Giving Cloudbric A Try, But I Still Love Cloudflare

Going to try Cloudbric here for a while to see how exactly it compares to Cloudflare

Longren.io will be unavailable for possibly up to 48 hours. As soon as I’ve published this post, I’ll be updating my nameservers to point to Cloudbric, almost feels like cheating on Cloudflare, they’ve been very good to me.

I’ve been using Cloudflare for quite a while, nearly since it became available to the public. I love them and all the services they provide, especially with a Pro (or Enterprise) account. Cloudflare costs money though (if you want certain added protections), and many smaller websites don’t use a lot of bandwidth and aren’t provided the protections they should receive with Cloudflare.

Cloudbric aims to solve that by providing all the features Cloudflare provides (from what I’ve been told at least) for free as long as your site doesn’t use more than 4GB of bandwidth per month. I only have a few Pro sites with Cloudflare (longren.io being one of them), but am trying to cut back on the number of online services I pay for monthly, so this makes sense on a financial level if nothing else.

I’d never heard of Cloudbric until they got in touch with me via direct message on Twitter and introduced me to their services. They appear to provide everything that Cloudflare’s Enterprise service provides, glad they saw one of my tweets praising Cloudflare and decided to get in touch.

Cloudbric has been around for a while (15 years or so I believe) and I talked to one of their reps quite a bit about how what they provide is better than Cloudflare (other than the usage based cost, of course).

Here’s what he said:

1. Unlike other website protection services including Cloudflare, Cloudbric provides full-coverage website protection. Even though Web Application Firewall (WAF) and DDoS Protection features are crucial for website protection, these options cost at least $200/month from Cloudflare. Cloudflare’s free plan does not protect web application layer 3, 4, and 7, which makes it pointless.

2. Our usage-based plan, rather than options plan, allows even free users to enjoy the most comprehensive security service. There are no charges for extra add-ons or features for more security. Users can enjoy all the features for FREE up to 4GB of traffic monthly.

Here’s a handy table from the Cloudbric website showing a feature comparison with similar providers like Cloudflare, Sitelock, and Incapsula.

FEATURES Cloudbric Incapsula SiteLock Cloudflare
Advanced DDoS Protection(Layer 3, 4, 7) FREE $299 /mo Enterprise $200 /mo
PCI-Certified Web Application Firewall(WAF) FREE $59 /mo $299 /mo $20 /mo
Global Content Delivery Network FREE $19 /mo $99 /mo $20 /mo
Web Opimization FREE $19 /mo $99 /mo $200 /mo
OWASP Core Rule Set FREE $59 /mo $99 /mo $20 /mo
Reputation-based Threat Protection FREE $59 /mo $299 /mo FREE
Board Spam Protection FREE $59 /mo X X
Block Visitors by IP or country FREE $59 /mo X FREE
Login Protection FREE $59 /mo X X
SSL Support FREE $19 /mo FREE FREE

Figured I’d try it out on this site as it gets the most traffic out of my personal sites, and if everything’s cool, I’ll eventually be moving all clients over to Cloudbric. Just wish they had a way to import existing DNS records, some of my domain names have at least 50 sub-domains.

Longren.io subscribers will get this post via email, but longren.io could be down for up to 48 hours while stuff updates. I’ll update this post or maybe write a new one after I’ve used Cloudbric for a few days. You should at least check them out, especially if you’re using Cloudflare for a site that doesn’t get enough traffic to make it worth paying for.

I really don’t want to leave Cloudflare, but if Cloudbric stacks up, I’m afraid I’ll have to.

Update: After updating nameservers for longren.io to Cloudbric, an SSL issue was found. I went back to Cloudflare immediately, and within about an hour Cloudbric’s engineering team had a solution worked out. It sounds like they’ll be rolling the fix out on Monday June 29. So until then, longren.io will be on Cloudflare. I’ll post info about the issue in detail after Cloudbric has officially announced it or made the fix active.

Find Shellshock Exploit Attempts & Probes From the Command Line and Papertrail

Never hurts to make sure

I’ve written about Papertrail a few times before, I love the service and it’s just too valuable to not use.

Papertrail makes it super easy to find Shellshock exploit attempts and probes. Probes are just checking a machine to see if it’s vulnerable to Shellshock. If you’re using CloudFlare, you’ll never see any Shellshock attempts show up in your logs, CloudFlare doesn’t even let them through.

See If Shellshock Affects You

Checking to see if your system is vulnerable to Shellshock is quite easy. It takes a relatively simple bash command:

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable to shellshock' bash -c "echo All good"

Run that code in a terminal. If you see All good, you’re not vulnerable. However, if you see vulnerable to shellshock, you are potentially vulnerable.

