Protect SSH services with fail2ban

If you’ll open SSH on a server to the open internet, you’ll notice a lot of bots trying to login. You certainly should setup certificate based login, but banning offending IPs is also an important security measure.

I’ve installed fail2ban on my Raspbian installations and want to explain the installation and configuration. Its quite easy and the benefits are huge!

sudo apt-get install fail2ban

Create a copy of the original configuration file so that it won’t be overwritten by any updates:

sudo cp /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

Search for a block for [default]. You should set:

bantime = 10m
findtime = 10m
maxretry = 5

These are the general settings. The settings for sshd should be a little bit stricter. Search a block for [sshd]. You should set:

enabled = true
maxretry = 3

You can enable and start fail2ban now using systemctl:

sudo systemctl enable fail2ban
sudo systemctl start fail2ban

Verify its up and running:

sudo systemctl status fail2ban.service
sudo fail2ban-client status
sudo fail2ban-client status sshd

If you end up being locked out, you can unlog an offending IP address using this command:

sudo fail2ban-client set sshd unbanip <offenders IP>

Banned connections will be dropped immediately by the firewall and should be visible with a “connection refused”.

Configure mail transport agent on Raspbian with external SMTP server

I want to get email notifications for actions on my Raspberry Pi using Raspbian. You could setup a separate mail server for that action but that seems to be a little bit overkill.

msmtp is a mail transfer agent which uses a configured smtp server for email transfer. This allows you to send emails via a configured smtp server (in my case from my webspace provider All-Inkl.com – by creating a new account using this link you’ll support the costs for running this blog).

Upgrade your raspbian:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Install msmtp:

sudo apt-get install msmtp msmtp-mta mailutils

Get the location of the configuration files:

> msmtp --version
msmtp version 1.6.6
Platform: arm-unknown-linux-gnueabihf
TLS/SSL library: GnuTLS
Authentication library: GNU SASL
Supported authentication methods:
plain scram-sha-1 external gssapi cram-md5 digest-md5 login ntlm
IDN support: enabled
NLS: enabled, LOCALEDIR is /usr/share/locale
Keyring support: none
System configuration file name: /etc/msmtprc
User configuration file name: /home/pi/.msmtprc

Copyright (C) 2016 Martin Lambers and others.
This is free software.  You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of
the GNU General Public License <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

Configure the system configuration:

sudo vi /etc/msmtprc

The content of my configuration file (note the necessary changes for servers and email addresses):

# Set default values for all following accounts.
defaults

# Use the mail submission port 587 instead of the SMTP port 25.
port 465

# Always use TLS.
tls on
tls_starttls off

# Set a list of trusted CAs for TLS. The default is to use system settings, but
# you can select your own file.
tls_trust_file /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

# If you select your own file, you should also use the tls_crl_file command to
# check for revoked certificates, but unfortunately getting revocation lists and
# keeping them up to date is not straightforward.
#tls_crl_file ~/.tls-crls

# Mail account
# TODO: Use your own mail address
account user@domain.name

# Host name of the SMTP server
# TODO: Use the host of your own mail account
host <your Username provided by KAS>.kasserver.com

# As an alternative to tls_trust_file/tls_crl_file, you can use tls_fingerprint
# to pin a single certificate. You have to update the fingerprint when the
# server certificate changes, but an attacker cannot trick you into accepting
# a fraudulent certificate. Get the fingerprint with
# $ msmtp --serverinfo --tls --tls-certcheck=off --host=smtp.freemail.example
#tls_fingerprint 00:11:22:33:44:55:66:77:88:99:AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF:00:11:22:33

# Envelope-from address
# TODO: Use your own mail address
from user@domain.name

# Authentication. The password is given using one of five methods, see below.
auth on

# TODO: Use your own user name fpr the mail account
user <The username of the email account you use for sending emails>

# Password method 1: Add the password to the system keyring, and let msmtp get
# it automatically. To set the keyring password using Gnome's libsecret:
# $ secret-tool store --label=msmtp \
#   host smtp.freemail.example \
#   service smtp \
#   user joe.smith

# Password method 2: Store the password in an encrypted file, and tell msmtp
# which command to use to decrypt it. This is usually used with GnuPG, as in
# this example. Usually gpg-agent will ask once for the decryption password.
#passwordeval gpg2 --no-tty -q -d ~/.msmtp-password.gpg

# Password method 3: Store the password directly in this file. Usually it is not
# a good idea to store passwords in plain text files. If you do it anyway, at
# least make sure that this file can only be read by yourself.
# TODO: Use the password of your own mail account
password <The password of the email account you use for sending emails>

# Password method 4: Store the password in ~/.netrc. This method is probably not
# relevant anymore.

# Password method 5: Do not specify a password. Msmtp will then prompt you for
# it. This means you need to be able to type into a terminal when msmtp runs.

