That's right, it's only eight weeks away. And it's in Atlanta, so it'll be very, very easy to get to. Not only do you get over 50 sessions for $50 (yeah, $50....not. a. typo) but you will get to see, in person, two of the best presenters IBM have (not to mention an OGS guest speaker who I can't name right now, but who knock your socks off).

Richard has already mentioned he OGS IBM speakers, we've all seen Kramer (not to disrespect Kramer though), but the one of the two speakers I'm excited to see is Mr Phil Gilbert. He's the head of IBM Design (I know, IBM have design now....who'd have thought that a few years ago, right?). While I've never seen him present yet, everyone I know who has raves about it for days afterwards.

The other is Louis Richardson, and if his session is on the same time as mine, I may have to cancel my session and go to his. Seriously. I have a massive presenters crush on Louis (don't judge, I'm hoping SCOTUS will legalize this soon too), and while I do not know what his session is, I would literally go and watch Louis present on the advantages of IBM's certification program or on rules of cricket.....for those now wondering, start here (sorry I couldn't find reasonable links in the advantages of being certified).

In other possible, my happen, Magic 8 balls says "not in all likelihood", there may or may not be a This Week In Lotus recorded during the event. A whole lot of stars have to align for this to happen and I'm not sure I need the kind of anger and attack IBM like to level at people who differ in opinion to them. Still, it's not like that has ever stopped me in the past right? ;)

Finally, and I know I've said this before, but I'm still kicking about doing a "World According to Darren - part 2". I've got a few ideas and if I can string together enough irritating things it may make the light of day possibly on Friday of the MWLUG session week.

And finally,, really finally this time, this is your opportunity to come thank and buy a drink for none other than THE Susan Bulloch (she's actually presenting, so if you get a change go see her). There is a good chance that if you've ever had a C&S related PMR in the last *cough* number of years, then Susan most likely had a hand in getting it fixed.

So after all of that, what are you waiting for? Go register (places are going fast) over at the MWLUG site for the event that takes place on August 19th to the 21st at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta.
Darren Duke   |   June 29 2015 07:50:17 AM   |    mwlug    |   Comments [1]

I'd forgot about the LastPass hack until I read Mitch's post this morning. I also had this appear in my Twitter stream the other day:

I didn't give it much though. I use a password manager but it ain't the famous ones. I don't like the idea of someone else storing my list of God-like credentials. OK, I use two services like OneDrive and Google Drive but I'll get to why I don't have an issue with that until later....

I use the open source KeePass project.

Image:I don’t use LastPass, I use the open source KeePass for password creation and management

What is KeePass?
Today you need to remember many passwords. You need a password for the Windows network logon, your e-mail account, your website's FTP password, online passwords (like website member account), etc. etc. etc. The list is endless. Also, you should use different passwords for each account. Because if you use only one password everywhere and someone gets this password you have a problem... A serious problem. The thief would have access to your e-mail account, website, etc. Unimaginable.

KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish). For more information, see the features page.

Is it really free?

Yes, KeePass is really free, and more than that: it is open source (OSI certified). You can have a look at its full source and check whether the encryption algorithms are implemented correctly.

What I like about KeePass is that I get to decide where my database file of password is stored. Said database is encrypted with 256 bit  AES and mine is stored in a file sync service like Google Drive (as the KeyPass database is already encrypted with my chosen key I have no issues storing it in a file sync service). Additionally, KeePass allows two form factor to be enabled, so I also have my KeePass setup to require a  key file that is required in addition to my password and that is shared with my PC's via another different file sync service (say MS One Drive). Yes I could keep in on some other form factor like a USB thumb drive, but that is a tad unwieldy for me. Anyway whenever I need to start KeePass or unlock it, I need both:

Image:I don’t use LastPass, I use the open source KeePass for password creation and management

Other things I like is integration (via plugins, and there a lot of plugins) to Firefox and Chrome, personally for Firefox I use PassIFox (which also requires KeyPassHttp):

Image:I don’t use LastPass, I use the open source KeePass for password creation and management

It also has a great password generator built right in:

Image:I don’t use LastPass, I use the open source KeePass for password creation and management

Which will create a password like this example:

Image:I don’t use LastPass, I use the open source KeePass for password creation and management

