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Dumbass learns a new lesson

Doh! I've been 'in' IT for 3 decades and still find myself doing silly things. The lesson today is - make time and do it properly.

My VPS server was playing up - I worked out it was because of a problem with some c libraries - and I decided to do a clean install to be thorough, then restore the site data from my meticulous backups. I even patted-myself on the back for having a backup/restore plan in place for such eventualities.

So, I did the reinstall, did the data restore, and had the site back up in no time.
Clever boy....NO.

The 'non IT people' might care to skip the next 2 paragraphs.

What I didn't do was check the software as I reinstalled it from the approved CENTOS/REDHAT repositories, and that was a bad mistake.

It turns out that if you do a vanilla install of the Apache web-server (from rpm or yum) then it comes with the proxy module loaded and set. This means your web-server is effectively running as an open proxy server.

The upshot was that my server was now handling thousands of requests from clients all over the world for very unsavoury content - mostly porn.

Once I realised (and I have to thank LxGoodies who, without realising it, alerted me by telling me the server was not behaving properly) it was simple to fix (any techies who want the fix will find my posting in the web-server forum) but I really should know by now that you NEVER assume ANYTHING when dealing with internet-connected devices.......From hero to zero in a few short hours.....


3 blog comments below

A good lesson for anyone, Bikerman. Hero to zero and back to hero with some porn for the oops!
standready on Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:53 am
Wow, glad it was noticed, that would be bad. I find spam emails so annoying, but alot as you described, woha.
darthrevan on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:49 am
May be a tip for the vice squad too? How to catch people who are into illegal porn?

Pretty amazing lesson for sure.
deanhills on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:05 am

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