I was doing some scanning with a new vulnerability scanner at work and I found something listening on a lot of servers, described only as Apache and OpenSSL listening on port 2381. The versions varied.
Luckily I had another scanner at my disposal that solved the mystery quickly: It’s the HP System Management Homepage, a remote administration/diagnostic tool that, as the title says, lets you manage HP server hardware. It runs on Windows, Linux, and HP-UX. Continue reading Why a non-web server has Apache and OpenSSL on port 2381
Neocities has decided to do something about Net Neutrality–shunt the FCC into the slow lane, and post the code for doing it so the rest of us who run web sites can do it too. The original was written for Nginx; I need to give serious thought to implementing the Apache version.
Net neutrality has nothing to do with the political bent of the content–the people you may hear talking about it on the radio are wrong, which is why they’re yakking on the radio and aren’t working at ISPs or IT departments–and everything to do about raising prices. What we’re seeing now is telecommunications companies, who are already ultra-profitable, gouging companies like Netflix. And Netflix is doing exactly what a company that suddenly has to pay new taxes would do–raising prices.
The difference is that it’s old-line companies doing the taxing in this case rather than a government. That’s all.
The other objection I hear is that lots of innovation happened on the Internet without regulation, so why regulate now? The difference is that the environment in the late 1990s, when the seeds of all of this were planted and started to sprout, was very different. Back then we had hundreds of ISPs, all of whom participated in building out what we have now. None of them wanted to charge both subscribers and content providers, and none of them could have anyway. If Earthlink had tried to shake down Ebay and Amazon and make them slow, people would have switched to someone else–one of any number of regional providers, or equivalent services run by companies like IBM and the old AT&T (prior to its re-merger with Southwestern Bell). Today, many people live in areas only serviced by one broadband provider. Most people have two, but that’s not like the old days.
If I could have anything, I’d like more competition. I’d love it if the average U.S. citizen had a choice of a dozen or so broadband providers. Then we could have a truly free market. Instead, we have duopolies, a situation much like the situation with electricity and natural gas in most municipalities, and broadband providers face far less regulation than power companies do, even though as they grow in importance.
Here’s some stuff I’ve found in recent weeks that I never got around to posting, so I’ll just round it all up briefly. Continue reading Some security short-takes I never got around to posting
And speaking of hard drives, I found this study on hard drive longevity last week.
I take issue with the opening paragraph but the rest of the article is very good. The opening paragraph is a bit deceptive—hard drives were anything but common 30 years ago. Even 25 years ago, they were a serious status symbol. I remember in 1988, a classmate told me his dad had just bought a computer with a hard drive, and swore me to secrecy. Why? Because in today’s dollars, a computer with a hard drive in 1988 cost around $2,000, minimum, and given that his dad was working towards his master’s degree at the time, he probably had a really hard time affording that. If you had a hard drive even in the late 1980s, you were either very rich, or you took your computing very seriously and were willing to make some serious sacrifices somewhere else.
But, like I said, the rest of the article is very good. I’m being a curmudgeon. Continue reading How long does a hard drive last?
Both Libre Office and Open Office released new versions this week, and the changelog indicates a good amount of shared code between the two, at least in this go-round. The animosity between the two—Libre Office is a fork of Open Office, dating to before the time Oracle spun the project off to Apache—may thus be overstated. Continue reading Libre Office and Open Office both grow up a bit–together
I’ve worked several different shops now that seem to have a misconception about burn-in. So I’m going to explain it.
I think there’s a misconception that if you let a computer run with a light load for a while, it somehow gets stronger, and ready to handle a big workday load.
I’m 5’9″ and weigh about a buck-fifty, so trust me, I know a non-bodybuilder when I see one. And computers aren’t bodybuilders. Continue reading Burn-in explained
No OS is 100% secure if there’s enough desire to get in. There’s a web server exploit targeting Apache, Nginx, and Lighttpd running on Linux–a first of its kind, in at least one regard. Ars Technica has the details, including where to get a script to check to see if your server is infected.
According to this page, if you execute this command:
strings /usr/bin/apache2 | egrep opentty
you’re clean if nothing comes up, and your infected if you see one or more matches. If your system stores its httpd elsewhere, change the first parameter to match.
Tom Gatermann told me about a nice tool for Debian (and presumably Ubuntu) called checkrestart. Sometimes, even though you did an apt-get update and apt-get upgrade to bring your system up to date, you can still be running the out-of-date version of something. That’s the problem checkrestart helps you solve.
Continue reading Here’s a nice Linux tool: checkrestart
I ran my site through Google Page Speed on Tuesday, and scored a surprising 88 out of 100–higher than I expected. Getting above 90 is going to take some optimizations on files that WordPress updates may change, so I’m hesitant to do that, but one thing it told me to do was to cache more aggressively. That’s pretty easy, as it turns out, and I could definitely feel a difference afterward.
Here’s the trick. Continue reading Another easy Apache tweak
If your web server is slow and you want to fix it, it’s nice to be able to quantify what you got. Enter Apachebench, which is part of Apache and probably already on your server. Continue reading Use Apachebench to test your webserver optimizations