My VServer Still Down

More than two weeks ago I blogged about my server being down. After multiple emails, phone calls, and even a fax trying to reach the support team, the server is still dead. But at least I know (a little bit) more now.

The Good
I managed to get someone from support on the phone and he fixed the system at least so far that I could ssh to it again. I was able to pull a complete backup of the system, including a database dump.
That means that Unmaintained Free Software and all other sites hosted on the server will eventually return, no data will be lost.

The Bad
After I created the backup, I wanted to reinstall the whole system and then install the backup to restore all services. As it turned out, the (automatic) reboot- and reinstall-script they use is obviously broken, I cannot reach the server anymore after I initated the reinstall. This is probably something more serious, as other people seem to be affected, too.

The Ugly
I have not the slightest idea what the hell happened on the server. There was something really, really strange going on. An example:

# ls -l /usr/bin/traceroute
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql 310872 Jun 21 03:21 traceroute

Why the hell is traceroute not executable and belongs to user/group mysql? There are several other anomalies there: /usr/share/doc/apt is not a directory as it is supposed to be, but a Perl script. /usr/bin/id is a directory. Multiple system tools (awk, sed, ...) are not executable and partly directories with strange stuff in them. What gives?

One possible explanation is that the server was hacked and some rootkit wrecked havoc on the server. After a quick glance at the logs, I couldn't find any hints for a successful breakin, though. Another possibility is that the hard drive simply died and/or the filesystem was (heavily) corrupted. I don't know...

Has anybody ever seen something like this? Please enlighten me what could have happened...

Hacked by a Fool

Somebody got hacked by a complete fool without any sort of clue. What the attacker (i.e. script kiddie) tried to do (and how he failed) is actually quite funny IMHO.

E.g., after trying

rm -rf bash_history

(notice the missing dot in the filename) he wanted to be really sure and issued

unset HISTFILES

Surely, his tracks are perfectly covered now. Nobody will ever know.

(via EDV - Ende Der Vernunft)

Emacs Quote of the Day

I'm way too tired to write something longer than a few lines right now, but before I go to bed, here's a quote by Sean McGrath which Made My Day™:

Emacs is like a laser guided missile. It only has to be slight mis-configured to ruin your whole day.

Yes, I use vim. Yes, I always put on my asbestos underwear at night.

(via the law of averages)

Software patents directive rejected!

A few hours ago, Heise reported that the EU parliament rejected the software patents directive. A majority of 648 (out of a total of 680) members of parliament voted against the directive.

This may not be the end of the software patents debate, but I definately feel relieved now.

(via Die wunderbare Welt von Isotopp)

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