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are people good for next weekend ?

WD MyCloud EX2 hit by .Checkmate ransomeware

Posted at 15:43 - 27th, February 2023 by Alex Alex
I've been having trouble finding anything online about this but I think I've gotten to the bottom of it.

First the background of what's going on.
In our little office, we have a WD My Cloud Ex2 as a Network attached storage for filesharing inside the office. It worked great! Swappable hard drives, pretty robust OS with decent web based interface and had vpn capabilities for remote access. Can even do remote back ups and USB backups.

Then the shit started.

Someone found a major whole in their security and was able to push ransomware onto the thing. Not a big deal since we do backups and just erased things with minimal loss and restored from last back up. I updated firmware and thought, that's the last of that. Nope, happened again about 2 weeks later, then another 2 months later. Then WD updated their firmware and killed remote access to certain devices like our EX2. An annoyance but we'll just ftp in. Then we were hit again. So now the device is completely closed to the outside world.

After years of use I decided to upgrade the HDD to an SSD, bought a specific NAS centric SSD and spent the weekend transferring files. I was able to copy all user config from old hard drive to new set up with 2 clicks but had to recreate all shares from scratch and upload data onto the SSD in appropriate shares. Time consuming but not the end of the world.

Everything worked, and brought the EX2 back to the office and this morning, ransomware again.
It's always the same bloody ransomware with the same bloody message. Something called .checkmate. All it does is just encrypts all the files on the share with a .checkmate extension and you cannot access unless you pay the 15000US of bitcoin. I don't deal with terrorist so fuck that.

I think I know how the ransomware got on, but am not 100% certain.
I think it got on through someones computer, not a backdoor or hacking of the EX2 itself. The .checkmate only affects certain shares which leads me to believe it was from a specific users account. I don't think he ever set up his account or used a weak password and that's pretty much how they got in. I can't prove this though, just speculation.

The other idea is that it's infected the OS of the EX2 and that's how it keeps showing up. But the problem with that is that why not infect the entire drive, meaning all the shares?

All I know is that I've had to spend my morning copying information back and forth for a 3rd time in 3 days.

To remedy the situation, I'm erasing the specific shares, copying said info back and will update the antivirus or at worst reformat the offending users pc and see if that makes a difference.

I thought all of this was note worthy because I haven't really been able to find anything that helps online, so maybe someone out there will read this and know what to do in the future.

andrew - I don't know the WD products at all, the Synology NASes are pretty solid, we use these at ...

Sea of Stars - Nintendo Switch announcement

Posted at 19:20 - 25th, January 2023 by Alex Alex
This looks incredible. It seems to be a spiritual successor to chrono trigger in a lot of ways.

I've been looking for a game to play for the longest time and this might just scratch that itch. They also just announced golden eye 64 with online multipler. Might be time to get myself a switch...

Sea of stars is made by sabotage studios - an indie developer based in Saint Joseph, Quebec of all places.

Releasing on steam, xbox, switch, ps5, your fridge, tesla, and kitchen sink.

Alex - There's a resurgence of games like this now. Christophe had told me about another, I'll tr...

Can't install Pandora - Music & Podcasts

Posted at 13:12 - 17th, November 2022 by Alex Alex
I mentioned in my last post that I was having trouble with getting Pandora to install on my old LG G6.

Android app install fail

I ran through all the instructions provided in the link and even checked the pandora's website - which was pretty useless to be honest.
Basically, Google suggests clearing cache, making space, restarting phone as easy fixes and more intense fixes would be refresh os, update, or reset it. I wasn't willing to reset the phone, and the phone is maxed out on android 8, Pandora requires Android 7.

Pandora needs suitable phones, so Android 7, 55mbs of space and an internet connection. No real permissions to speak of really.

I was good with os requirements, I had at least 1 gig and was emptying it of my old whatsapp media but had much more than the 55 playstore was saying. Tried clearing playstore cache, tried restarting phone multiple times, even tried using a vpn to the us and another store - aptoid and was consistently failing with same screen.

I believe the issue was that despite the 55mbs requirement apps need much, much more space because 1 gig was no where near enough. I cleaned up to 2 gigs of stuff and then it installed no problem.

