Use linux boot disk to repair a Windows NTFS disk fault

Yes, you can use a Linux boot CD to repair a Windows NTFS disk fault. Linux ships with a utility called badblocks. Badblocks is a Linux command in its own right that has several different modes to be able to detect bad sectors on our hard disk. Once found, it saves the references to these bad sectors in a text file so we can tell the operating system to avoid storing data on them.

For the explanation below though, I’ll be using the fsck command. Why’s that? Well fsck is a really powerful command that actually runs those relatively complicated badblocks commands for you, checking or repairing errors in your filesystem and doing all the leg work for you.

Geek fact – fsck stands for “File System Consistency checK” which you can amaze your friends down the pub with. Or not…

Let’s open a terminal window and fire up this bad boy then. You’ll need superuser/root permission to run each of these commands so I’ll add ‘sudo’ into them all. I like to start by running the parted command to list my drives:

sudo parted /dev/sda 'print'

This should output the installed drives to the screen so you can note down which one you want to work with.

Now let’s run fsck on the disk. Please note that this can take several hours depending on the speed of your system, the size and speed of your disk. If no filesystems are specified on the command line, and the -A option is not specified, fsck will default to checking filesystems in /etc/fstab serially.

IMPORTANT – We must unmount the disk first or data corruption may happen. To do this, open a terminal window and type:

sudo umount /dev/sda1

Replace “sda1” with the disk you need to repair. Now we can run the fsck command safely against the drive:

sudo fsck -mcfv /dev/sda1

This fsck command forces automatic bad block checking and it automatically marks all known bad sectors as bad too.

The switch options I often use are:

-m  I use this for safety because if the drive is mounted you won’t be able to scan (and corrupt) it this way.

-c   Displays completion/progress bars

-f   Force a check even if it is clean

-v  Verbose, because I like to see words!

If you’re booting back into Linux, make sure that smartmontools is installed and enabled:

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

Enable “SMART” in your BIOS if it isn’t already and run an extended offline test with:

sudo smartctl --test=long /dev/sda

To see a nice overall view of system health, type:

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda

Have a look at the relevant manpages for more info:

man fsck
man smartmontools

 

In my repair shop I only use HDD Regenerator these days.  It’s a bootable software that can fix errors on all types of disk, formatted in all manner of filesystems as used by Linux, Mac, Windows and more. We have this loaded on our drive test rig and repair hard drives daily with it.

If you want to make it easy and have a USB/CD/DVD bootable tool that will work safely on all the drives it comes up against I’d suggest you look at my hdd regenerator review here or buy it direct from their website here

 


Krystal hosting review 2019 – VPS, Shared and Dedicated packages

 

Krystal are a UK-based host that offers configurable VPS, Shared and Dedicated packages. There’s not much choice in the UK hosting market so consequently there are some pretty steep prices out there compared to their USA datacentre counterparts. That said, Krystal seem to have all bases covered, let’s take a look at their offerings…

Krystal’s 2019 standard hosting features and guarantees

All Krystal plans share a common set of features, like premium control panel and a longer-than-most money-back guarantee. They have been in business since 2002 so they are here to stay and with over 90% of their customers recommending their hosting, it’s a no brainer decision.

The Krystal difference

Their CEO, Simon Blackler, gives his reasons why they are different to other hosts:

In 2002, frustrated by poor service and bad business practices, I created Krystal to provide an “Honest, Reliable & Personal” alternative to the large faceless hosting corporations. We’re named Krystal because the company embodies values often associated with precious crystals, such as quality, rarity and transparency.

Over the last 15 years our unique approach to business has won us a reputation for excellence and a loyal following.
We’re now the largest independent UK web host and are rated the best web hosting company by popular review sites.

We’re in business because we’re passionate about technology and solving problems.
I hope that you’ll join us today and experience the Krystal difference for yourself.

Well, it’s true that many hosts have poor service and some even downright shady business practices, but judging on the reviews coming back from established sites such as Trust Pilot, Krystal are a force to be reckoned with.

 

At the time of writing, Krystal offer entry-level hosting for £3.99 monthly with these features:

  • FREE 256-bit SSL certificate
  • FREE website builder
  • 100% SSD cloud hosting
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Optimised for WordPress & more

There’s a configurable VPS from £9.99 monthly with these features:

  • 100% SSD cloud VPS
  • Full root access
  • Free DDoS protection
  • Free dedicated IP
  • No setup fee

For businesses requiring PCI compliance, £29.99 monthly gets you:

  • Fully PCI-DSS Compliant
  • FREE DDoS protection
  • FREE 256-bit SSL certificate
  • FREE backups every 6 hours
  • FREE domain name for life

The big plus is that you get a 60 day money back guarantee with everything, so a full refund can be had and you lose nothing (except your time testing their servers). In our experience you’ll probably stay with them as the ping times are as good as anything we have seen on the UK market and server configuration options are up there with the best.