# Set a default account
# TODO: Use your own mail address
account default: user@domain.name

# Map local users to mail addresses (for crontab)
aliases /etc/aliases

This file contains a username and password. Therefore limit its access to only root:

sudo chmod 600 /etc/msmtprc

Duplicate the config file to ~/.msmtprc if you want to provide email configuration for your user as well.

Now configure the recipients for your systems users by setting the recipients in /etc/aliases. Make sure, that you don’t have trailing spaces behind the email addresses:

root: user@domain.name
default: user@domain.name

Let your computer now that msmtp should be used as replacement for sendmail by adding this content to /etc/mail.rc

set sendmail="/usr/bin/msmtp -t"

Test your configuration by sending an email from the terminal:

echo "Content of your mail" | mail -s "Subject" user@domain.name

Configure Mosquitto mqtt broker user authentication in Docker running on Synology NAS

Today I’ve tried to enable user authentication for my Mosquitto mqtt broker running in a Docker container on my Synology NAS.

Here’s my shared folder for use with docker, its under /volume1/docker:

mqtt
├── data
├── log
│   └── mosquitto.log
├── mosquitto.conf
└── mosquitto.passwd

The mqtt folder needs to be accessible by the docker process running in the container, e.g. by using:

sudo chown -R 1883:1883 mqtt/

The content of my used docker-compose.yml:

version: '3'
services:
  mosquitto:
    hostname: mosquitto
    image: eclipse-mosquitto:latest
    restart: always
    volumes:
      - /volume1/docker/mqtt/mosquitto.conf:/mosquitto/config/mosquitto.conf:ro
      - /volume1/docker/mqtt/mosquitto.passwd:/mosquitto/config/mosquitto.passwd
      - /volume1/docker/mqtt/log/mosquitto.log:/mosquitto/log/mosquitto.log
      - /volume1/docker/mqtt/data:/mosquitto/data
    ports:
      - "1883:1883"

The mapped files in the volume section need to be present, otherise docker will complain during startup of the container.

Make also sure that you’re writing mosquitto with double t. I’ve forgotten this and used only one t, wondering why nothing was working the way I’ve expected it.

Here’s the content of my mosquitto.conf:

pid_file /var/run/mosquitto.pid

persistence true
persistence_location /mosquitto/data/

log_dest file /mosquitto/log/mosquitto.log
log_dest stdout

password_file /mosquitto/config/mosquitto.passwd
allow_anonymous false

You can setup the mosquitto.passwd using the docker container and/or an installation of mosquitto, so that you can use the mosquitto_passwd tool.

mosquitto_passwd -c /mosquitto/config/mosquitto.passwd <username>

It will ask you twice for the password for the username. If you want to setup additional users, you should omit the -c parameter, so that the existing file won’t be overwritten.

The “allow_anonymous false” line will disable anonymous authentication to the broker.

You can now SSH to your Synology and start the docker container using the docker-compose file:

docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml up -d

This will look for the docker-compose.yml in the current folder and will execute docker in daemon mode. It will restart automatically when your Synology is restarting (e.g. after system updates).

Howto control a Xiaomi Robot Vacuum without app using Valetudo

I’ve tinkered before with my Xiaomi Robot Vacuum but returned to the official Xiaomi app since the existing solutions felt uncomfortable. I even worked on adding Mac support for the dustcloud software but stopped using the rooted firmware.

A few days ago I’ve read about Valetudo. Valetudo is a web interface to the Xiaomi robot being self hosted on the robot. It allows easy extraction of the necessary control token and stops the robot from reporting cleaning and location data to Xiaomi. There’s also support for MQTT so that you can integrate it into existing home automation systems.

