Category Archives: Security

ProXPN OpenVPN Addresses

I’m a ProXPN user but found it difficult to determine what the OpenVPN hostnames/IP addresses I should use for the various locations across the world. Thankfully their quick support enumerated them:


Perhaps that’ll help others.

Server Backup with Spider Oak

I’m a SpiderOak fan. It’s secure, easy and well documented. Some really good traits. Their support is fantastic too.

After using it on my Laptop, I thought I’d start using it for my Debian server’s backup. It makes sense to use something that bundles encryption and zero-knowledge to satisfy offsite backup.

The same client you would use on your Linux desktop can be used in headless or batch modes. Combined with the --backup command, you can target your essential backup areas quickly and easy.

Assuming you have signed up (you get 3GBs free with this referral link), all you need to do is follow these easy steps.

Step 1 – Get SpiderOak on your sever

Extract it to a place of your choosing and cd there (for argument’s sake, we’ll call this extraction directory $SO_HOME).

Step 2 – Copy the shared libraries
SpiderOak’s client will expect shared libraries to be available on your system. These are bundled in the .tar.gz you’ve downloaded. Copy these to your /usr/lib/ to make life easy.

cp $SO_HOME/usr/lib/SpiderOak /usr/lib/ -R

Step 3 – Initialise SpiderOak
You need to give SpiderOak a username and password and then let it add the server as a new device. You can do this by executing the following command and completing the prompts:
SpiderOak --setup=-

Step 4 – test the client works
Running a simple $SO_HOME/usr/bin/SpiderOak --help should show no errors and present you with the help message.

Step 5 – run a backup
Now all you’ll have to do is execute SpiderOak with a backup target and let it run!

SpiderOak --batchmode --backup=/home


Drive Encryption for the Layman

I had the need to consider encryption of a flash drive for various reasons. Hell, you could justify it under “don’t be stupid” if you’d like. Having not really ventured into this arena before, I thought I’d write down the step-by-step-guide for anyone who just wants security without thinking about it.

The steps
Optional step 2 will explain all that’s required in detail but the following gives the TLDR version.

  1. Download and install TrueCrypt
  2. Optionally read the Tutorial
  3. mount/insert flash device
  4. start TrueCrypt
  5. click “Create Volume”
  6. pick the location you want on your flash drive
  7. select “Serpent-Twofish-AES” if you’re just encrypting documents etc; larger file volumes than this would be slow
  8. select the maximum size that you’d like the volume to take. This should be based on your expected usage. 5GB should suffice for hundreds of word documents
  9. enter a good password e.g. lk#J4z._1Q41-lN$1″H6c!O
  10. click “finish”

Now you’ve got a “container” that’ll be heavily encrypted. What you’ll need now is to tell TrueCrypt to “mount” it.

Mounting your new volume

  1. Open TrueCrypt
  2. click “Select File” & navigate to your previously created container on your flash device
  3. click “mount”
  4. enter the password

Now you’ll have a mounted volume assigned to a “drive” letter e.g. “K”. Stick your files in here and they’ll be included in the volume for encryption.

When you’re ready to remove the device make sure you “dismount” in TrueCrypt!

Enjoy ;)