Verdict

What we really like is the company’s transparency. They are trying to do things differently and succeeding – a refreshing thing in the murky world of hosting. They use green technology, which means 100% renewable energy at all of their sites, which we love because reducing the impact of these datacentres is a must.

With a more-than-standard offering, Krystal have certainly raised the bar. For the price-conscious, the VPS and dedicated prices are spot-on, being considerably cheaper than the opposition such as FastHosts, Rackspace, Ionos, 123-Reg and more (comparison reviews coming soon). There’s 24/7 ticket and email support, extremely friendly telephone support (10:00 to 17:00 UK time), cPanel, free migration assistance, automated backups, PHP (5.6 to current) and all the usual stuff like MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, SSH, and even the ubiquitous Softaculous. What isn’t there to like? Click the link below to get hosting from what we believe is the best available for UK hosts:

Try Krystal free for 60 days


What is a shebang in Linux?

shebang script explained

Known as a a shebang or a bang line, this is just the characters at the very start of a Linux script. It is simply a hash or number sign followed by an exclamation point character (#!). This is then followed by the full path to the interpreter, for example /bin/bash

Think of it as a necessary code mark that tells the system the absolute path to the Bash interpreter and you’ll not have a problem.

More info on how to use and execute Linux scripts here


Four ways to execute a shell script

shebang script explainedIf you need to execute a shell script and can’t get your head around the conflicting information out there, I’ll try to clear things up. There are quite a few ways to execute a shell script and each has its pros and cons. If you are coming from a Windows environment where the file extension dictates how we handle the file, then try not to think like this. A script can have no extension but still be run. So, let’s take a look at our four ways to execute a shell script.

 

Execute shell script by calling the filename (Method 1)

This method simply changes into the script’s containing directory and calls the script’s file name to execute it.

We can change into the directory first

$ cd /usr/bin

 

and then call the script thus:

$ ./myscript

 

Now, my preferred method is to consolidate these 2 lines into 1 , calling it from any directory by simply adding the full path to the file:

$ /usr/bin/myscript

 

If you have the shebang at the start of this script, then it will be executed by using the command interpreter that is specified directly after it.

Execute shell script by specifying an interpreter (Method 2)

You can also run a shell script by specifying the interpreter. You do this by adding the preferred interpreter within the command thus:

Execute the script using the bash interpreter

$ bash myscript

 

Execute the script using the sh interpreter

$ sh myscript

 

There are usually several interpreters available such as bash, sh,  csh, ksh and more.  Note that if you use a different interpreter in the shebang, this will be overridden by the one you specify.

Execute shell script with . ./ (Method 3)

If you execute the shell script by using . ./ (aka ‘dot space dot slash’), it will not fork a sub shell and you’ll see it executed in the current shell.

$ . ./myscript

 

Why do this? Well it’s normally used after we have changed something in the .bashrc or .bash_profile. Using this method of execution we won’t need to logout and login again.

$ cd ~

$ . ./.bashrc

$ . ./.bash_profile

Execute shell script with source command (Method 4)

source is a bash shell built-in command that executes the contents of the file, which is passed as argument, in the current shell. It has a synonym that you can use which is the dot or period (.)

This can replace the ‘dot space dot slash’ method.

source myscript [arguments]

. myscript [arguments]

 

A word of warning here though because ./ and source are not quite the same.

./myscript runs myscript as an executable file in a new shell
source myscript reads and executes commands in the current shell environment

To help further, ./myscript is not the same as . myscript, but . myscript is exactly the same as source myscript

 

Do you have a preferred method for executing shell scripts and if so, why? Let me know below.


