Sky Fibre Unlimited – pfsense

I took the day off work today to wait in the house for an OpenReach engine to switch me to FTTC from Sky. The engineer turned up at the door at 8:10am… Perfect! Up and running by 8:30am… Sky router in the cupboard and pfsense doing the hard work by 8:45am.

The only complaint I have about the whole order process was that I couldn’t upgrade my order. By that I mean I ordered the 40-10Mb/s package initially and then called back to change it to the 80-20Mb/s package. The lovely lady on the phone said “no problem!” As it transpires, however, I cannot actually upgrade until I have had the lower package for a month. Gutted!

I know Sky don’t like people using their own routers / firewalls with their internet service but frankly, I don’t give a shit! Their router is utter pants. A quick iPerf to a known high speed network and I found the throughput on the Sky router was approximately 34.2Mb/s download and 7.6Mb/s upload. After switching to my pfsense box I was getting a consistent 39.4Mb/s download and 9.2Mb/s upload. Case closed!

Now. How did I get it working with pfsense? I’ll show you. Just follow the steps below.

1. Connect to your Sky router either via WiFi or Ethernet. Make sure its plugged in and switched on as well. Obviously.
2.Open your web browser and type in the routers IP address. The default is
3.Click on the Maintenance link at the top of the page. It will ask you to login. The default username is “admin” and password is “sky” without quotes.
4. Scroll down the page until you find the “LAN Port” section. You will see the following.

5. Copy the Mac Address into notepad for use later. Make sure it is the LAN Mac Address that you use otherwise you will fail.
6. Head to and click the button for F@ST2504 once you have read and accept the T&C’s.
7. Input the Mac Address from notepad to the LAN MAC Address field and your Default WPA Key in the other field. The WPA key is the “Your Password” section on the little slip of paper inside the router box. It is also printed on the back of the router.
8. Copy and paste bother the username and password to notepad for later use.
9. Connect to your pfsense box and login.
10. Go to Interfaces.
11. Fill in the information as follows. Type: Set to DHCP. Mac Address: Copy and paste the LAN Mac from notepad. Hostname: <username>|<password> as copied from the cm9 site.

12. Click “Save”
13. Click Apply Changes.
14. Plug your OpenReach Modem (Lan 1 port) into your pfsense box (WAN port).

That’ it! Simple eh?

I believe the hostname field is DHCP option 61. Providing your router supports this option i don’t see why this wouldn’t work with any other “cable” router or firewall.

Hacking your Microsoft SQL Server

Today a friend was complaining about how he had forgotten the sa password for his SQL Server…. Oh Dear.

If you follow Microsoft’s best practices for SQL security, as my friend did, you will have also disabled the BUILT-INAdministrators login… Oh Dear Oh Dear.

Fear not, we will have you back in within minutes, just follow these instructions:

  1. Logon to Windows on the SQL server a system administrator.
  2. Open CMD and type the following command to stop the SQL service NET STOP MSSQL, Replacing MSSQL with your server instance name, for example: MSSQL$Instance.
  3. Type NET START MSSQL /m to start SQL up in Single User Mode.
  4. Open SQL Management Studio, and connect to your server using windows authentication.
  5. Open a New Query window and type the following into the query window:

    CREATE LOGIN <username>
    WITH PASSWORD='<password>';
    SP_ADDSRVROLEMEMBER '<username>', 'sysadmin'


    CREATE LOGIN m0rph3us
    WITH PASSWORD='12345678';
    SP_ADDSRVROLEMEMBER 'm0rph3us', 'sysadmin'

  6. Click Execute. This will create the required username, with the desired password, and add that username to the sysadmin role, granting full control of the server.
  7. Close SQL Management Studio.
  8. Open CMD and type NET STOP MSSQL .
  10. Open SQL Management Studio, and connect to the server using SQL Authentication, and input the username and password we created earlier.

You should now have regained full control of your SQL server, so go ahead and change the sa password.

I know these steps definately work in Microsoft SQL Server 2005, but I have not tried it on any other version of SQL. Please let me know in the comments if you try this method in another version of SQL, and the outcome and I will updater this post.