Category Archives: IT Related Stuff

Who is keeping your Android company?

Android Vulnerability, BlueFrag

Let’s start with BlueFrag

This is a critical security issue allows a malicious entity to silently log onto your phone via bluetooth . “This vulnerability can lead to theft of personal data and could potentially be used to spread malware ” (TechSecurity, 2020). This vulnerability affects Android versions 4.2, 6.0.1, 7.0 and 8.0. If you are on a version that is older than 3 years you will not receive any security patches from Google.

How to reduce the risk of a BlueFrag vulnerability on older versions .

Since there aren’t any software patches what you can do is to keep your bluetooth connection turned off when not in use and not to make your phone is not discoverable via bluetooth.

The danger of running unsupported Android OS versions is high.

The current Android version is 10 but there are a lot of phones (millions!) running older versions which are no longer supported by Android and hence not patched for vulnerabilities. I have a phone with such an older android operating system v4.2 KitKat) and I am sure it has been hacked and the apps infected by malware. It has come to my attention many apps on it have every permission under the sun and even if you force stop them, they restart on reboot. BlueFrag is just one vulnerability. There are a host of malware apps that can be downloaded from the Google’s PlayStore including ones that can steal payments information and other personal information. To my mind Google takes a flexible view on security policy when it comes to safeguarding users’ personal data. Google have only committed to 3 year support plan for each version release. So you should consider this if you are in the market for a second hand phone.

What’s to be done if you are on a older OS?

Ditch phones with older versions. Personally I wouldn’t run anything older that v6.0 (Marshmellow) which has more strict settings to what permissions an app is granted. On v6.0 apps have to be granted permissions explicitly by the user to access sub systems on your phone. Of’course this requires knowledge by the user to know which permissions to allow or deny an app when prompted.

If you have the ability you can use ADB (Android Debug Bridge ) utility to remove bloatware apps from your phone and generally manage what is on your phone, in a better way.

More is less.

Be very careful with which apps you install. Just because an app (application) is available from Google Play for download does not mean that it is secure or that it will be secure in the future. Carefully check which permissions an app is requesting and has been granted. See this in your Settings -→ Apps.

Good luck everyone – remember to think twice 🙂



GoAccess -a fab tool for quick Web Analysis on Linux

I was looking for linux Web Analysis tools and came across GoAccess. I found it’s recommended on a cybercitibiz site (Gite,2021).

On Linux Ubuntu 18.04 you can install it from the debian repository. Open Terminal and type

sudo install goaccess

This will run the install script and install goaccess on your system. To get help type

goaccess –help

To do something useful you need to point it at a web server log file. I am using a LAMP configuration for my test web server (Linux Apache MySql and PHP) . The log files here are located at /var/log/apache2/access.log where access.log is the name of the log file. If you have virtual hosts running you may have setup separate log files for each virtual host which is a good idea.

You can download remote web server log files to your local linux and view them in the goacess application.

To view the log file in goaccess run

goaccess -f/path/to/logfile/access.log

example: goaccess -f/var/log/apache2/access.log

Note: If any of your directory names contains a space or spaces enclose it in quotes or goaccess will encounter a parsing error.

The following screen should come up.

GoAccess initial selection screen- GoAccess is a light weight web traffic analysis Terminal tool for Linux

Pressing enter gives you the Analysis view shown below.

GoAccess Analysis of log file from a web server

I think it is an excellent tool for giving you some idea quickly, on what’s happening on your web site.

In my February log file snapshot, you can see that I had 3748 unique visitors and unfortunately no referrals (referrers). Referrals are when visitors come to your site through a link of your website on another site.

I think it is an really excellent tool! It’s small in size, just over 2Mb and easy on processor resources. And you don’t have to pass your or your client’s data to a third party like Google. Having mentioned Google , there is Google Analytics which is a full blown web analytics application. It is free. The down side is google have access all your web server traffic and activity.

There are Open Source Web Analytics alternatives which I am going to look into but for the moment I am happy with just GoAccess.

