History: Cisco’s Name and Logo

September 26th, 2011 1 comment

The other day I was driving around with Emily, and I mentioned to her the origin of the name and logo of Cisco Systems.  I can’t remember how it came up, but it did.  I’m constantly tinkering with stuff in my lab, so she knows what the logo looks like even though it isn’t her field at all.  Her mind was a little blown when she made the connection between the logo and its origins.  I mentioned this to a couple coworkers, and they hadn’t heard the history behind it either.  Their minds were also a little blown.  So I thought I’d post it here, because that’s what the internet is for.  Posting random crap, I mean…  Not Cisco history.

1) Cisco: short for San Fransisco.

Found this snippet below a couple websites, with sources leading back to cisco.com.  The link was identical on the sites, but was broken.  And cisco’s search function only really returns technical articles regardless of how hard I searched.   but…

Cisco Systems is the world leader in manufacturing of Network related equipment. The name “Cisco” is not an acronym, but an abbreviation of San Francisco. According to John Morgridge, employee 34 and the company’s first president, the founders hit on the name and logo while driving to Sacramento to register the company — they saw the Golden Gate Bridge framed in the sunlight.

The name cisco Systems (with the lowercase “c”) continued in use within the engineering community at the company long after the official company name was changed to Cisco Systems, Inc. Users of Cisco products can still see the name ciscoSystems occasionally in bug reports and IOS messages.

2) Cisco’s logo IS the Golden Gate Bridge

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

From the internets as well, a different but similar account of the above story:

According to John Morgridge, the company’s first president, the founders Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner hit on the name and logo while driving to Sacramento to register the company. They saw the Golden Gate Bridge framed in the sunlight. The logo was seen by them as a modified version of the past that would shape the future. Plus it looked really “cool”. They hoped the logo would convey something about creating an authentic life and making a living at something you believe in, in a place you love, with people you really like to be with.

I couldn’t find any working links back to cisco.com in the 15 minutes I spent searching around, but many sites mirror the same story. Wikipedia references what appears to be one of the sources over at famouslogos.us. So while I can’t link a solid article from Cisco at the moment, my magic 8-ball tells me “all signs point to yes”

Crap.

September 14th, 2011 No comments

mysql shit the bed on my server today. And took my data with it. I never did fix the “expect” bug that was making my backup scripts fail since march. crap.

UPDATE: I always forget why I keep my stupid LiveJournal around.   Before you judge me for being on LiveJournal, I was there since way before it was a cool place for whiny emo teens.  But it also doubles as an awesome last-resort backup for a blog if one has an auto-crosspost script that posts everything over there.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

If Ping, Then Bling

June 19th, 2011 No comments

There’s something soothing about a visual heartbeat.

So I was chilling at the Starbucks near me this morning. In fact, I still am right now. It’s pretty sweet that they offer free wifi, but it tends to be laggy and unreliable due to having gobs of leeches like me suckiing it up. I’m often in the middle of waiting for a web page to reload or an ssh session to do something, and I wonder to myself “frick, am I even still connected?”. So I wrote a little script to help keep me from having to think much (my favorite kind of scripts).

I basically wanted a script that would make something blink on my laptop for a moment on each successful return of an ICMP echo request (ping). Sort of a visual heartbeat. While ping is a terrible measure of whether your layer 3 path will support TCP, without a layer 3 path you will get no ping. So it’s good enough. I decided to use the “standby” light, since it wouldn’t be doing a whole lot while the laptop was actually running. Capslock, numlock, etc. It can be any light as long as it typically holds one state or the other. I’m posting a version of the script here that’s much simpler and uses the ThinkPad’s “ThinkLight” as the bling source. I think it’s easier to take away from this script exactly what’s going on and how to modify it to your liking.

I’m actually fairly happy to have been annoyed just enough by the connection at Starbucks to get motivated to write this. As a network engineer I’m constantly on the road trying to connect to this or that, or what I’m doing depends on constant connectivity to thus or thus. Not having to check a bunch of terminal windows for heartbeats will be great.

#!/bin/bash
# pingbling.sh - If ping, then bling.

