Keith Smith - My Blog

Keith Smith - My Blog

Why you should review your ISP Advertising and Marketing Preferences

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Security

I was recently asked by a colleague of my mine if it was possible that Comcast could be targeting ads based content that was viewed while using the services. I said “it’s possible if you haven’t opted out of anything preferences” typically service providers automatically opt-in customers into data collection practices now. My colleague logged into the account —> went into settings then clicked on communications & ad preferences to find 4 very interesting area’s under “Advertising Preferences” and “Marketing Preferences”

My colleague clicked on the edit for the cable targeted advertising and was shocked to see that the opt in box was checked and immediately switched to Opt out for advanced advertising preferences: activity data and ad groups. On the same page we saw links to the privacy notice and the FAQ for advanced advertising preferences, the privacy policy clearly stated that

We also collect information about your account and your use of the Services, which may include:
    •    your account number;
    •    billing, payment, and deposit history;
    •    maintenance information;
    •    the types of Services to which you subscribe;
    •    the device identifiers and network addresses of equipment used with your account;
    •    voice commands;
    •    video and audio recordings;
    •    records indicating the number and types of devices connected to our network;
    •    technical information about your Service-related devices, including customization settings and preferences;
    •    network traffic data;
    •    information about your use of the Services and their features, including video activity data, as well as Internet or online information such as web addresses and other activity data in order to render Internet service; and
    •    additional information about the Service options you have chosen.

"When you use the Services, our cable system automatically generates, transmits, and collects much of this information as part of providing the Services to you. For example, we receive information about the use of set-top boxes, remote controls, program guides, video players, applications, and other devices and software connected to our cable system (“video activity data”). The video activity data includes, for example, which channels, programs, and advertisements are viewed and for how long. It may also include information about navigation through program guides and applications, and use of devices like remote controls and tablets. If you select various features of our equipment, such as voice commands or search, we also will collect and process the data needed to fulfill your requests."

As we continued to review the notices and policies we saw more of information which led to me suggest the use of a VPN service, there are many providers of this service now and most of in the IT field have started suggesting this more frequently.


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Friday, January 19, 2018 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Linux

What is kanboard?

Kanboard is an opensource web hosted project management software. So far I think it’s pretty damn cool. It has all the features of the top paid project management solutions out there with the little added bonus of it being free.

The “cost” for anyone working with FOSS will be the setup time. This was my first time trying to setup Kanboard so I figured I would post how it went, I did encounter some stumbling blocks  so I noted the solutions I used to get the installation up and running. Hopefully this will reduce the “cost” for you.

I tested this on Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 LTS


  1. sudo apt-get update and upgrade
  2. sudo apt-get install -y apache2 libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-cli php7.0-mbstring php7.0-sqlite3 \  php7.0-opcache php7.0-json php7.0-mysql php7.0-pgsql php7.0-ldap php7.0-gd
  3. cd /var/www/html
  4. sudo apt-get install php-xml
  5. sudo apt-get update && apt-get install git
  6. sudo git clone
  7. chown -R www-data:www-data kanboard/data
  8. Reboot
  9. Try the url http://hostname/kanboard

I commented out the two bottom lines to make it work.

// Credentials for authentication on the SMTP server (not mandatory)
define('MAIL_SMTP_USERNAME', 'username');
define('MAIL_SMTP_PASSWORD', 'super password');

Errors I encountered

Internal Error: PHP extension required: “pdo_sqlite”

Solution: Run the following in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install php7.0-sqlite

Internal Error: This PHP extension is required: "dom".

sudo apt-get install php-xml


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See Ya to 2017!!!

Sunday, December 31, 2017 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Journal of thoughts

Well, 2017 is soon to be least in my time zone. For me, I can certainly say that in 2017 the going up was worth the coming down. It's been another year of growth both personally and professionally. In 2018, there will be many new adventures and experiences. Some I am aware of already and many that are undiscovered.

With that being said, I close 2017 out like this. The past is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is gift that's why they call it the present!!


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On to a new chapter

Monday, December 11, 2017 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Journal of thoughts

Today was my last day at SIFF as CTO. It's been one hell of a journey! I am proud to have spearheaded over 30 major projects in the Infrastructure, Security, and Business Application arena and saw them to completion. I look back at my time here with pride knowing that in the technological sense, it was truly a night and day transformation since I joined.

I've always tried to capture before and after pic's of things because pictures always tell a unique story. Below is one of my favorite photos, it literally represents all the technical transformation I spearheaded.

Next chapter starts in a few weeks!



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Password Recovery in AOS

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Network

Recovering passwords requires direct physical access to a unit. This procedure cannot be performed remotely over Telnet, SSH, or the Web GUI. First, connect a straight through serial cable to the console port of the unit. Second, configure a VT100 session (i.e. HyperTerminal or ProComm) using the following settings: 9600 bps, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit and no flow control. Lastly, reboot the unit by removing the power. As the unit boots, you will be given the opportunity to break into bootstrap mode by pressing the ESC key within 5 seconds. While in the monitor mode issue the following commands:

Bootstrap# bypass passwords

Bootstrap# boot
Notice that you are issuing the boot command not the reload command following the bypass passwords command. Once the unit has finished booting up, you can issue the enable command and you will not be required to enter the privileged (i.e. enable) password. Once you are in privileged mode, you can view the configured passwords by using the show run command. A new password can also be entered by going into global configuration mode by using config terminal command and issuing the enable password command where is the new password. Also remember to change any Telnet, SSH or Web GUI passwords if necessary.

Below is a sample output of these steps:

Router (1200990L1)
Executing bootstrap...
ram: 268435456 bytes of RAM detected.
Bootstrap version: 11.04.1.B2, checksum: 0F3C, Wed Nov 29
vfs: NONVOL: 120 tracks, 128 sectors/track, 1024 bytes/sector.
eth0/1: initializing...
eth0/1: MAC address is 00:A0:C8:XX:XX:XX
bootstrap: Checking boot configuration...
bootstrap: Primary image is 'NONVOL:/'.
bootstrap: User escaped to command line interface.
cli: starting command line interface...
cli: starting user interface

Press '?' for help.
bootstrap#bypass passwords

In case anyone comes across this in the future, instead of the command "bypass passwords", you can alternately use "bypass startup-config" then "boot". This will boot the system with a blank/default config. Once you get into enable mode you can enter  "copy running-config startup-config" to re-apply the default config while leaving you at the enable prompt (effectively skipping the login and enable password prompts), or you can just manually reconfigure the box in case you really messed things up.


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