Yesterday I went to ManLUG’s August meeting. It was supposed to be discussion on the BBC’s iPlayer, DRM and the protests that happened outside the BBC’s offices in London and Manchester on the 14th of August, organised by Defective By Design. If there was such discussion, I wasn’t involved in it. Later, Simon Hobson did a short presentation on fail2ban among other things, which got some interest, especially from some young new ManLUG attendees who I hope aren’t too put off to return.

Preventing SSH brute force attacks

I ended up getting drawn into a discussion #manlug about the “hackiness” of the likes of denyhosts and fail2ban, that continued on to preventing brute force attacks. I gave up trying to get it across to someone who I think is pretty clued up about system administration that simply running SSH service on a high port may help prevent casual brute force attacks, but by itself it is an (very close to) ineffective means of defence. I’d like to think I gave him something to think about, but I think he just ended up not listening on the grounds that he doesn’t see anything in his logs resembling unauthorised connection attempts and assumes it doesn’t and won’t happen. I was getting irritated and losing patience. It felt like everything I said was being put to question. I wanted to tell him to just do some research (I think I did, though can’t remember). The only positive thing I can get out of that is it made me consider my reasoning more carefully. It’s a painful process.


After the ManLUG meeting, landstalker and I went to SandBar for a few. We met up a bit later in the English Lounge in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It’s quite a nicely furbished place, and seemed friendly. Guinness came in at £3/pint. I think I’ve been there before, but I can’t remember. landstalker’s friends were already there, but I didn’t know any of them to say hello. That was resolved on landstalker’s arrival. We went somewhere else, and then on to Bar Fringe where landstalker drank a 9% beer because of a pink elephant. It was fun. I got the bus towards home (Levenshulme) and ended up in Stockport (map), in the rain, with no buses to take me back. The taxi was £16.something. That was not so fun.