It appears, b!X pointed out, that “Joe Lieberman is advertising his website by hitting unrelated websites to which it does not link, passing along false referer information that points people to the joe2004.com website.”
I've checked my own referer logs for this month (January) and I haven't seen the Joe Leiberman referer spam, although I did see Wesley Clark referer spam (I guess if it's good for one, it's good for the other) and plenty of sites hawking the Paris Hilton (although why the Paris Hilton needs such advertisements is beyond me—are they going bankrupt there or something?). And in an incredible display of tackiness or cluelessness (or both!), I got referer spam from StarProse Corporation which has an article about how bad referer spam is.
And Andrew Jackson is still the most popular thing being linked to here.
While looking for referer spam I found that my entry about fending off a DDoS attack has been quite popular, but upon rereading I found it rather terse. So I figure I might as well clear up some details of what exactly I did.
netstat -an to check the state of all network connections,
and given that there were an enormous number of connections in the
SYN_RECV state is an indication that a
(where hundreds of connections are initiated but not completed, thus
flooding out legitimate traffic) is underway.
Normal TCP/IP networking is open to an attack known as “
SYNflooding”. This denial-of-service attack prevents legitimate remote users from being able to connect to your computer during an ongoing attack and requires very little work from the attacker, who can operate from anywhere on the Internet.
SYNcookies provide protection against this type of attack. If you say
Yhere, the TCP/IP stack will use a cryptographic challenge protocol known as “
SYNcookies” to enable legitimate users to continue to connect, even when your machine is under attack. There is no need for the legitimate users to change their TCP/IP software;
SYNcookies work transparently to them. For technical information about
SYNcookies, check out <http://cr.yp.to/syncookies.html>.
If you are
SYNflooded, the source address reported by the kernel is likely to have been forged by the attacker; it is only reported as an aid in tracing the packets to their actual source and should not be taken as absolute truth.
Help from the Linux Kernel 2.4 Configuration screen
sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_syncookies=1 is the command used to
SYN cookies in the Linux kernel. This helps some with
the type of attack we were experiencing.
sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_max_syn_backlog=2048 increases the
number of incomming connections the kernel can keep track of. Increasing
this value is a bit of a double edged sword in such an attack—on the one
hand, we allow more connections, thus hopefully allowing legitimate
connections through, but on the other hand, we allow more connections, thus
allowing more machines to
SYN flood the machine. Given some of
the other steps I took, this was probably a good idea overall.
sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_syn_retries=2 (which I forgot to
mention in the original entry) decreases the amount of time the kernel
spends trying to establish a TCP/IP connection (from a default
value of 5 attempts to two) which helps to flush the bad connections from
the system quicker.
route add -host <ip-addr> reject which causes the
kernel to ignore packets from the given IP address, and also flushes current connections from
said IP addresses from the
system. This was the thing I was doing that kept the system up and
running during the attack. I ended up writing a script to continuously
check the connections, then once a certain threshhold of bad connections was
exceeded, ban all the addresses.
The site was eventually taken down dispite all the attempt I made to keep it up since the network traffic to the site in question was swamping the rest of the network the machine was on (it was the colocation facility that said enough is enough and shut the site down). Other than that, I was fairly successful in keeping the website accessible.
… how do you become an author?
I always give the same answer: it's easy to be an author, whether of fiction or nonfiction, and it's a pleasant profession. Fiction authors go about making speeches and signing books. Computer authors go to computer shows and then come home to open boxes of new equipment and software, and play with the new stuff until they tire of it. It's nice work if you can get it.
The problem is that no one pays you to be an author.
To be an author, you must first be a writer …
The secret of becoming a writer is that you have to write. You have to write a lot.…
I am sure it has been done with less, but you should be prepared to write and throw away a million words of finished material. By finished, I mean completed, done, ready to submit, and written as well as you know how at the time you wrote it. You may be ashamed of it later, but that's another story. [emphasis added]
I would think that after four years of doing this I would have a million words done by now, but nooooo. I only have about 340,000 words of material here.
Only 660,000 bad words left to write.
By contrast, I suspect that Atlas Shrugged (by Ayn Rand) has about half a million words (only it feels twice as long). And Jerry Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye (okay, him and Larry Niven) has about 224,000 words in it.
Can you tell I'm trying to pad my count with worthless entries?
I finally got to see Return of the King today, and I found it well worth the price of admission and not at all did it feel like a three and a half hour film.
However, the Coke and popcorn was not worth the $9 I paid. Ouch.