Install mod_GeoIP2 on Apache2 in CentOS 7

geoip-centos

If you need to install the excellent mod_geoip2 extension for Apache2 then it can be done fairly painlessly. First off, we need to make sure that we have gcc installed:

gcc --version

 

If you don’t have it then you could ‘yum install gcc’, but I prefer to install all development tools because they include gcc anyway:

yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

 

Install the GeoIP development package

yum install geoip-devel

 

Install mod_geoip2 by fetching the latest version with wget. To check the latest version, take a look here first:

https://github.com/maxmind/geoip-api-mod_geoip2/releases

 

I’m installing 1.2.10 here with this, but replace the code in lines 1, 2 and 3 here with their latest version:

 wget https://github.com/maxmind/geoip-api-mod_geoip2/archive/1.2.10.tar.gz
 tar -zxvf 1.2.10.tar.gz
 cd geoip-api-mod_geoip2-1.2.10

 

Now we use the apxs (Apache Extension Tool) to build our extension modules for Apache:

apxs -i -a -L/usr/local/lib -I/usr/local/include -lGeoIP -c mod_geoip.c

 

If you haven’t got apxs then you’ll need to install httpd-devel.

Be aware that this overwrites httpd so backup your server in case this fails or you get strange results.

yum install httpd-devel

 

If this fails with “Error: Nothing to do”, then it’s fairly common. You’ll probably find that /etc/yum.conf is blocking the installation. We can get around this by either editing the configuration file or typing:

yum --disableexcludes=all install httpd-devel

 

You should now have mod_geoip2 installed on your server!


Who or what is [email protected]?

 

root notty whm ssh hackedIf you’re looking through WHM’s process manager and you see [email protected] mentioned as one of the processes, don’t be alarmed. It’s perfectly normal and it’s definitely not some hacker called ‘Notty’ who has suddenly got root permissions. Be honest, you’re here because you thought that 😉

You may also have seen sshd: [email protected] in the output of ps aux too.

Why notty?

The term ‘notty’ just represents ‘no tty’ which roughly translates as meaning ‘no terminal’. When you login locally to any Linux machine the terminal will always appear in the process list as ‘tty’. If a connection is made via SFTP or you are copying files with SCP (as I did here on a test server prior to bringing up the screenshot above) then it will show as no tty (notty).

Where does TTY come from?

Many years ago, user terminals that were connected to computers were clunky and noisy Electro-mechanical Teleprinters also known as Teletypewriters. They took the latter phrase and chopped some characters out to get the TTY abbreviation:

TeleTYpewriter = TTY

Since then, TTY has been used as the shortened name for a text-only console. Here’s a teletypewriter in action:

 

 

Now you can’t say that things haven’t progressed!

 

 


Country codes for mod_security, CSF and htaccess

Her’s a list of useful country codes that we can use in many rule-based filtering situations on servers.

