Posted by: peter

Harald Welte, has written on his blog about operating an Open Source GSM network at the recent HAR2009 conference. Photographs and a description and of the setup, run under license of the Dutch regulatory authority, are provided; essentially the setup consisted of a pair of BTS’ (Base Transceiver Stations) running at 100mW transmit power each and tied to a tree. In turn these provided access to the Base Station Controller (BSC), in this case a Linux server in a tent running OpenBSC. The system authenticated users with a token sent via SMS; in total 391 users subscribed to the service and were able to use their phones as if they were on any other network. Independent researchers are increasingly examining GSM networks and equipment, Welte’s work proves that GSM is in the realm of the hackers now and that this realm of mobile networking could be set for a few surprises in the future.

Posted by: peter
When doing embedded network development, its typical that you have the embedded device you work on connected to one network interface (eth1) while you are simultaneously connected to your corporate or home LAN and the internet via another interface (eth0 or wlan0).

The thing about embedded development is that you spend a lot of time rebooting the embedded device with new firmware which sends your PC’s network interface down and up which triggers a new DHCP request on that interface, which then proceeds to time out (often there is no DHCP server on the embedded device) before you have to manually assign the same static IP that you were using on the interface a few seconds before.

As it turns out there is a way to tell NetworkManager to keep its mitts off of a particular interface. Firstly, find the udi of the interface with the ‘lshal’ command. eg:

udi = ‘/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/net_00_05_1b_ac_6c_03’
info.capabilities = {‘net’, ‘net.80203’, ‘wake_on_lan’} (string list)
info.category = ‘net.80203’ (string)
info.interfaces = {‘org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.WakeOnLan’} (string list)
info.parent = ‘/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/usb_device_7a6_8515_0001_if0’ (string)
info.product = ‘Networking Interface’ (string)
info.subsystem = ‘net’ (string)
info.udi = ‘/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/net_00_05_1b_ac_6c_03’ (string)
linux.hotplug_type = 2 (0x2) (int)
linux.subsystem = ‘net’ (string)
linux.sysfs_path = ‘/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb7/7-1/7-1.6/7-1.6:1.0/net/eth1’ (string)
net.80203.mac_address = 21939121155 (0x51bac6c03) (uint64)
net.address = ‘00:05:1b:ac:6c:03’ (string)
net.arp_proto_hw_id = 1 (0x1) (int)
net.interface = ‘eth1’ (string)
net.linux.ifindex = 5 (0x5) (int)
net.originating_device = ‘/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/usb_device_7a6_8515_0001_if0’ (string)
org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.WakeOnLan.method_argnames = {”, ”, ‘enable’} (string list)
org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.WakeOnLan.method_execpaths = {‘hal-system-wol-supported’, ‘hal-system-wol-enabled’, ‘hal-system-wol-enable’} (string list)
org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.WakeOnLan.method_names = {‘GetSupported’, ‘GetEnabled’, ‘SetEnabled’} (string list)
org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.WakeOnLan.method_signatures = {”, ”, ‘b’} (string list)

Then add this udi as an un-managed device to the [keyfile] section of ‘/etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf’. eg:


It should take effect immediately, and you shouldn’t even need to restart NetworkManager.

Note: Thanks to tambeti on #opensuse-gnome for the tip.
Posted by: peter
Today I needed to make one of my Django sites authenticate against the same usebase as one of my FreeRADIUS servers. Now, given that the RADIUS userbase is in PostgreSQL, this could have been done without touching RADIUS per se, however that would not have been nearly as interesting or elegant as making Django speak RADIUS. (And given the strange record format that FreeRADIUS uses, would have taken nearly as long to implement) After about half an hour of hacking on a Django custom Authentication Backend I now have a Django happily authenticating from my FreeRADIUS server with all the flexibility that implies (Being able to proxy requests to third parties, set time of day restrictions, use multiple clustered backends etc etc). Without further ado, here is the first cut:
from django.conf import settings
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
import pyrad.packet
from pyrad.client import Client
from pyrad.dictionary import Dictionary

class RadiusBackend:
    Authenticate against a RADIUS Server.

    You must have a working RADIUS Server and Secret
    configured in For example:

    RADIUS_SECRET = 'testing123'
    def authenticate(self, username=None, password=None):


        req["User-Name"] = username
        req["User-Password"] = req.PwCrypt(password)
        req["NAS-Identifier"] = "django"

        if reply.code==pyrad.packet.AccessAccept:
            print "access accepted"
                user = User.objects.get(username=username)
            except User.DoesNotExist:
                # Create a new user. Note that we can set password
                # to anything, because it won't be checked; the password
                # configured on the RADIUS server will.
                user = User(username=username, password='Koh8oF7eiRou4xahxoob')
		#TODO: Use user.set_unusable_password() once
                # Django SVN > 5608 + openSUSE 10.3 bug is fixed
                user.is_staff = False
                user.is_superuser = False
            return user
            print "access denied"
            return None

    def get_user(self, user_id):
            return User.objects.get(pk=user_id)
        except User.DoesNotExist:
            return None
Just copy and paste this code into myproj/ and then stick the following in
This code makes use of Wiggy’s wonderfull Pyrad library, so you will need to have it installed also to make things work.