When creating cron tasks on Linux many people do not realize that the output from the cron will logged and without redirection will sent to the user running the cron task’s email. In many cases this is the root user or if an alias has been set in /etc/aliases then the email will be sent to the user configured to receive roots email in the aliases file. Specifically on Backtrack Linux the root users email is redirected to bt5 by default and that user does not exist so the email will simply bounce. Below we describe a better way to redirect the cron tasks output into a log file which could be useful down the road.
I take a lot of notes when working no matter if it is learning new stuff or working on projects for my job I have found that great note taking can save you lots of time down the road. The note taking application installed with Backtrack Linux is called KeepNote and provides the all of the functionality that I typically need when taking notes such as folders for organization, easy way(s) to backup notes, tabs, and all the other basics. One thing that does not work out of the box for KeepNote on Backtrack 5 R3 is Spellcheck which I use regularly to make sure my slang has not found itself into the notes I am sharing with others. Below we outline a quick way to enable spellcheck in KeepNote 0.7.7 on Backtrack 5 release 3.
Need to query Google for vulnerable SQL servers and extract MD5 hashes? The sqlscan.py Python script is your tool then. If you are using Backtrack release 5 you will first need install Python 2.4.4 and then fix sqlscan.py by following the instructions here and here. Once you have sqlscan.py functioning without errors proceed to the example below.
Backtrack Linux is full of really great tools including SQLScan which is a SQL Scanner that provides the ability to query Google for vulnerable hosts and extract MD5 hashes from the results. Unfortunately sqlscan.py was written for Python 2.3 or Python 2.4 and has not been maintained to be compatible with Python 2.6 which is the current version of Python installed on Backtrack Linux 5 R3. Backtrack 5 R3 is based off of Ubuntu 10.04 which had a release date of April, 2010 so needless to say some packages are out of date. It should be noted though that there is a lot to be said for stability in your operating system versus bleeding edge capabilities and I am sure when the time is correct the Backtrack team will be releasing a new version of Backtrack based on a newer version of Ubuntu.
Some tools in Backtrack Linux version 5 R3 were written for older versions of Python so if you are interested in using some of these tools in can be beneficial to install older versions of Python such as Python 2.4. Below I describe how to easily install Python 2.4 without causing issues with the Python 2.6 that is installed by default on Backtrack Linux 5 R3 or Ubuntu 10.04.