Friday, May 11, 2007

Website hacked and other stuff.

I woke up this morning to find that I could not access my new website. All I got was a bunch of "Page Not Found" errors. Moreover, I could not login to the website via the web. So, it was all very interesting.

So, I logged in via SSH instead to see if anything was wrong. I checked to make sure that all the services were running. Then, I checked the logs to make sure that things were okay. That's when I noticed something fishy. Seems that someone had exploited a vulnerability in drupal to do some mischief.

There's this vulnerability in drupal that allows someone to launch this kind of denial-of-service attack by exploiting it's cache. It took me about half an hour to figure this out and flush the drupal cache manually. It was quite annoying.

This event taught me one lesson. Since I'm currently on a self-hosting package, I would also have to manage the website security myself. So, I should be careful about patching things up and ensuring that everything was running properly. Hmm, there are advantages and disadvantages to being on my former shared hosting plan. However, it's too late to change now. My old hosting contract has pretty much expired.

As for the rest of the day, I spent it pretty much trying to get my new FPGA board to work. I designed a simple counter and brought it through the whole tool chain just to verify that everything was working. Needless to say, I ran into trouble with the programmer and software. However, at the end of the day, I managed to get it working. The board is currently blinking LEDs in a count now. So, I know that it's working correctly. Sweet!

While trying to figure out how to get the board to work, I stumbled across another blog that had mentioned my chip. The blogger had downloaded my designs yesterday and had some complaints on it. So, I wrote to him to work things out. It seems that it wasn't a technical problem that he had with my design. He felt that my bit ordering system in descending order wasn't as having it in ascending order. We agreed that it's just a matter of preference and style. He was quite enthusiastic about using the processor in a future project. I wished him well.

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