Posts filed under Annoying

Install Cisco Identity Services Engine v2.4 From USB

The Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE) is a NAC solution used for accessing the network. The version (while writing this post) is v2.4.

For a new implementation of Cisco ISE I had to re-image 2 SNS-3595 appliances with the latest software. This can be done in various ways;

  1. Write the ISE iso to USB and boot / install from the USB flash-drive

  2. Use the JAVA/HTML5 KVM option through the CICM interface

  3. Hookup a USB DVD player with a dual-layer DVD containing the appropriate ISO file

The preferred option is the USB flash-drive, since it’s the fastest, but only if you are able to boot from USB….. After trying several USB flash drives with the tool recommended in the Cisco manual I gave up. No way that the Boot menu saw the USB flash drive. So after wasting several hours doing that I opted for the KVM install method.

Juniper SRX, Routing Instances, and Syslog Challenges

In the previous post I described the issue I had with routing instances and DHCP-relay, and how I fixed it. It turns out that DHCP-relay wasn't my only problem. Turns out that syslog also stopped at the time I implemented the routing instances.

Syslog-gap

To solve this I needed to inject the route to my syslog server (Splunk) in the global routing instance by using policy options.

set policy-options policy-statement syslog-policy term 10 from instance DEFAULT
set policy-options policy-statement syslog-policy term 10 from route-filter 192.168.20.0/24 exact
set policy-options policy-statement syslog-policy term 10 then accept
set policy-options policy-statement syslog-policy then reject

set routing-options instance-import syslog-policy
Posted on June 25, 2018 and filed under Annoying, Security, Tips'n Tricks.

Juniper SRX, Virtual Routers and DHCP Relay

A couple of weeks ago, I started to implement virtual routers in my SRX300. The reason being a new external subnet that  needed to route to a specific security zone. Using the default VR only wouldn't work because of the (single) default route.

Implementing it was fairly easy. The trouble began this week;

  • Wireless controller not accessible
  • Client with weird behaviour
  • etc.

In my network, I have 1 DHCP server serving multiple internal subnets. The (basic) DHCP relay configuration was:

set forwarding-options dhcp-relay maximum-hop-count 10
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay client-response-ttl 10
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay server-group DHCP_Server 192.168.x.x
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay active-server-group DHCP_Server
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients active-server-group DHCP_Server
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.1
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.20
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.30
set forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.200

Turns out that this stops to function when implementing Virtual Routers. Something I forgot to adjust. And since the DHCP scope on my server was set to a lease-time of 14 days.... That means that problems tend to introduce themselves after a couple of days.....

Anyway, after changing the DHCP relay configuration to include the correct Virtual Router name (DEFAULT) everything worked just fine.

set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay maximum-hop-count 10
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay client-response-ttl 10
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay server-group DHCP_Server 192.168.x.x
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay active-server-group DHCP_Server
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients active-server-group DHCP_Server
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.1
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.20
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.30
set routing-instances DEFAULT forwarding-options dhcp-relay group clients interface ge-0/0/0.200

So. DHCP is a bit like DNS. Both have timers (TTL and lease-time) that might bite you in the butt.

Posted on June 10, 2018 and filed under Annoying, Junos, Security.

Juniper vSRX Firewall and VMWare Workstation 14

For a work related project, I wanted to run the Juniper vSRX firewall (v15.1X49-D110) on my work laptop by using VMWare Workstation Pro 14. Unfortunately, the installation (importing the Juniper vSRX OVA file resulted in a VMWare Workstation crash.

Installing Python Matplotlib On MacOS Sierra

I recently 'upgraded' to MacOS Sierra (Apple's latest Operating System) by doing a clean install. This resulted in a couple of challenges, including some software that could not be installed, and for which I had to find some alternatives.

Another issue I ran into is that some Python3 scripts with matplotlib wouldn't run, because matplotlib wouldn't install correctly.
I could 'pip' all I wanted, but the result was always:

$ pip3 install matplotlib
[...]
The following required packages can not be built: freetype

Some googling pointed me to some articles that freetype is/was a part of the XQuartz (X11) software that's no longer (pre)installed on MacOS Sierra. And in the past I have always upgraded my OS. The times that I did a clean install on this machine.... Must have been ages ago.

