Serverless Fun: Using Amazon SES and Lambda to Send and Receive Email

15 minute read Published:

I’m using Lightsail as a VPN, don’t really want to use an elastic IP as the instance is ephemeral. Because I’m not using an Elastic IP, security event emails sent from the host to my Gmail account fails. I also want to be able to send and receive an email or two every once in awhile on my new domain. And I really, really don’t want to run my own mail server right now, nor can I justify $25/month for Google hosting for a vanity blog only accessed by bots, spiders, and Internet censii.

Locking Down Ports on Amazon Lightsail

3 minute read Published:

I’ve been using Amazon Lightsail, which is kind of an “EC2-lite” to host my VPN server. It’s quick to set up and tear down, but one limitation is that, unlike traditional EC2, you can’t granularly control access to firewall ports from Amazon’s web UI. You open the port or close it, it’s all or nothing. While I might leave the VPN port open to access via mobile device, I don’t really want SSH open to the world.

Getting an A+ on Qualys SSL Labs' SSL Report

3 minute read Published:

I’m supposed to be studying for the ASA 101 sailing test. Yesterday, I procrastinated by adding another section to The Seven Minute Server and used CSS to create a practice test/quiz for the ASA 101 by hiding the answers until you hover over them. It didn’t get me any closer to finishing the prep book, but it was fun… Today, when I should have been tying exotic knots, on a whim, I ran my site through Qualys SSL Labs’ SSL Report and was dismayed to see this site got a B.

Installing an SSL Cert on Your Server with CentOS/Apache 2.4/Let's Encrypt

4 minute read Published:

Using Let’s Encrypt is so easy, there’s no excuse not to do it…the only drawback is that certificates expire after three months, but they’ll email to give you a heads-up when it gets close to time to switch ‘em up…and it really is simple (and free!) to get them issued. Here’s a run-through of how to use Certbot to install a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on an Amazon Linux image: