Category Archives: Status

That’s a fine server, Anthony, a fine, fine server!

Twighlight Zone Good Life Anthony

You’re a bad bot. I’m tired of playing with you. I’m going to make you dead now.

July, 2014.  The internet is a secluded village, all controlled and terrorized by one boy…

Meet Anthony, from the ‘It’s a Good Life’ episode of The Twilight Zone (Nov. 1961).  Details over at imdb, or watch the whole episode (with modernized commercial/ad inserts) at hulu.

We’ve hired Anthony, now in his 50s to do away with spam, Zombie DNS DDoS Bots, and other such pests buzzing around and annoying or destroying everything and everyone in the internet play ground.  We should have thought of it earlier… Just making bad things dead or wishing them into the cornfield.

OK, not quite that easy, here’s what’s up in the fight against Spam-Nados and Zombie Bots…

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Less Spammy Inboxes

Trick or Treat?

We have had to turn back on/up as many of the filters and blocks as possible because the “spam load” on some of the users (including the admin) is overwhelming.

Some of your contacts may get ‘rejections’ or ‘bounces’ if their servers are identified as “blacklisted” (DNSBL).  If you have any reports from your friends about problems email and we’ll get them whitelisted.

Serious fail2ban!

Serious Sam Box ArtIt reminds me of a level of Serious Sam – the one where 1,000s of those headless bomb-toting zombie-soldiers and screamers came pouring at you relentlessly, seemingly to infinity (and beyond).

It was a backdraft. Or the eye of the Zombie-Nado-Cane. When the bad-bots got some air around August 5th – DDoS or DNS Amplification – fail2ban (and the servers) got burned.

Even the “eye-dee-keff-kuh-may” (TammyBelle’s God Mode Code for DOOM][ ) cheat didn’t help.  fail2ban got clobbered… ‘already banned’ every one second in the log and no more bans happening because 100s or 1000s of times per second from 100s or thousands of bots: bad requests.

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ZombieBots Part 2 or…

Sharknado! sharknado

Equally exciting, terrifying, low-budget and prone to sequels.

So bad it’s good movie lovers, click the link above and see if you can survive that whirlwind of bites.

Server admins, stay right here and get ready for DNS-Zombie-Bots Two: More Tech-Talk and .configs Than You Can Stand!  (Or, “Bored To Death!” Or, “You can have the whole seat, but you only need the edge!”) Continue reading

Yes, More Spam

It is not catastrophic, but there is an increase in the junk mail getting through.

Q: Why?
A: Because gmail, yahoo and aol have managed to get their servers listed in Uniform Resource Identifier Blacklist (URIBL) databases. **

The Q/A above leads to the P/S below (as distasteful as it may be).

Problem: gmail (google), yahoo and aol [and others] are URIBL blocked by the spam filters/servers, we all want email from our friends at gmail, yahoo and (yes, still) aol.
Solution: turn off URIBL blocking at the spam filters/servers. (Throw IN the bad bathwater with the good?)

Someday, maybe, the internet will be a better more friendly place to live.  Until then, a few more *Junk* emails every day.

** gmail, yahoo and aol do not provide ‘easy platforms’ for spammers, phishers and junk/bulk email proliferators; they get listed on these ‘block lists’ by their competitors, odd-balls that hate big companies and goofy, immature people that have nothing better to do.

6.18.2013 Finally…

Dear Diary:

June 6, 2013: need a new website for a customer.  “Let’s do wordpress!”  Boom #1: wordpress needs newer php.

June 6-8, 2013: Thinking, discussing, planning regarding: in-place updates never work.  “Just setup a new server all up to date and ready for wordpress.”

June 9, 2013: Smart I.T. peoples backup on Sunday, run a full system backup… Boom #2: backup hard drives marked “read only” (usually means damage or imminent failure).

June 9-16, 2013: 2 new (rebuild one, fire up and build the “backup equipment” been sitting idle since 2008 waiting for catastrophe) servers to dish DNS, one will be “live” server, one is a fall-back/backup.

June 9-16, 2013: The endless cascade of computer junk.  One thing leads to one more thing that reveals that other problem and so-on and so-on.

June 16, 2013 11:00PM: everything transferred from 3 servers onto/into the new pair.  Shutdown (shutdown -h now) “ninesix” (online since 1.2010) and “isp1100″ (since 2006?? 2005?? earlier??).  Unplug this, plug in that, check this check that… “Tomorrow, let’s do wordpress!”

June 17, 2013: Boom #3.  bind (DNS Server) SERVFAIL.  Zone file for MLD Computers (, how cool is that ) marked with .err extension, all ‘other’ domains working (sort of), but DNS errors for one cause DNS errors for many.  Finally got passed bind/DNS problems (delete the zones and re-create is the hind-sight how-to).  ns3 DNS ports lost in the shuffle (they say forwarding and accepted, poof no reply).

June 17, 2013: Boom #4.  Lots of “little fixes” needed to make sites work/look like they used to.  All new server os and hosting software should not be mixed with all old web design.

June 18, 2013: Finally…
All of this and that and the others settled down enough: “Let’s do wordpress!”

So, testing it out here before trying on the customer site that started this ‘mess’ 12 days ago.