Yahoo-WinZip-Servers-Shellshock-Bug

Shellshocker.net provides a script that will download, compile, and install the newest version of bash for you. You should only use it though if your Linux distribution hasn’t already provided updated security release packages. If you’re interested, the code that runs Shellshocker.net is available on GitHub.

Find Shellshock Attemps and Probes Via The Command Line

This is very easy as long as you know the location of your Apache access log file. It’s typically something like /var/log/apache2/access.log. Assuming that’s the location of your Apache access log file, this command will pull out all the Shellshock probes and attempts:

grep '() {' /var/log/apache2/access.log

If nothing was returned, that means nobody has been trying to exploit Shellshock on your system, or even checking to see if your system is susceptible to Shellshock. If results are returned, look them over carefully to examine where the attempts are coming from, an IP address will be associated with every attempt.

Shellshocker.net Checker

Shellshocker.net also provides a bash script to check your machines for the Shellshock vulnerability. You can download the script and run it manually from your terminal, or, if you have cURL installed, run the following command:

curl https://shellshocker.net/shellshock_test.sh | bash

Running that command will produce results similar to the screenshot seen below. It checks for a number of Shellshock related vulnerabilities.
shellshocker

Find Shellshock Attemps and Probes With Papertrail

Go to your Papertrail events tab and search for the following:
"() {"

If anything is returned, those are Shellshock probes. Some example probes are listed in the gist that’s embedded below. None of the offending IP addresses have been redacted.

These actually made it through to Papertrail, which shouldn’t happen since longren.io sits behind Cloudflare. I’ll open a support ticket with them about it and update this post later.

Send Apache Logs to Papertrail With Rsyslog

Over the last few days, I’ve been looking at Apache web server logs, a lot, mostly quick checks for Shellshock probes and exploit attempts. All on client servers, thankfully. All of the servers I operate through DigitalOcean are patched up. It just so happens that all the sites I host have their DNS hosted by Cloudflare, which has been blocking all Shellshock attempts.

A majority of my sites send their Apache logs to Papertrail. Having all my apache logs easily accessible and searchable is extremely nice. It’d make sniffing out Shellshock attempts quite simple. You can check for Shellshock attempts relatively easily from the command line, as well, something like the command below would work:

grep '() {' /var/log/apache2/access.log

1. Setup Rsyslog to Send to Papertrail

Anyway, sending Apache logs to Papertrail is pretty easy. I’m going to assume you’ve already setup rsyslog to send logs to Papertrail. If not, this post should help.

2. Add CustomLog Directive To Your VirtualHost

You just need to modify your virtualhost configuration and add a CustomLog directive. Here’s what I do to send longren.io logs to Papertrail:

CustomLog "| /usr/bin/logger -t httpd -p local1.info" "%{%b %d %X}t longren.io apache %h %l %u %t "%r"%>s %b "%{Referer}i" "%{User-agent}i""

The -t httpd piece sets the service name for Papertrail. The -p local1.info flag sets the priority. You’ll want to change the longren.io piece in the above code to whatever site you’re capturing logs for. You can also change or remove apache that immediately follows longren.io.

3. Reload Apache

After you’ve added the CustomLog directive to your virtualhost, you’ll want to reload Apache:

sudo service apache reload

That’s all there is to it. You should start seeing your Apache logs in Papertrail shortly after reloading Apache.

TinyCert: Generate SSL Certificates And Become Your Own Certificate Authority

A few days ago I moved longren.io to https. I didn’t pay for a certificate though like I would when setting up an e-commerce site or something else important.

I even get the little green lock symbol in the address bar, but I think this is mostly due to my use of Cloudflare.

TinyCert is a service I discovered that lets you be your own PKI/certificate authority. It’s entirely free and provides you with a very nice interface for managing your certificates. The image below shows the interface for managing your certificates. The list on the right is a list of certificates, as you can see I’ve got one made up for longrendev.io, but haven’t put it in place quite yet.
tinycertinterface

The support from TinyCert is very good as well, I had a few questions regarding how their certificates would work with Cloudflare and they quickly cleared my questions up. SSL Labs from Qualys gives the SSL certificate an “A” rating. Should you use certificates from TinyCert in production? Probably not. I am, however, due to my use of Cloudflare.
ssl

This post isn’t meant to show you how to install certificates or use TinyCert, it’s simply to make you aware of the tool and what can be done with it. TinyCert has a pretty extensive FAQ, so should you have questions, which I’m sure you do, head on over and start reading. If you do need help installing the certificates from TinyCert, their help center does a nice job of providing instructions for Apache and Nginx based setups.

Have fun with TinyCert, it’s a pretty awesome service that I’ll continue to use and will absolutely be donating to. But please remember, TinyCert certificates should not be used for regular public websites and the service is not a substitute for a proper certification authority, but for self-signed certificates.