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Sep 17 2013

Hey, We’re Back!

Sorry about the outage, folks. Our database got borked big time and had to be restored from a backup copy. Thankfully, our site tech is very anal about backing up the site and has it done several times a day, so very little was lost. And now we’re back in business.

18 comments

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  1. 1
    timberwoof

    Praise to your site tech for his fastidiousness. (Hi, Site Tech! Nice work.)

    (I’m anal-retentive, too. I carry my anus with me everywhere I go. I’m not clear on what that’s implied to be a bad thing.)

  2. 2
    vmanis1

    That Robert Bork seems to be responsible for a lot of things, even after his death.

  3. 3
    SallyStrange

    Hooray for competent techies!

  4. 4
    Larry

    Backups are a vital factor is safe computing. Just as important is to periodically verify the backups are working and that a restoration can be performed from them. And, no, proving that when your hard drive decides its had enough and you’re forced to do a real recovery doesn’t count. Unless the recovery fails because your backups are corrupt.

    I learned that lesson from a, ummm, friend.

  5. 5
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Indeed, good on the tech. I was wondering what had happened.

    Larry:
    Hey, you learned. I’ve run into too may people who refuse to do so, then expect magic. (Did magic work last time? Or the time before that? No? Well…)

  6. 6
    eigenperson

    I blame Rebecca Watson.

  7. 7
    inquisitiveraven

    Yep, verifying your back ups is as important has making them. Found that out when CompuServe had to restore from a three month old back up because they hadn’t been verifying them.

  8. 8
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Good – glad to find FTB back. I was wondering what happened last night. (My time.)

  9. 9
    d.c.wilson

    Damn that Rebecca Watson! She ruins everything!

  10. 10
    Randomfactor

    Was expecting it was some sort of DDOS attack.

  11. 11
    left0ver1under

    Randomfactor (#10) –

    Likewise. The clowns who say things like “ftbullies” would probably like to crash the site, if they were technically savvy enough to do it.

  12. 12
    grasshopper

    Ed, some of the php error messages displayed whilst your site was down revealed the directory structure of the various blogs. From what I know of web security, knowledge of the structure of a web site can make it easier for the site to be compromised by hackers.

    Also, like the advice given by the Admiralty to captains of sailing vessels of the Royal Navy, “Rule 1: When you find your ship between the wind and a lee shore, never let your ship be found there”.

    Never let your error messages reveal anything about your site structure.

  13. 13
    barry21

    Glad to have you back!

  14. 14
    Mr Ed

    Like ice storms and blizzards we will talk for years about how we got through the FTB outage.

  15. 15
    Raging Bee

    inquisitiveraven: CompuWho?

  16. 16
    Olav

    Mr. Ed wins a medal.

  17. 17
    blf

    I must concur with grasshopper@12: There was an awful lot of detailed information spewed out in the error messages about the site’s structure and implementation in the error messages. Whilst I know that sort of detail can be amazingly useful when diagnosing and repairing a problem, I am also fully aware it can help a (potential-)attacker.

    This warning is not, however, advice to rely on “security through obscurity”, but on well-considered fundamentals (which includes trivialities such as not revealing un-necessary detail). If your site technicians are good enough to be anal retentive about backups, then hopefully they are also aware enough to provide and test the site’s security fundamentals. However, they seemed to have missed a point about the publicly-visible error messages…

  18. 18
    freehand

    I knew a woman who had a home real estate business. Pretty upscale. Backed up her database every night, and verified now and then. Then the Oakland Hills fire (1989?) burned her house down to its foundation – including the backups.

    In the lumber mill I work at, I make sure our backups go to a computer in another building, separated by hundreds of meters of asphalt. (And secondary backups elsewhere.)

    Your tech is probably good enough to have that taken care of, but you might ask.

    Always keep a recent backup offsite.

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