# Typically you've got to be root to mess with changing sysfs/proc values
if [ "$(id -u)" != "0" ]; then
   echo "This script must be run as root"
   exit 1
fi

# Script spits out tons of crap if there are no args.  saving sanity.
if [ -z $1 ] ; then
  echo "Please supply an IP address or hostname to ping"
  exit 1
fi

while true ;
do
  # we're already seeing the bling from the ping, we don't need stdout too.
  # dialing in a longish return time since this is a "are we still connected" test
  # and not a "how fast is my connection" test.
  ping -c1 -W3 $1 > /dev/null
  if [ $? -eq 0 ] ; then
    state_before=$(head -1 /proc/acpi/ibm/light | awk '{ print $2 }')
    echo "on" > /proc/acpi/ibm/light
    sleep 0.2
    echo "off" > /proc/acpi/ibm/light
    echo $state_before > /proc/acpi/ibm/light
    sleep 0.8
  fi
done

exit 0
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Netting the Botnets with Cisco ASA Without a License

May 14th, 2011 4 comments

So I was tinkering with my ASA the other day. I was interested in this neat Botnet Traffic Filter thingy they’d been clamoring about. Cisco frequently pitches how their products are made with magic and rainbows and cruelty-free unicorn meat, and I tend to be a bit skeptical. But a lot of people have been talking about it recently in my circles, and I really can’t help but tinker with things anyways.

After some reading, Cisco words it like the Botnet Filter is pretty much useless without a proper license. However it is enabled and ready to use in all ASAs 8.2(x) and above… the license only activates the subscription service, the base functionality works just fine. Below is a script I wrote to manually apply and update blacklists using the Botnet Filter on an ASA without bothering with a subscription license. It’s a bash script which does most of the work and depends additionally on the expect scripting interpreter for operating on the ASA itself. The script looks for an external tftp server but can be easily written to use a local /tftpboot directory instead. Older versions of the script failed seldom but in amusingly spectacular ways, so the current version is somewhat lengthy due to the sanity checks I built into it.

A big problem with blacklists tends to be keeping them current. A stale blacklist is worse than useless as the IPs may belong to legitimate sites after some time. I’ve used the lists over at Emerging Threats for a while now, and they’re very frequently updated. The script can be easily modified for use with any published or local list.. 5 minutes of work adapted this script from using the C&C list to the larger “-ALL” list. Just do some find/replace magic and modify the regex syntax that changes ACL entries into dynamic-filter formatted “address x.x.x.x m.a.s.k” lines.

I apologize in advance for the terrible line wrapping in the code, I need to find a new theme. Note that the box running this is OpenBSD, you’ll probably have to change your bash path. UUOC police: It’s my cat and I’ll do what I want with it.

Ez-wget links to the below script and the larger “-ALL” variant as a modification example.

asa-botlist.txt

asa-botlist_all.txt

#!/usr/local/bin/bash
#
# asa-botlist.sh - written by Iggdawg
#
# This script uses a feature in the Cisco ASA Botnet Filter feature. Although
# a licensed feature that requires a paid subscription, this feature also
# allows administrators to use the "dynamic-filter blacklist" directive for
# manual blacklisting.  Emerging Threats (http://www.emergingthreats.net)
# publishes well maintained blacklists from many sources. This script applies
# that list as a manual blacklist on the ASA, and keeps it up to date with diffs
# rather than removing and re-applying the list every time to change as little
# as possible with each transaction.
#
#

# Variables, modify to your liking
PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin
export PATH

# NOTE: I use scp with certificates to ransport stuff to the tftp server.
# Expect the script to fail if you're not set up to do this.
TFTPSERV="tftp server IP address"
FWIP="firewall IP address"
USERNAME="tftp server user"
FWUSERNAME="firewall user"
PASSWORD="firewall password"
ENPASSWORD="firewall enable password"
FWHOSTNAME="firewall hostname"
BASEPATH="/tmp"

#Blacklist Revisions
touch $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rev
Rev0="$(cat $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rev)"
Rev1="$(lynx --source http://rules.emergingthreats.net/fwrules/FWrev)"

# script depends on expect, check for it

EXP="$(which expect)"

if [ $? -ne 0 ] ; then
  echo "Expect binary not found, exiting"
  exit 1
elif [ -e "$EXP" ] ; then
  echo "Expect binary found, running"
fi