AD Andorra
AE United Arab Emirates
AF Afghanistan
AG Antigua and Barbuda
AI Anguilla
AL Albania
AM Armenia
AN Netherlands Antilles
AO Angola
AQ Antarctica
AR Argentina
AS American Samoa
AT Austria
AU Australia
AW Aruba
AZ Azerbaijan
BA Bosnia and Herzegovina
BB Barbados
BD Bangladesh
BE Belgium
BF Burkina Faso
BG Bulgaria
BH Bahrain
BI Burundi
BJ Benin
BM Bermuda
BN Brunei Darussalam
BO Bolivia
BR Brazil
BS Bahamas
BT Bhutan
BV Bouvet Island
BW Botswana
BY Belarus
BZ Belize
CA Canada
CC Cocos (Keeling) Islands
CF Central African Republic
CG Congo
CH Switzerland
CI Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
CK Cook Islands
CL Chile
CM Cameroon
CN China
CO Colombia
CR Costa Rica
CS Czechoslovakia (former Republic)
CU Cuba
CV Cape Verde
CX Christmas Island
CY Cyprus
CZ Czech Republic
DE Germany
DJ Djibouti
DK Denmark
DM Dominica
DO Dominican Republic
DZ Algeria
EC Ecuador
EE Estonia
EG Egypt
EH Western Sahara
ER Eritrea
ES Spain
ET Ethiopia
FI Finland
FJ Fiji
FK Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
FM Micronesia
FO Faroe Islands
FR France
FX France, Metropolitan
GA Gabon
GB Great Britain (UK)
GD Grenada
GE Georgia
GF French Guiana
GH Ghana
GI Gibraltar
GL Greenland
GM Gambia
GN Guinea
GP Guadeloupe
GQ Equatorial Guinea
GR Greece
GS S. Georgia and S. Sandwich Isls.
GT Guatemala
GU Guam
GW Guinea-Bissau
GY Guyana
HK Hong Kong
HM Heard and McDonald Islands
HN Honduras
HR Croatia (Hrvatska)
HT Haiti
HU Hungary
ID Indonesia
IE Ireland
IL Israel
IN India
IO British Indian Ocean Territory
IQ Iraq
IR Iran
IS Iceland
IT Italy
JM Jamaica
JO Jordan
JP Japan
KE Kenya
KG Kyrgyzstan
KH Cambodia
KI Kiribati
KM Comoros
KN Saint Kitts and Nevis
KP Korea (North)
KR Korea (South)
KW Kuwait
KY Cayman Islands
KZ Kazakhstan
LA Laos
LB Lebanon
LC Saint Lucia
LI Liechtenstein
LK Sri Lanka
LR Liberia
LS Lesotho
LT Lithuania
LU Luxembourg
LV Latvia
LY Libya
MA Morocco
MC Monaco
MD Moldova
MG Madagascar
MH Marshall Islands
MK Macedonia
ML Mali
MM Myanmar
MN Mongolia
MO Macau
MP Northern Mariana Islands
MQ Martinique
MR Mauritania
MS Montserrat
MT Malta
MU Mauritius
MV Maldives
MW Malawi
MX Mexico
MY Malaysia
MZ Mozambique
NA Namibia
NC New Caledonia
NE Niger
NF Norfolk Island
NG Nigeria
NI Nicaragua
NL Netherlands
NO Norway
NP Nepal
NR Nauru
NT Neutral Zone
NU Niue
NZ New Zealand (Aotearoa)
OM Oman
PA Panama
PE Peru
PF French Polynesia
PG Papua New Guinea
PH Philippines
PK Pakistan
PL Poland
PM St. Pierre and Miquelon
PN Pitcairn
PR Puerto Rico
PT Portugal
PW Palau
PY Paraguay
QA Qatar
RE Reunion
RO Romania
RU Russian Federation
RW Rwanda
SA Saudi Arabia
Sb Solomon Islands
SC Seychelles
SD Sudan
SE Sweden
SG Singapore
SH St. Helena
SI Slovenia
SJ Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
SK Slovak Republic
SL Sierra Leone
SM San Marino
SN Senegal
SO Somalia
SR Suriname
ST Sao Tome and Principe
SU USSR (former)
SV El Salvador
SY Syria
SZ Swaziland
TC Turks and Caicos Islands
TD Chad
TF French Southern Territories
TG Togo
TH Thailand
TJ Tajikistan
TK Tokelau
TM Turkmenistan
TN Tunisia
TO Tonga
TP East Timor
TR Turkey
TT Trinidad and Tobago
TV Tuvalu
TW Taiwan
TZ Tanzania
UA Ukraine
UG Uganda
UK United Kingdom
UM US Minor Outlying Islands
US United States
UY Uruguay
UZ Uzbekistan
VA Vatican City State (Holy See)
VC Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
VE Venezuela
VG Virgin Islands (British)
VI Virgin Islands (U.S.)
VN Viet Nam
VU Vanuatu
WF Wallis and Futuna Islands
WS Samoa
YE Yemen
YT Mayotte
YU Yugoslavia
ZA South Africa
ZM Zambia
ZR Zaire
ZW Zimbabwe

A few lesser-used ones below, but for completeness here they are:

ARPA Arpanet
COM US Commercial
EDU US Educational
GOV US Government
INT International
MIL US Military
NATO Nato field
NET Network
ORG Non-Profit Organization


Scan a Linux server for viruses and malware

linux server virus scan

 

This article tries to explain, using my own experience of server management, how to scan a Linux server for viruses and malware.

 

You are probably here because you have something on your server already, very often pushing out spam emails to people via php files. Or maybe you have fallen victim to the Hacking Holy Grail – the attacker now has root access to your server. Let’s stop that now, eh?

This tutorial has screenshots from a CentOS server and this is what I used to create this guide. Your server may well be different but the principles I use are the same, you may have some detail changes to make regarding file paths. If you don’t understand anything drop me a comment or use a search engine to find your answer quickly.

