monitoring

Monitoring Certificate Transparency logs for fraudulent SSL certs with Scumblr

I read with interest this article by Facebook, about detecting (possibly) fraudulent SSL certificates being issued by CAs.

I wasn't previously aware of Google's Certificate Transparency initiative, but it seems like a good idea. Basically there exists a sort of blockchain of public, append-only logs of all SSL certs that are being issued (at least, where the CA is cooperating to publish that info?).

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part five, troubleshooting

In the last article of this sysadmin series, I talked about the importance of monitoring as an insight into infrastructure and application behaviour - something that is hard to overstate. But what good is monitoring if you don't understand what it's telling you? That's where troubleshooting comes in.

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'So, what is it you exactly do?' - Part four, monitoring

Here's a scenario...

At 4:30AM every Thursday (sysadmin's time), a server's site suddenly spikes in load, because a full backup takes place at such a time, which is not an off-peak time in terms of traffic due to international visitors.

A bunch of users visiting a site on that server receive a flurry of 502 errors trying to load some content - a form of application timeout due to the taxing effect on the CPU related to the backup process.

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OSSEC, Drupal, and different Syslog identities per site

I really like OSSEC, the open-source intrusion detection system, and deploy it wherever I'm working. Not only is it great from a security point of view (detecting brute force attacks, crawlers, XSS injection attempts, bad permissions on files, modificatons to files, notification of installed/removed packages, presence of rootkits etc etc), but it's also really good at exposing the general state of things on your infrastructure that might otherwise go unnoticed (even if they're logged).

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One-touch provisioning and auto-monitoring of new servers

I've recently been doing some very innovative work for the very clever gents at Code Enigma, where I've been working on some interesting projects:

1. an automated 'zero-touch' dev/stage/live deployment system for their enterprise Drupal applications (developers no longer need to ssh in to servers to do deployments)

2. automatic 'one-touch' provisioning and configuration of new hosting cloud services.

(More on the dev/stage/live zero-touch deployment soon :) )

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