Feeds

White House Web site moves to Linux

Linux cache front-end but presidential site sticks with Solaris

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Updated The White House Web site has been moved onto a Linux platform after its administrators managed to successfully side step an attack by the Code Red worm.

Netcraft reports that Whitehouse.gov is now being hosted by a peering firm and that the site uses a Netscape-Enterprise/3.6 Web server on a Linux platform. [But this is slightly misleading see update below].

Prior to its forced move, Netcraft suggests the site was run on a Sun server, and the site still may be, since Netcraft's data on this is far from conclusive (as explained in Netcraft's FAQ).

As previously reported, one of the main features of the Code Red worm, which targets vulnerabilities in Microsoft IIS Web servers, was to attempt to flood the White House Web site via a co-ordinated distributed denial of service attack.

The attack failed because it was against a specific IP address, and not a URL, and the worm would check for a valid connection before launching an attack. By moving from one IP address to another, Whitehouse.gov successfully avoided the attack.

The move onto Linux is interesting but should be seen as the incidental consequence of moving the site so that it is hosted by a peering firm, not a ringing presidential endorsement of the open source operating system. When Microsoft got its Domain Name System (DNS) servers in a twist earlier this year it partially outsourced their management to Akamai, which used Linux servers for the job - much to the embarrassment of Redmond. ®

Update

Netcraft have been in touch to tell us their results show that the Akamai cache now used to front-end the White House Web site runs Linux. The site itself is probably still on Solaris, said Netcraft, and this is something we might have inferred by the fact Netscape Enterprise was the Web server. Duh!

External Links

Whitehouse.gov's OS according to Netcraft
Whitehouse.gov
Netcraft's FAQ

Related Stories

IIS worm made to packet Whitehouse.gov
Microsoft outsources some DNS servers to Linux
Code Red worm cripples US military sites
Code Red bug hits Microsoft security update site
Internet survives Code Red

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.