Let’s start by running a virus scan with ClamAV, a free and useful antivirus. Presuming that it is not installed we would need to do this (skip to your OS below or jump to updating definitions if it is already installed):

Installing ClamAV on CentOS 5

Install EPEL5 https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL/FAQ#howtouse

rpm -Uvh https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm

Now we can install ClamAV using the yum package manager

yum install clamav-db clamav clamd

Now turn on and start the clamd daemon

chkconfig clamd on
/etc/init.d/clamd start

Installing ClamAV on CentOS 6

Install EPEL6 https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL/FAQ#howtouse

rpm -Uvh https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

Install ClamAV using the yum package manager

yum install clamav-db clamav clamd

Now turn on and start the clamd daemon

chkconfig clamd on
service clamd start

Installing ClamAV on Ubuntu/Debian/Mint

Install ClamAV using the apt-get package manager

apt-get install clamav clamav-daemon clamav-freshclam

The latest installer automatically creates default configuration files and launches the freshclam and clamd daemons. You don’t have to do anything else here which is a nice touch.

Righto, now let’s update the virus definitions…

Updating ClamAV virus definitions

For the sake of brevity, I’m presuming CentOS 6 from now on but it will be the same or similar for most Linux derivatives.

In /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/ we can run this to get the latest definitions:

/usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/freshclam

And now we can do a full scan with a full report sent to a log file of our choice:

/usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/clamscan -ri -l /path/to/log.file -r /path/to/be/scannned

For example:

/usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/clamscan -ri -l ~pcrepairman/scan.log /home/*/public_html

Note: The tilde character denotes the home directory for that user and the wildcard (asterisk) denotes all users in the home directory. If you want to scan a single user’s home directory then simply put their name where the wildcard is.

In the files above we use some switches.

  • -r means that we recurse the subdirectories
  • –i means Clamscan will only list infected files (chained together with recurse above we get -ri)
  • -l means that Clamscan will log to the path you choose after it

For more help, run /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/clamscan –help

Now it’s coffee time as your server is scanned over by ClamAV using the latest definitions. When it is finished you will see your bash prompt again. Ideally, you see that Clam reports no infections like this:

Clamscan linux server

While it’s running, try to have a look online for what may have caused the infection and see if it ties up with your Clam results. Very often we see that WordPress plugins have caused the issue. Why them? Well, think about it:

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System out there

  1. It’s used worldwide
  2. It’s often installed at the click of a button using tools such as Softaculous, so it’s dead easy to install
  3. It’s free, ‘Open Source’ software so attackers know the code inside out (well GNU GPL actually)
  4. There are a huge amount of free plugins available from developers around the world, many who have a less-than-basic grasp of how to code securely. Even the good ones get caught out!

Now my third point above is not really fair. It kind of insinuates that Open Source software is more unreliable in the security stakes. Quite the opposite in fact, vulnerabilities get plugged very quickly if there is an active community of developers. However, the sheer ubiquity of WordPress leads to it being a target in much the same way that Microsoft Windows is. The gains for an attack on WordPress are much more than one for Drupal (for example) purely because of the user base.

Even if a vulnerability is plugged with an update pretty fast, it still relies on the user being aware of the problem, downloading the update and applying it BEFORE someone exploits it.  To this end, a daily Clam scan is not a bad idea unless your server has lots of files on it or not many resources available to run the scan in a timely fashion.

Moving on from this virus scan, I would suggest that we look at what email your server is sending out. I detail it in this article here:

Find what emails are being sent from a Linux server

 


Find what emails are being sent from a Linux server

find-emails-sent-from-linux-serverIn this series of articles I am trying to help server admins and owners of VPS or Dedicated servers to find viruses or malware on their servers. Part of the diagnosis of your system is to see what emails are being sent out and from which accounts. Since spammers like to use compromised servers, I believe that it makes sense to check regularly that the emails being sent out roughly match what you would expect to see.

I have servers that I host client websites on. If a client who usually sends out 20 emails a month suddenly sends out 500 then this is cause for concern and I would immediately investigate the server for malware.

On linux systems, Exim (the mail transfer agent) already logs the working directory of messages sent to the queue by a script. Here’s an example of what you would expect to see in an exim_mainlog file:

2015-08-10 13:52:28 cwd=/home/harveywx/public_html 3 args: /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i
2015-08-10 13:52:28 1ZOmZ2-0004XN-GK <= [email protected] U=fredbloggs P=local S=133267 [email protected] T="Site Database Backup Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 1:52 pm" for [email protected]
2015-08-10 13:52:28 cwd=/var/spool/exim 3 args: /usr/sbin/exim -Mc 1ZEmZ2-0004XE-EK
2015-08-10 13:52:29 1ZEmZ2-0004XE-EK SMTP connection outbound 123459211149 1ZEmZ2-0004XE-GE fredbloggs.co.uk [email protected]

Note: I like to use Notepad++ to analyze these large text files within Windows as other editors aren’t quite up to the task.