Sources: 7 Awesome Open Source Analytics Software For Linux and Unix – nixCraft ,

Installing Linux with Persistence on a USB stick

This was covered by myself in this previous article when I first ventured into the world of Linux and Ubuntu.

I have learned some new things now and this is a follow up to correct some inaccuracies. Firstly, you should not install Linux on any FAT file system including FAT32 as these file systems don’t work correctly with linux file permissions.

Choose a partition size greater than 6GB preferably 10GB minimum for the primary partition which will contain the linux OS files and boot loader. Create a 4GB linux-swap partition as previously. Choose the ext4 journaling file system for the primary partition.

Ubuntu 18.04 partitioned with G-Parted

During installation I made a mistake and installed the ext2 file system which is a legacy linux file system and does not support journaling. A Journaling file system verifies the state of a file during the copy/move process by keeping logs. If a power outage occurred during the file copy process the system would know about it and inform the user that the file was not transferred/saved successfully. There is no such tracking with a non journaling file system and the corrupted file would be saved as a valid entry. I will have to see if I can convert from ext2 to ext4 without having to re-install.

Ubuntu 18.04 installation ext2 primary partition

The rest of the installation procedure for a portable Ubuntu linux 18.04 is still valid.

References: LinuxFilesystemsExplained – Community Help Wiki

Share your Smartphone internet – Bluetooth

I decided to invest in a Bluetooth dongle to help me access the internet on my desktop etc via my smartphone. Why, I think is more secure in being less visible than a Wifi connection.

After having a look around I decided to go for the Plugable USB-bt4le from amazon. This is because it claimed be run on Linux. You can read the review here

And it did! However I had an issue when connecting on an unlocked smartphone that was on the Orange network. This forced me to dig into the world of Android development . It was a baptism of fire. 🙂 I spent and entire day and most of the night learning about Android’s adb (android debug bridge) and the android development environment.

Thanks to Canonical who maintain the software packages for Ubuntu, it is easy to install adb using the apt install adb command in Terminal.

Plagable bluetooth 4.0 on Ubumtu 18.04, Canonical, debian,

After digging around on the internet I found that tethering was set to use DUN and to disable this you had to run

sudo adb shell in Terminal

followed by the statement below after you enter shell in

shell@E####:/ $ settings put global tether_dun_required 0

I think removing the APN for the DUN setting from the mobile phone carrier (on the Orange network in my case) also helped as it seemed to re-enable DUN on reboot.

shell@E####:/ $ settings delete global tether_dun_apn=[ApnSettingV3]Orange Internet,,,,orange,orange,,,,,208,01,0,DUN,,,true,0,,,,,,,spn,Orange F

Then reboot.

This did not solve the tethering problem entirely although it prevented the DUN (Dail-up Network)lookup on trying to connect.

What really got it working – Solution to Bluetooth tethering the Smartphone running Android 6.0.1

On your Android Smartphone Go to Settings

Turn on Bluetooth first (ensure you also have an internet connection although this can be done later ). Then

Settings → More → Tethering and Portable Hotspot

then Enable Bluetooth tethering.

And this should work! Unfortunately it seems you have to do this each time you turn Bluetooth on.


phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 18.04

I had phpMyAdmin version 4.6 something running on php 7.2.24 on Ubuntu 18.04 linux.

I checked the version I had by running the following command in Terminal : apt show phpmyadmin

Package: phpmyadmin
Version: 4:4.6.6-5ubuntu0.5
Priority: extra
Section: universe/web
Origin: Ubuntu
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <>
Original-Maintainer: Thijs Kinkhorst <>
Installed-Size: 25.0 MB

I uninstalled the older version of phpMyAdmin via Terminal and running :

sudo apt remove phpmyadmin

These were originally installed from the Debian repository using Terminal and command line when I setup LAMP .

Do not use the autoremove command if you want the current version of php left in place. I also left the old phpMyAdmin database in place. Because I was not sure if it was needed by the new version.

My current php and phpMYAdmin versions are as shown in the image below

phpMyAdmin error - Warning in ./libraries/sql.lib.php#613

You can refer to this article here. phpMyAdmin never worked properly. When accessing tables in databases I got the following type error.