# check list revision

if [ -s $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rev ] ; then
  if [ $Rev0 -ge $Rev1 ] ; then
    echo "Current revision $Rev1 matches last revision processed $Rev0, Exiting"
    exit 0
  else
    echo "Current revision $Rev1 is newer than last revision processed $Rev0, Working"
  fi
else
  echo "No existing blacklist revision number. Possible file errors. Starting from scratch with $Rev1"
  echo "Snagging most current list:"
  wget http://rules.emergingthreats.net/fwrules/emerging-PIX-CC.rules -O $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules

  # update revision now so script won't re-run in case of some random failure:
  awk '/Rev/ {print $3}' $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rev

  # start processing
  # rewrite ET-drop to ET-cc so the list is consistant, then parse
  sed 's/ET-drop/ET-cc/g' $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules | egrep "^access-list ET-cc deny" $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules | sed 's/access-list ET-cc deny ip/address/g;s/host //g;s/any/255.255.255.255/g' | awk '{print $1,$2,$3}' > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix

  # can't verify current version, remove all old entries and apply current list.
  # this will be a temporary list, preserving "raw" list so diffs don't break next time
  echo "no dynamic-filter blacklist" > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp
  echo "dynamic-filter blacklist" >> $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp
  cat $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix >> $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp

  chmod 666 $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp
  chown nobody:nogroup $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp

  echo "Sending files to TFTP server"

  echo "emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix..."
  scp $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp $USERNAME@$TFTPSERV:/tftpboot/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp

  # log into the firewall and tell it to snag the diffs
  #
  # uncomment to call expect script from its own file
  #$EXP /some/script

  $EXP - << EndMark   spawn ssh -l $FWUSERNAME $FWIP   expect "*assword:"     exp_send -- "$PASSWORD\r"   expect "$FWHOSTNAME>"
    exp_send -- "enable\r"
  expect "Password:"
    exp_send -- "$ENPASSWORD\r"
  expect "$FWHOSTNAME#"
    exp_send -- "
  copy /noconfirm tftp://$TFTPSERV/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.tmp running-config
    \r"
  expect "$FWHOSTNAME#"
    exp_send -- "exit\r"
  interact
EndMark

exit 0
fi

echo ""
echo ""
echo ""
# If old revision exists but the list is missing, script will diff against an
# empty file and just use whole current list. ASA silently dismisses
# duplication of existing address entries, so this is not harmful.
if [ -e $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix ] ; then
  mv $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.old
else
  echo "Revision file exists, but last blacklist file missing. Will apply whole list."
  touch $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.old
fi

# clean up
echo "" > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress.pix

# grab current
echo "Snagging most current list:"
wget http://rules.emergingthreats.net/fwrules/emerging-PIX-CC.rules -O $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules

# update revision now so script won't re-run in case of some random failure:
echo "Updating revision"
awk '/Rev/ {print $3}' $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rev

# start processing
# rewrite ET-drop to ET-cc so the list is consistant, then parse
sed 's/ET-drop/ET-cc/g' $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules | egrep "^access-list ET-cc deny" $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules | sed 's/access-list ET-cc deny ip/address/g;s/host //g;s/any/255.255.255.255/g' | awk '{print $1,$2,$3}' >> $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix

echo "Processing blacklist diffs"
diff $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.old | grep ^\< | sed 's/\< //g' > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.ingress
diff $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix.old | grep ^\> | sed 's/\> //g' > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress

# check for errors in processing
echo "" > $BASEPATH/ingress.exceptions
echo "" > $BASEPATH/egress.exceptions

echo "Blacklist diff errors:"
echo ""

awk '{print $2}' $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress | while read LINE ; do
  grep $LINE $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.ingress > $BASEPATH/ingress.exceptions
done
echo "$BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.ingress:"
cat $BASEPATH/ingress.exceptions

awk '{print $2}' $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.ingress | while read LINE; do
  grep $LINE $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress > $BASEPATH/egress.exceptions
done

echo "$BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress:"
cat $BASEPATH/egress.exceptions

