Feeds

Ubuntu unplugs compromised servers

Five out of eight systems riddled with bugs

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Ubuntu had to shut down five of its eight production servers last week after realising the poorly maintained systems were compromised to such an extent they had become a source of attacks against other systems.

The servers were sponsored by Canonical but hosted by the community. The systems were running an old unsupported version of Ubuntu, a factor that goes some way to explaining why they were so insecure.

Problems included missing security patches, the use of FTP (rather than a secure protocol) to access the machines, and no recent upgrades due to problems with the network cards and later kernels. Kernel upgrades were omitted because of poor backwards compatibility with the hardware Canonical supplied.

It's unclear whether or not files hosted on the servers were altered by hackers. A post-mortem by Canonical found that hacking into the systems would have been easy for any moderately skilled hacker.

"An attacker could have gotten a shell through almost any of these sites," writes James Troup, leader of the Canonical sysadmin team.

Ubuntu community members have been given the choice of either migrating the servers to Canonical's data centre or to stay on hosted servers. More on the incident can be found in Ubuntu's newsletter here. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.