Ubuntu 15.04

     Just a heads up to anyone contemplating an upgrade.  I would recommend not putting Ubuntu 15.04 on a server just yet, not sufficiently stable.  It has a few things like occasionally DNS doesn’t come up after a boot, audio doesn’t work if connecting via x2go, sometimes locks up when you attempt to shut it down, sometimes processes get stuck.  None of these things were an issue with 14.04 LTS.  Just getting a basic desktop up eats a bit more memory than 14.04.  Part of this is that it starts a lot of unnecessary junk.   With Mate desktop, it starts Abiword when you login for reasons nobody seems to be able to explain.

     A few pluses with 15.04, if you’ve got an Nvidia card, the nvidia drivers from the distribution work now.  No need to grab them directly from the Nvidia site and manually install, in fact that, on 15.04, now fails. There is a build for Blackberry.  No idea if it actually works since I don’t have one to flash and potentially brick to try. In general there are some new toys and more documentation than in 14.04 LTS or 14.10.

Reverting Ubuntu to 14.04LTS

     I am reverting ubuntu.eskimo.com to version 14.04 LTS.  I can not get sound to work with 15.04 at this time.  It works on both my workstation computers but apparently not over the network.  I’ve pretty much tried everything I can find online and then some.

Isomedia – Steve Milton – Thank you

     When we were down Saturday morning I was having a bit of a problem getting help through normal channels, in part because I couldn’t get to my servers where I had the information stored.

     I had the cell phone of one of the co-founders of Isomedia, Steve Milton, and gave him a call and he got someone who could and did help in touch which helped us get back in service.

     There aren’t many big companies where you have a rats chance in hell of contacting one of the founders, let alone actually getting help from them, so I felt this should be made known to anyone looking for co-lo.  They’ve been very good to Eskimo and myself personally.

Firewall Rules Still Being Adjusted

     I am still fine tuning firewall rules.  I ran some port scans last night and things are still more open than I want them to be so I am making additional changes to minimize an attackers ability to see potentially exploitable targets and attack them.  Essentially, I am trying to block any and all traffic that doesn’t have a legitimate function.

     I’ve made a few typos along the way and unintentionally blocked legitimate services for a short time frame.  If you notice anything broken, please e-mail support@eskimo.com or call 206-812-0051.

     Thank you for your patience.

Firewall Rules Restructured

     I have to totally restructured firewall rules in response to yesterdays Denial of Service attack.  Now all filtering is done on the incoming side of the interface cards.  This prevents the hostile packets from crossing the main bus and eating CPU.  Yesterdays attack consisted of a large number of small packets that exhausted CPU.  These changes will address exactly this type of attack.  The interface cards are intelligent and perform filtering actions without requiring the routers main processors to be involved.

     It also simplified the filtering by eliminating the necessity to allow local exceptions for local machine communications between subnets.

     In addition I have blocked access to all router interfaces and broadcast addresses from the outside which will prevent certain types of abuse.

Ubuntu Up – Upgrade in Progress

      Ubuntu is up but an upgrade from 14.10 to 15.04 is in progress.  Although it can be used in this state, it will be slow as the upgrade process is heavily taxing on I/O resources and it is probably best to minimize activity during the upgrade.

Ubuntu Out Of Service for Imaging

     I have successfully upgraded Ubuntu from 14.04 to 14.10. I am now going to take it offline to image it so that if the upgrade from 14.10 to 15.04 blows up, I don’t have to start all over at 14.04 again. This will take about 45 minutes.

Denial of Service Attack Mitigated

     We were hit with a denial of service attack that exhausted router resources.  This started just before 6AM this morning.  It has been mitigated by adding additional firewall rules around 11:15AM.  What made this difficult to troubleshoot was the traffic was being blocked by a firewall rule but on the outbound interface instead of the inbound one so the CPU was overloaded by it making it difficult to get any response from the router.  I will be restructuring firewall rules so invalid traffic is blocked on the inbound interface to prevent a future attack of this same type.

     Please do not rely on the Eskimo North Users group on Yahoo for information during an outage.  It often will not allow me to login or is not responsive so I can’t post.  There is also someone who posts to it maliciously so information you get there may not be accurate.  This morning inaccurate information was posted suggesting this was “just like 2009”, no it was in NO WAY like 2009, the phones worked, information was available there, and I also posted on Facebook where I could login.

     The most direct source of information is your phone, call us.  When something is down, I leave a voice message so at least you can know what is happening.  After that, check our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/EskimoNorth, which unlike the Yahoo group, is controlled by us and thus will have accurate information.

DoS Attack

       Our router is currently being subject to a denial of service attack that is sufficiently intense to block most traffic from passing through.  I am currently at the co-location facility and working with Isomedia to block it and restore service.