How guessable is that? Yeah, I know right....I also use the maximum number of characters a web site allows for passwords, so if a site is limited to 24 characters that's what I use. That alone is great for your security. For example using A-Z and a-z is 52 characters in total. A 24 character password is therefore 52^24. That's a big, big number (1111010^2 I think, but don't quote me on that), then add in numbers, special symbols and spaces (if the website allows it) and you have a pretty awesome password generated for you,

So what is the down side? Yeah, there's always a down side and that is mobile. Now there are iOS and Android implementations of KeePass and I use the iOS one on occasion but it's read only (you can't create password entries on the device) and it's not a simple matter to type (my admittedly complex) password on a small phone keyboard. Still it works but it's not too suave and sexy. Again I use the file sync iOS app to sync the KeePass database to the device.

So there you have it. If your looking for a pretty good (actually I'd say great) password manager and creation tool and you want complete control of your password database give KeePass a try. I love it (and it's probable that this was one of my TWiL tips back in the day, that's how long I've been using this).

Darren Duke   |   June 17 2015 08:06:20 AM   |    misc    |   Comments [2]

Another week, another SSL/TLS security vulnerability. This one is termed Logjam (read about it here

Luckily a site has already been created to test your web servers, it is available at

A quick test of a Domino 9.0.1 server with the latest FP & IF and the perfect forward secrecy server-side notes.ini settings enabled (see this previous blog post for those settings) you get this result:

Image:Good news - Domino (at least 9.0.1) does not seem to be affected by the LogJam TLS vuln

Using my free Apache reverse proxy you'll get this (which is slightly better as Domino doesn't support ECDHE):

Image:Good news - Domino (at least 9.0.1) does not seem to be affected by the LogJam TLS vuln

Either way, using the latest version of Domino with the right cipher list you should be OK. Again I ask.....when will Domino get ECDHE? I don't think this a "nice to have" any longer.
Darren Duke   |   May 20 2015 02:06:44 PM   |     |   Comments [1]

I swear I voted for somewhere other than, really I did.

Anyway, even though it is technically called the Midwest User Group anyone can (and should) attend. So if you are in the Southeast you have no rational reason to not attend.

If you use any of the IBM collaboration technologies this a conference you should have on your schedule. "But Darren, I can't get $1,500 approved to attend a conference". That's fine. It's only $50. Yes Fifty. I didn't miss off a zero. So now what's your excuse? Unless they are sold out when you register you really don't have one (oh, and they do dell out, so register now). The conference is at the magnificent Ritz Carlton in downtown Atlanta and there is even a special hotel rate for MWLUG attendee so you even get this for a relative steal too.

If you read this far, you need to attend. Here's the link:

(Oh, and hopefully Promnic will bring some of Catherine's cookies....that's reason enough to attend right there).
Darren Duke   |   May 7 2015 11:12:34 AM   |    mwlug    |   Comments [6]

A few years ago I wrote about how to subscribe to the daily IBM product update newsletter. A few days ago some one asked me if I still used this service. I thought I did, but on recollection I hadn't gotten an email from them in ages (or "yonks" for a more technical definition). At first I thought it was getting stuck in spam.....nope. Hummm. OK Let me log in a see....

I had no subscriptions listed. None. Nada. Ziltch. WTF?

So I started adding in my subscriptions again and realized that when IBM rename a product (Lotus Domino becomes IBM Domino) then it drops off the subscription list. Blahhhh! Now, with any normal company this would be a once in a blue moon occurrence, but with IBM, like an old lady with a HSN addiction, they can't seem to refrain from buying into the hype and pulling the trigger.
Voila, list rebuilt:

Image:Do you subscribe to the IBM daily product update newletter? Part deux - or why renaming your products sucks

So head on over the IBM my notifications site and add your subscriptions back in, then check it every 5 minutes or so because that seems to be the frequency of IBM product renames. (that last bit was a joke).
Darren Duke   |   April 10 2015 10:38:15 AM   |    domino  lotus notes    |   Comments [2]

Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere you no doubt know that IBM finally gave use TLS 1.2 for IBM Domino servers. This means that Domino servers can now use SSLv3, TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.2. But it's IT, so just because you can does not mean you should......for example I would suggest most servers (I'll get the outliers further down the page) would probably want SSLv3 disabled. If you have been under a rock, then you need Domino 9.0.1 FP3 IF2 to get this new goodness.

