sshaudit.com gave my Bastion an F, now it's an A

I maintain an SSH bastion server for all my beloved VPSes. The server I host this blog on only accepts SSH connections from the IP of that bastion, and I keep that bastion hardened. It's a minimal Alpine install with nothing but an SSH server.

So I felt some dismay when I found the server got a score of F on sshaudit.com. I got an F! My bastion failed 2 of 5 host key tests, 4 of 9 key-exchange tests, and 7 of 10 MAC tests.

These are the steps I took. Although I'm on Alpine, I was able to cherry pick commands from the Debian-focused server guides hardening guides on sshaudit.com.

TLDR provided below the cut, with some script script to do the work for you.

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Software I recommend

TLDR: Here are things I like and can recommend.

  • Pop! OS for a Linux distribution.
  • Blender for 3D graphics.
  • Python or Javascript for those learning programming, but it's complicated.
  • 1password for password managers.
  • Signal for messaging.
  • Obsidian for notetaking.
  • Wirecutter and Rtings for prodcut reviews (to replace Reddit.)
  • OBS for screen recording and streaming.
  • DaVinci Resolve for video editing.
  • micro for an easy-to-use terminal editor... But also vim.
  • Fastmail + IWantMyName for personal email.

I've had friends ask me for recommendations for software. They ask me this because I am a hollow person who has spent too much of my life on the computer. I love when people ask me these questions, because my strong opinions on software are usually otherwise "offputting" and considered a "personality flaw".

All jokes aside, I wanted one place to chronicle recommendations I tend to make. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites.

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Things I read, first have of 2023

I read and Consumed™️ a number of things the first half of 2023. Let me detail some of them:

  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer helped me reconcile disillusionment and frustration I had with academic science, and to help me appreciate different philosophies of thought.
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a grounded examination of the fantasy genre within a well-fleshed fantasy world. If "Houlden Caulfield seeks Narnia but goes to Hogwarts" sounds interesting, then check this out.
  • This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is a short story about star-crossed lovers from two advanced, warring, timeline-hopping scifi empires. I didn't like it that much, but it was 200 pages and fun to read.
  • The Before Me podcast series is a well-constructed narrative built around interviews with the narrators mother, who arrived to America fleeing the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. It's worth a listen.
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How to Opt out of Chrome Topics API on Caddy servers

TLDR: Set the following in your caddyfile for each site: header Permissions-Policy "interest-cohort=(),browsing-topics=()". This disable both the old FLoC and the new Topics.

Here is an abbreviated version of my Caddyfile, showing how I set the header directive in my Caddyfile for lynndotpy.xyz:

lynndotpy.xyz {
  header {
    Permissions-Policy "interest-cohort=(),browsing-topics=()"
  }
}

To confirm the header is set, you can use a Firefox or Chrome's devtools, open the networking tab, and look for the Permissions-Policy response header. More context below the cut.

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If BlueSky takes off, Bitcoin will too

TLDR: BlueSky is intended to eventually integrate with Bitcoin. If BlueSky becomes widely adopted, Bitcoin will too. I don't like Bitcoin, so I don't want BlueSky to become popular.

Here's why I believe this: In 2019, Jack Dorsey was an early adopter of Bitcoin Lightning network. After helping kickstart the Lightning network, Jack announced BlueSky, emphasized the importance of blockchain protocols, and later promised to integrate BlueSky into the Bitcoin Lightning network.

Jack Dorsey's "BlueSky" platform is taking off. Unfortunately, not only is Jack Dorsey a bonkers man who endorses the belief that Jimmy Carter cried when he learned that aliens made up all the religions^1 and is on a big pro-RFK Jr^2 streak, but he also is a longtime Bitcoin believer.

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