So it looks like there’s some function of the ‘fredbloggs’ website that auto-backs up the database, then sends a related email notice to whatever email address the webmaster provides, in this case, [email protected] The working directory for the generation of that message was “/home/fredbloggs/public_html”. Nothing suspicious here as we have an auto-backup program installed on this WordPress-powered website. Nothing to see here, move along please…

Here’s another example:

2015-08-03 12:00:15 cwd=/home/janedoe/public_html/wp-admin 3 args: /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i
2015-08-03 12:00:15 1ZQDTb-0005QW-5k <= [email protected] U=janedoe P=local S=989 [email protected] T="[https://janedoe.co.uk] WordPress Login Address Changed" for [email protected]

Again, possibly normal but I’d raise the question whether Jane changed her email address on WordPress. If not, this is cause for concern.  It’s a kind of detective work where you need to step back and look at all of the evidence to compile a big picture.

So, let’s run this beauty of a command against the exim_mainlog to give us an idea from which working directories our server gets messages sent to the mail queue:

zgrep "cwd=" /var/log/exim_mainlog*|awk '{print $3}'|sort|uniq -c|sort -n|sed 's/cwd=//g'

The exim_mainlog records the arrival and delivery of all emails. It explains where the mail came from, to which address it was delivered, the hostname of the server and more. Additional details can be added to this log file by using extended logging in exim. Your output would be something like this on most systems:

8 /home/janedoe/public_html/wp-content/plugins/cforms

So within the last 30 days, the /cforms directory has sent 8 messages to the queue. Cforms is a defunct WordPress plugin and now, as such, unsupported by the developer against exploits. Would you expect that Jane’s website should do that? A result like this isn’t necessarily suspicious as this is normal contact form use. Something like this, however, would be VERY suspicious:

815 /home/janedoe/public_html/images

I can’t think of a valid reason why an ‘images’ directory should be sending mail, so alarm bells would trigger and that’s definitely something I would look into further.

So, presuming we saw strange usage numbers or a bizarre path, let’s dig even deeper and look at what the Subject of Jane’s emails actually were, as this gives us an indication of spam activity. Change directory into /var/log

cd /var/log

Now run this:

zgrep -A 1 "/home/jane" exim_mainlog* |grep T= |awk -F T= '{print $2}' |sort | uniq -c |sort -n |awk -F " for " '{print $1}'

Nice, it returns a list like this which tells us all we want to know:

1 "Akismet: Spam - Jane Doe Books Contact Form: Pay only when you get results"
1 "Jane Doe Books Contact Form: Help with my book club "
1 "Site Database Backup Friday, July 17th, 2015 at 10:02 am"
1 "Site Database Backup Friday, July 27th, 2015 at 1:02 pm"
1 "Site Database Backup Friday, July 31st, 2015 at 10:36 pm"
1 "[Jane Doe Books] Your site has updated to WordPress 4.2.3"
1 "[Jane Doe Books] Your site has updated to WordPress 4.2.4"

Again, no cause for concern and the only spammy one there would be the first one, already marked as such by Akismet.

If you have lots of adverts for cheap meds or blue pills in there then you need to find the offending code that’s pushing spam through your email system. Start with a virus scan on your Linux server

Hope this helps and feel free to drop me a comment below.

 


Setting up shared folders in virtual box

Here’s how to setup shared folders on a VirtualBox installation. I’ll take it one step further and map it to a drive that reconnects on logon, forcing it to be a persistent share.

First, setup guest additions with “Devices”, “Install guest additions”

Now share a folder on your host PC or Mac. Do this by creating a folder anywhere you like (let’s call it “vbshared”) and giving it at least read permissions. Read/write is fine too.
On Windows boxes, make sure that everyone has access, this can be locked down later if required.

Now we go back to VirtualBox and do “Devices”, “Shared folders” and under machine folders we add the one we just setup (vbshared). Tick “Make permanent” and OK both windows.

Now we’re going to restart the host PC, restart the VirtualBox (don’t just fire up a snapshot) and if the image is a Windows one, open up Explorer. In the address bar at the top, type in:

\\VBOXSVR\vbshared

Press enter and you should see it pop up. Now we can map it to a drive by “Tools”, “Map network drive”, select a drive (eg z:) and retype the \\VBOXSVR\vbshared
Tick “Reconnect at logon” and there you have it, a working shared folder that maps to a drive and reconnects at logon!

For Linux machines, reinstalling Guest Additions often makes the share work afterwards.