DNS trouble shooting for beginners

Introduction DNS generally just works (at least as far as you’re concerned), which is good as the internet would be far less fun without it. However this does mean that many people don’t really know how to tell if a problem is a DNS error or something else – this makes life difficult for support desks and even worse causes work for DNS admins. It needn’t be so! Telling if something is a DNS issue is actually quite simple, and trouble shooting it isn’t much more difficult. To start with there are really only a very few ways that DNS can go wrong ( from a user perspective – from an admin perspective DNS can go wrong in many and varied ways ). Not responding at all Returning the wrong data Not returning a record when it should That from an end users point of view are really the only… Continue reading

WD MyBrick

These instructions were put together by Ouglee over on the WD forums. This copy is mainly just to make my life easier in case things go astray. If only because when hacking My Cloud I’ve needed these a few times. If you think you have bricked your WD My Cloud or are getting a lot of errors, Do not turn it off a lot of the time running processes will be fine so you should be able to copy all your data off first. Once you’ve power cycled it if it doesn’t come back retrieving all that data is far more hassle. Also there were some differences in what I saw and did which I’ll note here. When running gparted make a note of the end of your data partition as it saves time later on In step 16 I was asked for an “end” as well as a start.… Continue reading

Hacking “My Cloud”

N.B. Doing any of the things in this document will void your warranty and may turn your cloud into a brick. That said the WD My Cloud box is quite a handy little device and as it’s running Debian Wheezy you can do quite a lot of fun stuff with it. How much you want and can do will obviously depend on what you’re using it for, but keep an eye on load and it’s really quite capable. Back everything up! Frequently! Seriously, I mean it make back ups of all the system files before you start doing anything and make backups after each change. The My Cloud device doesn’t have convenient console access so it’s not too hard to lock yourself out. Though the reset/restore function is actually very forgiving and mainly just loses changes to the /etc/password file. I also suggest putting as many of the files (especially… Continue reading

Shell access via PDNS LUA

I’ve been spending a bit of time playing with the LUA functionality of Power DNS, it was inevitable that I got round to implementing a generic shell over DNS. It’s not very polished it doesn’t like interactive commands or commands with odd characters and it is more insecure than a very insecure thing that isn’t very safe. It is however a surprisingly short amount of code for what it does. There are a very few circumstances I can think of where a very restricted version of this might be useful, but really there’s always going to be a better and more sensible option. However it’s an interesting proof of concept and more importantly it was fun. If you don’t understand this code do not use it , if you do understand this code you know why you don’t want to use it. The code as shown below won’t actually work… Continue reading