Now this fix is only for Domino 9.0.1 FP3, so now you have a further reason to upgrade to R9 (SHA2 wasn't enough?) and is provided as an IF from fix central. There are other goodies in this release too like additional ciphers and forward secrecy (aka FS). Forward secrecy? Yes...via Wikipedia:

In cryptography, forward secrecy (FS; also known as perfect forward secrecy, or PFS and also key erasure) is a property of key-agreement protocols ensuring that a session key derived from a set of long-term keys cannot be compromised if one of the long-term keys is compromised in the future.

However (there's always a however), IBM has chosen to not enable FS by default. This is due to IBM not knowing how crap your servers are, as FS is "resource intensive". If you have crap servers, like a Pentium II running your production environment then FS is not for you (neither is IT for that matter). If you running a pretty recent CPU and plenty of RAM, then you should be OK. And you really want really, you do.

So you've decided that your server hardware is up to the task, what do you do to get FS and the promise of Angels singing and the cries of despair from hackers now thwarted? Well you have use Notes.ini settings. See IBM are doing good stuff here....they are giving us new, very important features in fix packs and IF's....the cost of that is there are not yet any UI equivalents in the server and config docs yet. I'm good with that, good on yer IBM.

A few blog posts back, I mentioned the SSLCipherSpec notes.ini setting and it is this setting that once again gets to do all the work. Here's the thing though.....I would change the values in this setting based on the use of the Domino server. I'm not convinced there is "one setting to rule them all yet". I would suggest to you, dear reader, that a Traveler server needs different settings to a iNotes server which is different to a SMTP gateway server. Before that go read Daniel Nashed's excellently detailed post on all the new ciphers then come back here.....

Remember, SSLCipherSpec will be used despite what you have in the server or internet document and it is server wide.

iNotes with XP and IE support

Let's start with iNotes. Some organizations still need XP with IE support. Yes they do. Get over it. This is a conniption free zone with regards to XP. If you do need XP with IE then use TLS 1.0 with Triple DES. Why? Well XP with IE does not support AES, so that cipher is out, RC4 is now frowned upon so that cipher is out, leaving us with 3DES. Given the use of XP with IE support and FS on other platforms, I would suggest this cipher list for an iNotes server and you'll get a A- on SSL Labs:


(Firefox and Chrome on XP do not have the same issues as IE)

iNotes without XP and IE support

Drop the 3DES cipher (0A), but SSLv3 still disabled, and get a A- on SSL Labs:


(will also work with XP running Firefox or Chrome)


Same as iNotes with no XP support:


SMTP Domino Gateway

This is where it gets tricky if you're using STARTTLS (you are using STARTTLS right?) or your iNotes server is also your SMTP gateway.  I would love to be able to say kill off SSLv3 but that's only a decision you can make based on your findings of what breaks when others try to send you TLS messages, but I don't think there is one size fits all here. I would start with this and adjust as necessary (you may need to add RC4 ciphers back in):


or (with SSLv3)


or (with SSLv3 and RC4):


Domino LDAP for LDAPS Dir Sync

If you using any type of LDAP sync with cloud based services for things like Spam protection then this is difficult. You just need to try it and see. For instance SpamHero (which I like a lot...) only uses SSLv2 (yes....T. W. O) last I checked. I did email them for clarification and they did say they are addressing this. I have not checked in a few weeks. So if this is the case, you cannot go above 9.0.1 FP2 for this server. Again, test. adjust, test again, repeat


You may be wondering about the "A-" on the SSL Labs test. Well, it's to do with older browser support for FS and IBM choosing to not (yet?) implement ECDHE ciphers. I hope at some they will reconsider this as this does seem to be the current trend in ciphers, and well, we don't want to be left a decade or more behind again, right? I wonder what the (now new) top ranked,, not fixed PMR is now?

So there you have it. TLS 1.2 support in Domino. Not quite as simple as you thought.