Warning in ./libraries/sql.lib.php#613

count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable etc….

After looking at various articles the best solution I think is the one I found at . See the image below.

How to get rid of phpMyAdmin error - Warning in ./libraries/sql.lib.php#613

It is simple and very effective. And exemplifies the portability of phpMyAdmin. The other methods of removing the installed version of phpMyAdmin and installing a newer version look painful and are not guaranteed as the Debian repository may not have the latest version or version compatible with your current Php version.


  • Go to the phpMyAdmin website. Download the latest version in zip format (5.0.4 at the time of writing). Copy the hash number as well. This will enable you to verify the integrity of the downloaded file.
  • Verify the hash number. To do this, open Terminal, supply the path where the zip file has been downloaded and type sha256sum . Verify the hash number is the same as that supplied by the phpMyAdmin download site. See image below.
  • Unzip the file.
  • Copy the unzipped folder and all it’s contents to your public folder. On Ubuntu 18.04 running Apache 2.4.29 this is in ‘/var/html’ . You can renamed to folder to something shorter if you like.
  • Make a copy of and rename it to
  • Edit

Make sure you have the authentication part setup correctly as follows to use a cookie and your web server is correctly specified in host.

/* Authentication type */

$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘auth_type’] = ‘cookie’;

/* Server parameters */

$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘host’] = ‘localhost’;

$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘compress’] = false;

$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘AllowNoPassword’] = false;

  • Save
  • Launch phpMyAdmin by accessing the phpMyAdmin hosted folder.
  • In my case http://localhost/phpMyAdmin5/ You should get the phpMyAdmin login screen. See image below.

All done! 🙂

Spell Check not working in LibreOffice on Ubuntu 18.04

This even though the hunspell dictionary seems to been installed in LibreOffice.

The solution is to open Terminal and

 sudo apt install hunspell-en-gb


Thanks to @timothy at for the phpMyAdmin solution.

Thanks to TrisquelUser on

for the LibreOffice Spell Checker fix.

Moving a live WordPress site to a local LAMP Server

Linux, Apache, MySql, WordPress, Web Development, Algarve, Portugal
LAMP on Ubuntu 18.04

Audience: Ubuntu Desktop and Server users. Tested on 18.04

Steps to follow to setup a local development WordPress installation.

1) Copy your entire live WordPress directory to your local LAMP server.

Do this by means of FTP using and FTP Client such as Filezilla.

This should include your wp-admin, wp-includes , wp-admin and all the files in the root directory in which these reside. This is where the wp-config.php, wp-login.php, .htaccess files etc reside.

2) On your LAMP server these should be placed in the directory. It is advisable to create a folder under the html directory where these files will go if you are hosting more than one test site. e.g var/www/html/testsite

3) Backup the MySql database related to your WordPress live site. It is easiest to do this using PHPMyAdmin provided by your control panel of your hosting site. This is the only way have done it so far. Accept defaults and export the database. You will be given the option to save the file as a *.sql file.

Ubuntu 18.04, WordPress, Stack Exchange, Ask Ubuntu, Algarve, Portugal

4) On your LAMP server create a MySql database and database user. You can use PHPMyAdmin. However I have had problems, with PHPMyAdmin throwing up errors and not importing the database correctly or granting user privileges correctly. I have had to do it via command line like this. I strongly advise this method, as command line rules. 🙂

By command line.

Log into mysql as root

Create database

mysql> create database db_name;

Import the database:

mysql> use db_name;

mysql> source backup-file.sql;

Create a user and grant privileges

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mydb.sql TO myuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY "mypassword";

5) Edit your WordPress wp-config.php ensuring that the database name, username and user password match the ones created.

6) Update your tables to ensure your links work but running the following 3 command line MySql queries on the following tables. You can do this by logging into mysql as root via command line.

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = replace(option_value, '', 'http://localhost/test-site') WHERE option_name = 'home' OR option_name = 'siteurl';

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content, '', 'http://localhost/test-site');

UPDATE wp_postmeta SET meta_value = replace(meta_value,'','http://localhost/test-site');

These queries will replace references to your live site’s URL from database with the localhost URL.