# bring it all together and dump it on a tftp server
echo "Combining diffs"

echo "dynamic-filter blacklist" > $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix

sed 's/^/no\ /g' < $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress >> $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress.pix
cat $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.egress.pix $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.ingress >> $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix

# some tftp servers are weird about permisssions
chmod 666 $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix
chown nobody:nogroup $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix

chmod 666 $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix
chown nobody:nogroup $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix

echo "Sending files to TFTP server"

echo "emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix..."
scp $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix $USERNAME@$TFTPSERV:/tftpboot/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.pix

echo "emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix..."
scp $BASEPATH/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix $USERNAME@$TFTPSERV:/tftpboot/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix

# log into the firewall and tell it to snag the diffs
#
# uncomment to call expect script from its own file
#$EXP /some/script

$EXP - << EndMark spawn ssh -l $FWUSERNAME $FWIP expect "*assword:"   exp_send -- "$PASSWORD\r" expect "$FWHOSTNAME>"
  exp_send -- "enable\r"
expect "Password:"
  exp_send -- "$ENPASSWORD\r"
expect "$FWHOSTNAME#"
  exp_send -- "
copy /noconfirm tftp://$TFTPSERV/emerging-PIX-CC.rules.diff.pix running-config
  \r"
expect "$FWHOSTNAME#"
  exp_send -- "exit\r"
interact
EndMark

exit 0
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Snow: not threatening enough

February 11th, 2011 No comments

We’ve had a more interesting winter than usual here in New England this year. Average snowfall in Boston is around 40 inches per year, and we’ve had nearly 70 this year (as of January) spread across 10 or so snowfalls. So I’ve had some time to watch how people react to snow (whether I like it or not). I’ve noticed something this winter about the driving habits of the unwashed public. I’m sure its always been this way but for whatever reason I haven’t really noticed till now. It’s going to sound obvious, but it’s a newish perspective for me.

I’ve noticed a trend that drivers could care less about how much snow there is on the roads. Don’t get me wrong… the smallest amount of snow in the air turns most people into either terrified retards barely capable of breathing, or into trailblazing juggernauts of fury who drive where they want when they want (ATTN: Every SUV driver – this is not you: clicky). What I mean is that the decision of whether or not to stay home from work due to snowy conditions seems to have nothing to do with how much snow there is outside. It has only to do with how much hype the storm received before it hit. You’d think the sequence would go something like “get up, look outside, become terrified of conditions (or not), call into work (or not)”. But no. If a storm was heralded as a Ragnarok-like event scheduled to end all life, everyone stays home regardless of actual conditions. “The news said it was gonna suck, so it’s ok if I call in”. If the storm was predicted to fizzle out but ends up dumping 6-10 inches on us by morning, people look outside and say “Ha ha holy fuck, that is a TON of snow… fuck me, this commute is gonna suck”. Every time the news predicted the second coming of Snow Christ, my commute was great. Terrible road conditions, but no drivers around to cause trouble. Any time we got a crap-ton of snow we didn’t expect, nobody seemed to pay attention to the tundra outside. Refer to the following scientific analytic analysis chart:

As you can see, so long as a huge deal has been made about the storm during the week prior, an inch or so is all it takes to keep mere mortals cowering indoors. But without this hype, the number only gradually goes up, mostly due to people actually being physically incapable of getting their cars out of their driveways. This “Fusion of Conditioning and Timing Arising in Responsibility Degradation” (or the “FUCTARD effect”) makes even lesser storms complete hell to drive in if nobody makes a buzz about it. I blame the internet. No, really. Everyone’s so used to information being shoved in their faces that they really can’t recognize a poor condition outside their own doors unless their iPhone or Weatherbug or Weatherbug on their iPhone tells them “hey bro, you better watch out lol!”

Floating around on the internet is a rant about the naming of hurricanes:

“Who the fuck is the one naming hurricanes? They somehow manage to give them the least threatening names ever. If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Erin was coming I’d think to myself, “Erin? I could take that slut.” If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Dicksmasher was approaching, I’d grab all the money in the house, shove it in my pockets, and get the fuck out of there.”