It could be coincidence though because I can't find any documentation about it online and pandora support didn't know where to begin.

Using old phones as music players

Posted at 13:53 - 16th, November 2022 by Alex Alex
I've been trying to lessen the load on my imac to prolong it's life a bit since it's my work computer. The best thing I've done recently was to run the os off an external ssd through USB 2 which works surprisingly well. That 5400rpm hdd was just killing me. Would boot the machine in the morning and it'd be useless because spotlight would basically just start indexing the hard drive and I couldn't do anything else while that was going on.

I had a crappy tablet that I was using as a pandora box for while I worked but it was big, bulky and slow. I've turned it into a graphic novel machine for home since my kindle can't really do that - it does but the screen is too small, black and white and sucks at zooming in to read the text.

I figured, I had an old LG g6 laying around collecting dust, might as well use that. It's running a newer (old) version of android, is faster, has better battery life and is generally better aside from the crack in the glass of the display.

Only problem is it refuses to install pandora, I cannot figure out why. Tried the play store and even aptoid and both fail. There's more than enough space. I just don't know what to do.

It led me to try out other apps, Spotify, youtube, soundcloud, podcast addict.

Works well, fast and responsive but god damn the algorithm sucks. Maybe I just can't figure out the app to get the most out of it, but I just prefer Pandora's way of doing things. It almost seems like the music is based more on people's playlists rather than radio station like pandora and youtube.

It's too focused on videos, which makes sense cause it's a video app rather than a music app. There's a youtube music app, but I don't remember it being friendly. I'll try it out at some point again. Major issue with youtube is if on free version the screen has to stay active for anything to play, again makes sense as a video app. The algorithm is kind of weird too and you can easily go down a rabbit hole if not paying close attention. It's also really focused on keeping your attention so if you watch one video about something, let's say trans rights, then a lot of the suggested videos will be the same sort.

I'd also suggest using a vpn to get out of the north american market. Watching youtube here in St. Kitts does not bring up any ads at all. The minute I turn on my vpn to the states, I'm inundated with ads.

So far this seems to be the best alternative to Pandora because the algorithm seems to be the most similar. The main issue is it doesn't seem to be as popular so some artists don't both posting their music to it and so there's not as much selection. There are ads, but I'm not sure if it's general ads or because I'm on a vpn, the vpn isn't necessary to use the app. I'll see if there are ads when vpn isn't open.

Podcast Addict
This is kind of in its own space because it's a mix of both youtube and the music apps. It provides podcasts, not radio stations - though one could argue they're similar enough - and some of the podcasts have switched to video podcast. The app has the most options and settings to play with, can even play videos in the background with the screen off. You'll also find all sorts of things on there that won't be on any other platform because it's relatively decentralized with no censoring unlike the other apps. I listen to dark horse and no agenda podcasts here.

Sorry for lack of content

Posted at 14:52 - 17th, October 2022 by Alex Alex
Life has been quite something recently. Getting the house ready for the triumphant return of Ale and Leandro, trying to catch up with work. Certain things have had to take a back seat. I'm not willing to let the site die just yet but I realize it must seem pretty dead.

We'll see how things go once we get into a rhythm with the lil guy. Hopefully I will have some more free time to deal with things.

Alex - A possible solution would be array_keys() which I'll need to look into. Reg...

Konbini Confessions

Posted at 21:09 - 31st, July 2022 by andrew andrew
Alex - Man, these just keep getting weirder and weirder

Meeting The Last Member Of A Remote Hidden Japanese Mountain Village

Posted at 10:39 - 28th, July 2022 by Alex Alex
Tags: abandonned villages, hermits, hiking, japan, culture
andrew - haha, if I found something really cheap, I would definitely consider it Act...

The nightmare of exchanging dollars to Euros in italy

Posted at 12:28 - 14th, June 2022 by Alex Alex
Tags: travel, italy, us to euros, banks, foreign exchange
Alex - Transferwise? Never heard of it. I've been using my an American account I have that...

Someone has been spoofing my work email

Posted at 9:17 - 13th, June 2022 by Alex Alex
Tags: email spoofing, hackers, funio, email headers, tech support
Alex - It seems like a simple change of password for an account that was on the funio server (it'...