7) Lastly, an mostly importantly this pertains to the Ubuntu operating system environment. Apache here is installed differently from a native install for security reasons. In order to get your development WordPress running, you must do the following otherwise none of the symlinks ( symbolic links) to other pages on your site will work.

Note: nano is a text editor that’s pre-installed on Ubuntu

  1. In /etc/apache2/apache2.conf, edit AllowOverride None for /var/www/ to AllowOverride All
  2. To edit use

sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Press CTRL + W and search for “<Directory /var/www/>”

Change here AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All

Save file and exit. (Press CTRL + X, press Y and then press ENTER)

  1. Type in the following command to enable mod_rewrite for .htaccess

sudo a2enmod rewrite

  1. Restart your apache server:

sudo service apache2 restart

Finally make sure you have a .htaccess file in the root directory where WordPress is installed.

It should contain code similar to this:

# BEGIN WordPress

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /your_directory/

RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule . /your_directory index.php [L]


# END WordPress

That’s about it for now! Coming soon, a Control Panel App for a local LAMP install.


Credits to: (April,2020)

Credits to:, Editorial Staff at WPBeginner led by Syed Balkhi. (April,2020)

LAMP on Ubuntu 18.04

I took the leap and migrated to linux, ditching MS Windows 7 as my main operating system.

On the whole I am very pleased with Ubuntu 18.04.

I was running XAMPP on Windows 7 as test environment for hosting WordPress and PHP based applications.

So I needed to install a similar test environment on Ubuntu 18.04 desktop. In the Linux world this is LAMP. The components of LAMP are Linux, Apache Web Server, MySQL Server and PHP

Here is how to install LAMP on Ubuntu 18.04

Using command line via Terminal (press Control+Alt+T ) Terminal  Ubuntu 18.04

Install Mysql.

  • Ensure you have an internet connection then open Terminal.
  • Type sudo apt install mysql-server

Press Enter on the keyboard. This will install the Mysql Metapackage from the Debian repositories.

Test your Mysql server installation by typing mysql in the terminal window. You used be able to login with your Ubuntu user login password.

Install Apache 2

To install Apache you must install the Metapackage apache2 from the Debian repositories. This can by

  • Ensure you have an internet connection then open Terminal.
  • Type sudo apt install apache2

Install PHP

  • Ensure you have an internet connection then open Terminal.
  • sudo apt install php-pear php-fpm php-dev php-zip php-curl php-xmlrpc php-gd php-mysql php-mbstring
  • Your server should restart Apache automatically after the installation of both MySQL and PHP. If it doesn’t, execute this command.

Check Apache

You should see the following page with a message saying that it work

Apache Web Server running

Check PHP

  • You can check your PHP by executing any PHP file from within /var/www/.
  • Alternatively you can execute the following command, which will make PHP run the code without the need for creating a file . $ php -r ‘echo “Your PHP installation is working\n”;’

Pat yourself on the back and take a break. Congratulations! You have just successfully installed a LAMP server on Apache.

As a reward install and play Chromium BSU.

  • Ensure you have an internet connection then open Terminal.
  • Type sudo apt install chromium-bsu

This should download and install this excellent arcade game which you can play for 5 minutes to have a break :). I tried downloading it from the Ubuntu Snap store but it didn’t install correctly from there. Chromium B.S.U Debian, Ubuntu 18.04

Preparing LAMP to run as a local WordPress and Web Hosting Test Environment.

Ubuntu installs Apache in modules and splits the configuration files which is different from the standard install.

The Mysql server installs with the Ubuntu user as root for authentication. WordPress and other applications use native mysql authentication.

Here is how to enable native root user authentication and change the mysql root user password.

  • Stop mysql:
  • $ sudo service mysql stop
  • (Be sure to stop the current server before performing the steps. Only one server can run at a time.)
  • $ sudo mkdir /var/run/mysqld; sudo chown mysql /var/run/mysqld
  • $ sudo mysqld_safe –skip-grant-tables&
You should see sonething like this if it runs successfully

[1] 1901

*@*-desktop:~$ 2020-04-29T20:36:42.126862Z mysqld_safe Logging to syslog.

