I would have posted about this last night but there would have been far too much profanity. As it is, this post is full of geekish talk, so if that makes your eyes glaze over, skip it.
We’ve got a home network with several computers using a linux machine for IP masquerading, which basically means that the linux box is our firewall. We’re completely dependent on that machine for internet access.
Yesterday someone let me know that reverse DNS lookup was broken, and it was causing the mud and the box to lag for 30 seconds when someone tried to log in. I got pissed since I had just set up the caching DNS server, so I went to try to fix it and couldn’t possibly see what was broken. I had changed nothing since I set it up. Things usually don’t just break like that. Totally flummoxed, I set the linux box just to use another nameserver and went back through the log files to see if I could pinpoint the problem.
The log files made a brief reference to “linsniffer”. Uhoh. A sniffer is a program that a hacker puts onto a computer in order to access information about traffic going in and out of the box. Anyone who logged onto the linux box from the internet (meaning all the mud coders) had their passwords logged into a file accessible by the script kiddie who hacked the box. Hub’s friend from the AR-15 boards and I got on the phone. He’s a linux developer and quite familiar with various security flaws and their consequences. An hour later he had found hacks dating back to 2000, plus several ports open and listening that shouldn’t be.
Well, it figures. We hadn’t updated the kernel since Jo was born. We just don’t have the time to administer a linux box properly. Right now I’m in the process of downloading the latest Debian linux distribution and am going to install it on a new, clean machine. We’re going to buy a hardware router/firewall and use that for our internet access, and put the mud box on the other IP.
Also lately I’ve been noticing that my face is doing really strange things. My skin’s gotten really dry and the face gets flushed with red bumps on it, especially after the shower. My nose has been consistently red for the last couple of weeks and I look quite a bit like the town drunk. I need to go to the doctor to see what the heck is going on. Sounds a lot like those commercials about rosacea. I found out that W.C. Fields had rosacea, which is what made his nose really lumpy. This woman has the same kind of thing I’m talking about. Oy.