I followed the instructions on creating a rooted firmware and found a few problems and want to share my solution:

  • The firmware builder creates a firmware package along with SSH keys supplied during the build process. I could not login using those SSH keys and required the SSH key directly from the ~/.ssh folder of the user.
  • Flashing inside a VirtualBox Ubuntu VM doesn’t work, even when you use a bridged network interface. You maybe able to request the device token but the flash command always fail.
  • Flashing the robot may fail, if it isn’t completely reset to its default. You can reset the robot to factory default by pressing the home and reset button until you hear the chinese voice.
  • You should flash the robot while it is inside its charging station.
  • If you’re using a Mac, you can install python3 and the required python packages. This will allow you to flash the firmware directly from your mac.
  • Keep your machine close to the robot during the flashing process, because it might otherwise timeout.
  • Since I’m using a chinese version of the robot, I only hear the chinese voice. In this case you’ll need to convert the robot to a european version following these instructions. Once the robot is rebooted you’ll hear the english translation and can verify this from the Valetudo interface.

Now you’re ready to use Valetudo. I’ve added a link to the Valetudo homepage on my smartphone. It replaces now the Xiaomi app while it still provides access to the cleaning map, the maintenance hours for replacing parts as well as automated clean up plans. All in all its a really nice piece of software!

Monitor Fritz!Box connection statistics with Grafana, InfluxDB and Raspberry Pi

I’ve recently stumbled over an article in the german magazine C’T about visualisations of your Fritz!Box’s connection. The solution looked quite boring and outdated, since it used MRTG for the graph creation.

I’ve started searching for a better solution using Grafana, InfluxDB and my Raspberry Pi and found this great blog post. I’ve already explained how to install Grafana and InfluxDB in this post, so I’ll concentrate on the Fritz!Box related parts:

Start with the installation of fritzcollectd. It is a plugin for collectd.

sudo apt-get install -y python-pip
sudo apt-get install -y libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev
sudo pip install fritzcollectd

Now create a user account in the Fritz!Box for collectd. Go to System, Fritz!Box-user and create a new user with password, who has access from internet disabled. The important part is to enable “Fritz!Box settings”.

Additionally make sure that your Fritz!Box is configured to support connection queries using UPnP. You can configure this under “Home Network > Network > Networksettings”. Select “Allow access for applications” as well as “Statusinformation using UPnP”.

Next part is the installation and configuration of collectd:

sudo apt-get install -y collectd
sudo nano /etc/collectd/collectd.conf

Enable the python and network plugins by removing the hashtag

LoadPlugin python
[...]
LoadPlugin network

Scroll down till you’ll see the plugin configuration and configure the port and IP for collectd

<Plugin network>
    Server "127.0.0.1" "25826"
</Plugin>

Enable the python plugin and configure the module with the username and password of the user you’ve created. Make also sure to use the right address.

<Plugin python>
    Import "fritzcollectd"

    <Module fritzcollectd>
        Address "fritz.box"
        Port 49000
        User "user"
        Password "password"
        Hostname "FritzBox"
        Instance "1"
        Verbose "False"
    </Module>
</Plugin>

Since you’ve already got a running InfluxDB, you’ll just need to enable collectd as data source:

sudo nano /etc/influxdb/influxdb.conf

Search for the [collectd] part and replace it with

[[collectd]]
  enabled = true
  bind-address = "127.0.0.1:25826"
  database = "collectd"
  typesdb = "/usr/share/collectd/types.db"

Reboot collectd and influx to activate the changes made

sudo systemctl restart collectd
sudo systemctl restart influxdb

Login to your grafana installation and configure a new datasource. Make sure to set the collectd database. If you’re using credentials for the InfluxDB, you can add them now. If you’re not using authentication you can disable the “With credentials” checkbox.

Check if your configuration is working by clicking on “Save & Test”.

If everything worked, you can proceed to importing the Fritz!Box Dashboard from the Grafana.com dashboard. The ID is 713. Make sure to select the right InfluxDB during the import setup.

After clicking on import, you’ll should be able to see your new Dashboard. It might take a few minutes/hours until you’ve gathered enough data to properly display graphs.

Be aware though that if you start gathering this much data you’ll might end up with “insufficient memory” errors. You’ll might want to tweak your InfluxDB settings accordingly.