2020-04-29T20:36:42.132327Z mysqld_safe Logging to ‘/var/log/mysql/error.log’.

  • 2020-04-29T20:36:42.197722Z mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /var/lib/mysql
  • Next run $ sudo mysql --user=root mysql
  • This will log you in as the native mysql root user.

“Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.

Your MySQL connection id is 2

Server version: 5.7.29-0ubuntu0.18.04.1 (Ubuntu)..”

and you should have the mysql prompt mysql>

  • to change the root pasword run

mysql> update user set authentication_string=PASSWORD('new_password') where user='root';

You should see

Query OK, 1 row affected, 1 warning (0.03 sec)

Rows matched: 1 Changed: 1 Warnings: 1”

  • To change the authentication plugin run

mysql> UPDATE user SET plugin=’mysql_native_password’;

You should see someething like

Query OK, 4 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Rows matched: 4 Changed: 4 Warnings: 0

  • Finally


  • mysql> quit
  • stop and start the mysql server and test root login:

Stop mysql:

$ sudo service mysql stop

Start mysql (normal):

$ sudo service mysql start

Log in as root on localhost:

$ mysql -h localhost -u root -p 

That’s it for now! 

Ask Ubuntu - software installation - mysql doesn't ask for root password when installing - Ask Ubuntu

Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 18.04 | DigitalOcean ,How to Install LAMP on Ubuntu, April,2020

Ubuntu 18.04

Life after MS Windows 7

Microsoft Windows 7 ended support in January 2020. What this means to MS Windows users like myself is that your computer will be increasing at risk as it is no longer patched for security vulnerabilities by Microsoft. Ubuntu 18.04

Burying your head in the sand is not an option. However if you are using an island configuration which never has to connect to other computers or the internet you can carry on as you are.

The other two options are to upgrade to Windows 10 or move to another operating system such as Linux.

I have been looking into Ubuntu Linux from Canonical. Their latest desktop version is 18.04 which you can download here.

If you have older machines with 32 bit operating systems you will have to use another distribution of Linux , as Canonical, the owners of Ubuntu only support 64 bit cpus (central processing units) . Linux itself dropped support for 32 bit cpus in 2012.

I haven’t tested any of these as yet but here are a couple of 32 bit distributions.

Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS (aka Bionic Beaver :))

This is what I have been testing. You can download the .iso file from (link)here and create a bootable USB or DVD with it. You will also need the Rufus program to burn the .iso. Full instructions can be found here:

Why Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS?

  • The LTS (Long Term Support) for starters. This means the operating system is supported for 5 years by Canonical so you will receive security patches. 18.04 LTS will be supported for 5 years until April 2023.
  • The Snap App installer ensures you download software that has been tested and checked for malware by the developers.
  • The GNOME 3 desktop is delightful to use.

The results

I am quite impressed. It picked up and installed the drivers for my network card and wireless worked straight away so I was able to connect to the internet and print to my HP 2600 printer without having to anything.

The only major drawback was there was no storage i.e persistence.. Any programs installed and changes made were lost once you turned the computer off.

Installing Linux with Persistence on a USB stick

The Rufus v3.8 has the ability to create a bootable usb version of linux on a USB drive. See image below. However this does not work for Ubuntu 18.04.4 There is some bug that has not been fixed apparently. (Mosty, 2020).

Rufus iso bootable usb

I found this article on Foss Linux (Adel, 2019) and had a go using the Gparted application on the bootable Ubuntu USB created from the .iso image. You need another spare USB drive on which to install Ubuntu with persistence if you are booting Ubuntu from a USB drive rather than a DVD.

After using the Gparted app. to delete all partitions on the target USB, I began the installation.


I selected Normal installation and Something else as recommend by the article.

Ubuntu normal (2 Ubuntu something elseimages)

Select the drive to partition. Also make sure the correct drive is selected in “Device for boot Menu” at the correct drive, Ubuntu

I partitioned the drive with a FAT32, where the installation goes. You can give the mount point any name. This is a Primary partition. This should be a minimum size of 5.3 Gigabytes.Ubuntu FAT32

I next created a logical drive with a ext4 journaling partition (“ / ” mount point) and a swap file partition.