References :
TLS/SSL support history of web browser - Wikipedia
Domino TLS Cipher Configuration - IBM
Darren Duke   |   April 6 2015 06:50:28 AM   |    domino  ssl  security  tls    |   Comments [0]

While sat in Daniel Nashed and David Kern's excellent Domino Security session at Connect, there was a comment and slide that made me tweet this:

Now, I'm back in the office it's time to address this. So based on that session it seems as if LDAP, SMTP, DIIOP, POP3 and IMAP (and Remote debug monitor?) protocols do not adhere to the cipher list in the server document (there was no mention of internet sites documents, but I would presume they are affected by this issue too). That means even if you indicate that the server should only use, say AES ciphers like this:

Image:Domino and SSL ciphers. The server document may not be doing what we expect it to do

then any protocol that is not HTTP or HTTPS seems not to restrict this to AES. It would seem to allow RC4 and any other cipher allowed by the server (one would hope that with the TLS fix that also disabled low quality ciphers that none, 40 and 56 bit would get disabled by this but I can neither confirm nor deny this).

There is however a server notes.ini you can use that apparently does work on these errant protocols, but note, this also overrides anything in the server document FOR ALL PROTOCOLS so test first:

Use the NOTES.INI setting SSLCipherSpec to specify SSL restrictions for all protocols. Ciphers are specified by a 2-digit code. You can add as many ciphers as you need.

For example, to enable 3DES and RC4128SHA ciphers, enter the following line in the NOTES.INI file:


where 05 = 3DES and 0A = RC4128SHA.

So that's handy right? What about the two digit hex values? Well this is where you hit a bit of a brick wall. All I can find is this list:

(SSL users only) Determines which SSL-compliant cipher to use to encrypt files on the server. Specification numbers correspond to the following ciphers:

- SSL_DH_anon_WITH_RC4_128_MD5

To enter multiple ciphers, enter each cipher specification value, including leading zeros. Do not include spaces between values. For example:

SSLCipherSpec = 01020A

from What you will no doubt notice is the absence of any AES ciphers in that list. My guess is a quick PMR (sic!) will get you all the values, but I can't seem to find them anywhere so I cracked open DDE and took a look:

Image:Domino and SSL ciphers. The server document may not be doing what we expect it to do

So it looks to me as if AES 128 is "2F" and AES 256 is "35". I would still suggest you PMR this as you use any information on this blog at your own risk (see what I did there?).

So if you want to limit all protocols on a server to just RC4 128 SHA-1and MD5 and AES 128 and 256, which will give you a pretty good spread of clients then add this:


Again this will override anything in the server or internet sites documents. After sitting through Daniel and David's session there should be a lot more to come in the next few weeks, like TLS 1.2, new ciphers, SSLv2 handshake's (to prevent some issues people are having with STARTTLS between Domino and other servers) and other things I can no longer recall.

Darren Duke   |   February 3 2015 08:03:36 AM   |    domino  ssl    |   Comments [2]

February 2 2015 Monday

ConnectED-sphere sudo review

UPDATE 2/2/15 : 5:03PM EST - Super doh! Forgot to mention the Domino4Wine (hence the sudo)...

I was fully expecting to write a "what a train wreck" review before I went. I was not expecting to say I had a metric shit ton of fun. But I did. And based on other posts I've perused it seems almost everyone else did. There are far more eloquent reviews elsewhere, so this will be bare bones.

First the "ups", in no particular order:
  • Much, much improved OGS. Flow, demos, people who care.....And a quintet, who doesn't like quintets?
  • It doesn't seem to matter how many people don't turn up every year, BALD still rocks with people new and old
  • Verse, and yes, a feature actually made me moist (more in a post on that later)
  • No theme park. Hardly ever went anyway. Gave more time to "proper" socializing
  • The 3rd (or 4th??) annual day-after-ConnectED-sphere breakfast. If you ever get a chance to have breakfast with any of these, do it : Lisa Duke, Julian Woodward, Ben Poole, Mat Newman, Amanda Bauman and Tony Holder. A truly mind bending experience, and not for the faint of heart
  • No law enforcement was called as we left the Dolphin rotunda at 4AM on Thursday AM
  • Math(s) during the CGS. Who doesn't like math(s)?
  • Size does matter. Smaller *is* better
  • Coming soon (or not), move the Domino view indexes out of the NSF....also called NIF something or other
  • They are taking Domino security seriously again
  • The Penumbra Dinner and Lisa getting her "captain hat" to go with "the Duke family yacht"
  • Domino4Wine from the great folks at DDE and Admin on OSX and/Linux. See more here