After some frustrating hours of trying to get this 'freetype' thing installed, I ran into an article on yantonov.com which solved my issue finally.

First I installed 'homebrew'.

$ /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

After that I installed pkg-config and freetype:

$ brew install pkg-config
[...]

$ brew install freetype
[...]

And finally, I was able to successfully install matplotlib:

$ pip3 install matplotlib

Internet of Things (IoT) and Ransomware

Unfortunately, and no matter how funny the cartoon may be, this may be what the future is going to bring us if we're not careful.

Below are some of the online appliances (just random picks from Google):

The only item I couldn't find was the Internet-connected broom. But I guess that won't take long. The other items can all be bought with some sort of Internet connectivity, and are therefore potential vulnerable for abuse.

Posted on October 10, 2016 and filed under Annoying, Gadgets, Hardware, Internet, Security.

VPN and Resolving Issues on OS X

We have a lab which we can access by using a VPN (Cisco ASA and Cisco AnyConnect). This setup has a so-called split DNS configuration, which means that only resources in the lab are accessed through the VPN tunnel. Regular Internet traffic uses my local DSL connection.

At my house I (like most folks) rely on DHCP for providing me with IP address, gateway and DNS servers. My local subnet uses 192.168.10.1 for DNS and 192.168.10.254 is my default gateway. So my clients are in the same subnet as my DNS server (directly-connected).

All these things considered I should be able to browse the Internet while I have a VPN running. Well, that's where you're wrong.

Posted on September 18, 2016 and filed under Annoying, Apple, Operating Systems, Tips'n Tricks.

Photo Contests, JPEG, and DPI

This post is about something that bothers me a lot. Especially, because it originates from a place where you think they should know better. It's about Dots-Per-Inch (DPI) and JPEG (the popular digital image/photo format).

It all starts, when I read the requirements of certain online photo contests. The criteria for entering the contest contain the following: The photo entering the contest must be in JPEG with maximum quality (least compression), AND 300 DPI.

Posted on August 26, 2016 and filed under Annoying, Photography, Personal, Tips'n Tricks.

Disable Fritzbox Provider Services

This weekend went my Internet (VDLS) down. The DSL part was still up, but the IPv4 connectivity (over PPPoE) was down. When I checked the Fritzbox (7340) I saw that the DLS had 'trained' on ~100Mbps down and ~30Mbps up. Connection speeds I could only dream of......

Trying to re-establish the IPv4 connection I restarted the DSL modem. Upon reboot, it trained on about 70Mbps download and 30Mbps upload, and the PPPoE tunnel for IPv4 established nicely..... for about 5 minutes.

It turned out that the DSL connection tried to get a better connection, and got it. So starting off at 70Mbps, it could establish a 74Mbps a couple of seconds later, and 75Mbps a bit later after that, and so on, and so on. During this time the PPPoE connection worked like a charm. Until the DSL reached the magical 100Mbps rate. That's when the PPPoE (and the actual IPv4 connection to the Internet) failed.

Posted on May 17, 2016 and filed under Annoying, Hardware, Internet, Tips'n Tricks.

Kodi Media Playback Stops Frequently

Ever since the good-old Popcorn Hour died last year, we've been consuming our media through a Minix media player with XBMC, or Kodi as it's called since version 15. And even though this was a complete package (everything configured and pre-installed), it had a learning curve and required more maintenance than the Popcorn Hour.

A couple of weeks back, we started to experience cut-offs in the media we were consuming. TV shows, and movies stopped for no reason. The image froze, audio cut-out, and the subtitles would go on like nothing was wrong. After a few seconds display goes black, and after 5 to 10 seconds the Kodi-menu would present itself.
At this point we would select play, and the TV show, or movie would continue were it had stopped.

The stopping (or crashing) of the media could occur 1-10 times in a movie and a couple of times in a TV show. One or two times is already annoying, so you can imaging what 10 or 15 'crashes' might invoke....

Posted on December 1, 2015 and filed under Tips'n Tricks, Software, Hardware, Annoying.