The swap file partition should be a minimum of 4.096 Gigabytes.logical linux swap partition

The ext4 journaling partition is what gives the installation the capability of persistence. I found you can’t see the FAT32 partition by default. successful Ubuntu installation with this configurtion

The Gparted application doesn’t seem to get installed by default when you install Ubuntu.

You can setup Live Patch to keep you secure once you boot up,

Ubuntu Live Patch

and install Apps with the Ubuntu Snap-in Application Manager.

Ubuntu Snap apps

All in all I am happy with Ubuntu 18.04 and am getting to grips with finding my way around this new operating system 🙂

Note: THe FAT32 on which the Ubuntu OS is installed is not visible with File Manager even as Administrator fat32 partition hidden on Ubuntu


H. Edel 2019,

Foss, 2020

Ubuntu Desktop , 2020

The hazard of using Web Browser Extensions

Extensions for Web Browsers FireFox

We all probably use Extensions in our web browsers without hesitation as they make our life easier.

Popular web extensions include Ad Blockers which block adverts, Video Downloaders which help us download Youtube videos and more .

There is a price to be paid for this convenience as you are literally handing over your life to some other parties. This is especially the case with using free apps out there as not every has good intentions. It is best to start from a point of mistrust until the position of an application such as an Extension or Plugin can be proved otherwise.

Let‘s look at the popular video downloader extension, Video DownloadHelper for the FireFox and Chrome web browsers.

hazard of using browser extensions

Video Downloadhelper


Besides the web browser extension, Video DownloadHelper now insists on installing an Companion Application onto your device (where device is desktop or laptop. I have never installed it on a smartphone). All this so that you can download Youtube and other video clips with a couple of mouse button clicks.

However, if you take a look at the permissions this Extension and Companion Application require to run you nay as well hand over your computing device to someone with all your passwords and data including government business and banking details. 

permissions that sign your life away



Have a look below and the permissions list and you will see that this extension with it’s Companion app can record and send your every action performed on your device to other parties.

I advice checking the permissions that Extensions and plugins require very carefully before you install them. This includes Advert blockers like AdBlock Plus.

You can get around the problem of downloading videos without signing your life away, I recommend using VLC Player which is a genuine open source project created by the good :). 

VLC Player

VLC Player


Here is a link to how to download videos using VLC Player.

Have fun browsing but remember to stay safe. Make a text file of sites and login info you needneed and then periodically clear your cookies and historic data stored in your browser.

BitCoin Wallet for Android and the Jota Text Editor


A couple of applications for the android smartphone.

BitCoin Wallet android_BitCoin_Wallet

The first application is a BitCoin wallet. This application is quite lightweight and works well on my Sony Ericsson Xperia smartphone. The system requirements don’t seem to be quite low. This is because the software does not download the full BitCoin blockchain. This makes it quicker at processing the transaction in a reasonable amount of time with limited processing power. It took under two minutes to send Bitcoins from the wallet on my PC to my wallet on my smartphone.

The software can be downloaded directly from the developer’s site as well as Google’s Play Store.

Not being a fan of Google, I prefer to download software that is available directly from the developer. Here’s the link to developer’s site:

After installing the BitCoin wallet please remember to encrypt it and PLEASE make sure you REMEMBER the password that you choose for this. As if you forget it, there is no way that you will be able to access your wallet. It is also advisable to make a copy of this encrypted file and store it elsewhere for example, your computer’s hard drive or a usb stick.

You can also see what developments are being made to the software and make your own requests too on the forum. At the moment NFC (tap to transfer type transaction) functionality has been implemented and is being tested.

jota_text_editorJota Text Editor.

My Xperia came without a decent text editor. It had one of sorts but I could never summon it at will and did want to use a google app. Anf give the corporations and GCHQ yet more material to work with. After having a look around I found Jota Text Editor which is a brilliant little text editor it’s pronounced as i-o-t-a by the way.

You can download it from here.

That about wraps it up for now.