Posts filed under 'Tech'

Google 2-Step Authentication Defaults To Trusted?

I’ve finally decided to try out Google’s 2-Step Authentication feature. This is a fantastic way to keep your account from being compromised. Since I am an avid traveler and I sometimes sign into my account from untrusted machines I wanted a better way to ensure security for my Google accounts.

There is one small annoyance that I found wasn’t documented clearly on Google’s pages. I often found that when I got to the page to enter in my authentication code it would automatically check “Don’t ask for codes again on this computer.” By habit I hit enter after I type in the code and I’m into my account and this computer has now been added to my trusted list. This means next time I sign in from that particular computer I will not be asked for the additional verification code. To undo this you can either clear the cookies in the same browser or visit http://accounts.google.com/security, click “Settings” next to 2-Step authentication, and then remove the computer as being trusted. Both are steps you shouldn’t have to consciously perform when you are trying to keep things extra secure.

When I searched for a reason, I found a small Google Groups thread briefly talking about the issue but unfortunately the comments were less than helpful and the thread is now closed. I’ve noticed the behavior changes based on how you initially log into GMail/Google. The sign-in page by default will have “Stay signed in” automatically checked. When this is checked, 2-Step Authentication assumes you want to trust this computer because you can’t actually “Stay signed in” on an untrusted computer. It’s still not an ideal default for the extra security minded, but if anyone was wondering why 2-Step defaults to trusting a computer, this is why. Uncheck that box before you continue and the subsequent “Don’t ask for codes again on this computer.” will be unchecked. Or just uncheck “Don’ ask for codes again on this computer.” before you continue.

Occasionally it makes sense to do some house cleaning. If you visit the 2-Step Verification section from accounts.google.com/security you can also clear out all previously trusted computers just to be sure.

After that you can put on your tin foil hat and laugh maniacally.

3 comments April 9th, 2013

Installing git on a RHEL 5 server with cPanel

This wasn’t immediately straight forward but in the end quite simple. This is particularly for a 32-bit RHEL 5 host running cPanel.

Get onto your host and either become root or use these commands with sudo:

cd /tmp
wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm
rpm -Uvh epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm
yum --disableexcludes=main install git

Add comment January 7th, 2013

Putty, Screen, Finch

I’ve recently been introduced to the program “screen”. It allows you to open mulitple terminal sessions once you are logged into a machine. It’s similar to the idea of having multiple tabs in a Firefox browser. You only need to open one xterm/putty/ssh session, run screen, and you have multiple (excuse the direct reference) screens through a single login.

Why would I want to do this? Convenience and also safeguarding.

Convenience: While working from my Windows machine I used to open multiple putty windows for multi-tasking on my server, but this now allows me to open as many command line session as I need without cluttering up Winows’s task bar. It’s also incredibly quick to have a fresh screen without even touching the mouse.

Safeguarding: Residential high-speed internet is great, but far from 100% reliable. If you loose your internet connection while working on a file or running a compile, it is a huge pain to get your sessions back up and running. If you were running your commands from within screen, all you have to do is log back in and re-connect to your screen session. All of your work is sitting there as if you never left. This also is fantastic if you have a session started from one machine and have to move to a different one and pickup where you left off. Brilliant!

I ran into a small hiccup using Finch from within a screen session. This may only apply to users running Finch within a screen session while logged into a server with PuTTy. 

Symptoms: Finch runs great before you invoke screen. The textual graphics/borders render properly. Once you run screen and launch Finch within, the graphics/borders become a bunch of annoying characters instead.

Solution: This one is done completely from PuTTy. In your running session click the upper leftPuTTy icon and select “Change settings…”. Navigate to Window -> translation and select UTF-8 from the drop down. Click Apply. Then from your screen window force a refresh/redraw by hitting Ctrl-A and the L. You should now see a properly rendered Finch.

3 comments June 13th, 2008


Calendar

April 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category