Now the "downs"
  • I'd guess there were more "technical" sessions than last year, but the admin in me was still left yearning. If you're into Xpages, then you are A-OK. Anything else, the outlook was a tad glum. There was lots of Verse, but not really a lot of *actual* Verse. If IBM wanted to leave me gagging for more, it worked. I really shouldn't have had to sit through three or four near identical sessions to figure this out
  • Same price, less days
  • New hotel price was $70 per night more expensive. 25% more expensive
  • If you know the "Carry On..." films/movies, you'll know what I mean when I say the conference had a bit of that kind of feel to it. That maybe an "up" though, so who knows
  • Tickets for booze, although IBM did seem to succumb to "social shame" and reverse that decision, no doubt to Mark Roden's dismay....he had at least 20+ tickets. Again, could technically be an "up"
  • The required BlueMix slide in pretty much every presentation I sat through. Still a bit hazy on what BlueMix is
  • Beyond the Everyday still makes me think of that movie with Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise, neither of whom presented
  • The sheer amount of time between sessions....some were 45-60 minutes apart

Now for the synopsis....

To me, it doesn't matter what you call it, but I think it would matter where you hold it. Vegas? Nah, not really me. Florida-sphere for me given the chance.

I do think Verse has some legs if IBM can get it out soon with features that make it killer. There is one feature I really, really like but it won't be there until Verse 1+. I am worried about seeing the words "IBM" and "freemium" in a sentence. They have divested themselves of any business deemed a "commodity", so they don't have the skills and I doubt they'll have the stomach for consumer long term. If it's just to garner press, then yeah....otherwise color me nonplussed. Verse on-prem? My guess is 6-12 months behind what they are aiming for if they are trying to make it "simple", although I am getting that "Quickr feeling" about this, you know, the one where the rug gets pulled out from under you.....yeah, that one.

I was pleasantly surprised that IBM didn't just completely paper over the elephant in the CGS room by indicating that the decision for next year had not been made (that's what I heard all week by the way). Subsequent "rumor" has it that we may not hear until May-ish.

Finally, IBM needs to be very careful with the loyal (?) folks still using their stuff on-prem. They need to get 9.0.2 out or roll out the 9.0.2 features in fix packs or other avenues. If 9.0.2 doesn't ship until Q4-2015 then it will be two-ish years since 9.0.1. That's just bad form and sends the wrong message. IBM must multi-task effectively, for it is they who have decided to go multi-client.

So there you have it. Maybe the best ConnectED-sphere yet. I'm still contemplating how much of that is down to the attendees and how much is down to IBM.
Darren Duke   |   February 2 2015 12:43:03 PM   |    lotusphere  verse  domino    |   Comments [2]

Somehow I missed this, so I'm guessing some of you did too....New rules dated 10/16/2014. Thank you IBM.

Woohoo! Indeed!!

Image:New-ish Domino Configuration Tuner (DCT) rules are available
Darren Duke   |   February 2 2015 05:16:52 AM   |    domino  dct    |   Comments [0]

Well, technically this is for any Linux VM appliance you download, not just my reverse proxy....

Anyway, every Linux host should have it's own unique host SSH key to ensure security and authenticity of the server you are connecting to. When you create a server from an OVF that doesn't happen automatically. In fact you get the SSH host key that is on the OVA at time of creation (in this case mine).....potentially opening you up to man in the middle attacks (potentially.....although unlikely).

Here's how to do it......Log in into the Proxy server as root (either via VMware console or SSH into the host using Putty) and issue the following commands:

rm -rf /etc/ssh/ssh_host_*
ssh-keygen -A

service ssh restart

Here's the expected output from the above commands....

Image:If you are using my Reverse Proxy, please change the SSH host key

Once you do this, try logging in again via SSH (again I use Putty) and you should see a warning about a potential security breach and that this could be a bad thing (see below), it's not as we meant to create a new key, so click Yes;

Image:If you are using my Reverse Proxy, please change the SSH host key
Darren Duke   |   January 14 2015 07:55:31 AM   |    proxy  linux    |   Comments [0]