Every time I’ve seen it it’s looked like copypasta, so I can’t credit the original author. But I’d like to see snowstorms get this treatment. I know if it was Snowstorm “Assured Fatality”, Blizzard “Blood Orgy”, or “Icefest the Great Deductible Nightmare”, I would really assess the situation before getting on the road.

To Women: Men, Colors, and You

January 7th, 2011 1 comment

Men and women have both known for a long time that the two sexes see colors differently. Women often wonder why men just say “blue” when we see things like the sky, the ocean, Facebook, every Ford Focus, and so on. And men wonder why women have silly colors like azure, cobalt, sapphire, iris, teal, midnight, ultramarine, and so on. I thought I would take a few minutes to explain an aspect of why we men are the way we are.

It’s going to start by sounding a little technical, but stay with me.  The part of the male brain that processes color has been reallocated over the course of male evolution towards things we consider more worthy of our thoughts. Breasts, tanks, barbecue, jet fighters, video games, breasts, beer, etc. Very little is left over for things like color, and we’ve been left what amounts to a 4-bit palette. Basically just a few brain cells in series that either fire or don’t fire when when information from the eyes goes through them. This all results in a visible range of about 16 colors. This world looks much like a 1990s video game to men. Note that early game programmers were mostly men, which is why early video games looked this way. That’s enough tech speak for now, check out the table below:

16-color male palette
0 black 8 gray
1 blue 9 light blue
2 green 10 light green
3 ugly blue 11 pretty blue
4 red 12 other red
5 purple 13 pink
6 brown 14 yellow
7 light gray 15 white

As you can see, we men do in fact recognize four shades of blue: Blue, light blue, ugly blue, and pretty blue. We just don’t use two of them very often. We don’t use “ugly blue” much because it’s ugly and we don’t like it. We don’t often use “pretty blue” because you tend to hit us we use it in a sentence beginning with “Honey I wish your eyes were a …”, and besides it just sounds funny when men say it. Some of the color names have changed over time. “Other red” used to be known simply as “bricks” (or “bacon” in some regions), and in these more civil times what was known as “gay purple” is now called “pink”.  Brown used to be “beer”, but it was discovered that things other than beer were this color so a more general term was needed.  I should note that ugly blue and pretty blue have recently been renamed “cyan” and “light cyan” because men wanted to prove we could come up with silly names for colors too, but these names are seldom heard in actual conversation.

So next time you want to badger us men for not knowing “burnt umber” from “other red” or “fuchsia” from “pink”, please keep in mind we’re not savages.  When we blankly stare at color swatches at Home Depo, or can’t find anything else to point out during your favorite interior design show (that we lovingly sit through) except the ambiguous nature of some of the contestants, we’re not trying your patience.  Our brains are just wired a little different.  Besides, “The White Mountains” has a better ring to it than “The Isabelline Mountains”. Renaming traffic colors from red, yellow, and green to carmine, aureolin, and chartreuse would just make driving students cry. And the last time they tried to change “Brown Bear” to “Chocolate Bear”, the resulting misunderstandings were unfortunate.

Puppy Fever

September 6th, 2010 No comments

So we got a puppy. A year ago or so when we moved into dorchester we had originally been looking for a dog friendly place since wed both been wanting one. We settled on the place we took because it was too nice to pass up. But they didn’t allow dogs. Sad face :(. We had it set as a primary action item for our next place at it would be dog friendly. A few weeks ago we moved into Jefferson Hills in Framingham (many thanks to jess and especially Jay for helping out). Not only is it 4 miles from my work, but there’re dog friendly up to 45 lbs. Jay getting an awesome little black lab puppy sure didn’t help let us get settled before the puppy fever set in. Last week we picked up an awesome Cocker Spaniel / Collie mix at Save a Dog shelter in Sudbury MA. We named him Dexter, after Dexter Morgan. you know… Because he’s adorable and sometimes causes a ruckus. He’s estimated to. Be no bigger than 40 lbs, and the shelter we got him at was great. He’s very well behaved and potty trained like a little champ. But I’ll stop typing now and show off the money shots.

Behold, Dexter. How in the world did this little guy end up at a shelter??

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