March 29th, 2006, 07:45 PM
Why Northerners think the South are stupid
I'm lost for words here. I can't believe this happened....
The heartland turned vicious this week when an Oklahoma town threatened to call in the FBI because its web site was hacked by Linux maker Cent OS. Problem is CentOS didn't hack Tuttle's web site at all. The city's hosting provider had simply botched a web server.
This tale kicked off yesterday when Tuttle's city manager Jerry Taylor fired off an angry message to the CentOS staff. Taylor had popped onto the city's web site and found the standard Apache server configuration boilerplate that appears with a new web server installation. Taylor seemed to confuse this with a potential hack attack on the bustling town's IT infrastructure.
"Who gave you permission to invade my website and block me and anyone else from accessing it???," Taylor wrote to CentOS. "Please remove your software immediately before I report it to government officials!! I am the City Manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma."
Few people would initiate a tech support query like this, but these are dangerous times, and Taylor suspected the worst. (Er, but only the world's most boring hacker would break into a site and then throw up a boilerplate about how to fix the hack.)
CentOS developer Johnny Hughes jumped on the case and tried to explain the situation to Taylor.
"I feel sorry for your city," he replied in an e-mail. "CentOS is an operating system. It is probably installed on the computer that runs your website. . . . Please contact someone who does IT for you and show them the page so that they can configure your apache webserver correctly."
That response didn't go over so well.
"Get this web site off my home page!!!!! It is blocking access to my website!!!!~!," Taylor responded, clearly excited about the situation and sensing that Bin Laden was near.
Again, CentOS jumped in to try and explain some of the technical details behind the problem. It pointed Taylor to this page, saying it was the standard page for a web server and noted that it provides instructions on how to fix the problem. The CentOS staffer suggested that Taylor contact his service provider or have an administrator look into the issue.
This land is your land... this land is my land....
That response didn't go over so well.
"Unless this software is removed I will file a complaint with the FBI," Taylor replied.
Later he added,
"I have four computers located at City Hall. All of these computers display the same CentOS page when attempting to bring up Tuttle-ok.gov. Now if your software is not causing this problem, how does it happen??? No one outside this building has complained about this problem. This is a block of public access to a city's website. Remove your software within the next 12 hours or an official complaint to the FBI is being filed!"
"I am computer literate! I have 22 years in computer systems engineering and operation. Now, can you tell me how to remove 'your software' that you acknowledge you provided free of charge? I consider this 'hacking.'"
After a few more exciting exchanges, CentOS managed to track down the problem for Taylor. It turns out that hosting provider Vidia Communications is running CentOS on some of its servers and had not configured the Tuttle web site properly. CentOS informed Taylor of the situation, and, a day later, Taylor had calmed down.
"The problem has been resolved by VIDIA who used to host the City website," he wrote. "They still provide cable service but do not host the website. The explanation was that they had a crash and during the rebuild they reinstalled the software that affected our website."
"I am sorry that we had to go through the process and accusations to get the problem resolved. It could have been resolved a lot quicker if the initial correspondence with you provided the helpful information that was transmitted in the last messages. My initial contact with VIDIA disallowed any knowledge of creating the problem."
Er, so despite the fact that CentOS went out of its way to figure out the problem for Tuttle, Taylor still places the blame on CentOS for not fixing the problem - that it didn't create - sooner. In addition, Taylor didn't really start off the whole process on the best foot despite Tuttle being a town "Where People Grow - Friendly!" Grow friendly, threaten to bring in the FBI at the drop of a hat - what's the difference?
As of this writing, one Tuttle web site still had not been fixed, although you can find the charming Tuttle man Taylor over here.
Taylor has yet to respond to our request for comment.
It seems that Tuttle has quite the hacking epidemic on its hands. The Tuttle Times newspaper's web site, for example, has had its Forum section cracked. Click at your own risk to see it or have a peek at our screen grab.
To see the full transcript of the web server war, travel over here. It's classic reading.
March 29th, 2006, 07:52 PM
I read that the other day...sounds like an id10t error to me.
“Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers
March 29th, 2006, 08:18 PM
Well, it's gotten worse. He's recently started threatening The Register as well: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/27/tuttle_email/
March 29th, 2006, 09:10 PM
Good God I just read that.... What an idiot. 22 years experience.... I've only owned a computer for 6 years now, that was when I got my first computer ever. I got into Unix and Linux two years ago give or take a few months, and I must say, after reading this I wonder if "asking for an experienced" person in IT is really such a good thing when it comes to hiring anyone for a job.
This is sad.... The most annoying part was how he's so damn stupid, he actually thought it was their fault, and his hosting company.... Do they REALLY want anyone knowing about them right now?
They need a BOFH.
March 29th, 2006, 09:28 PM
I had completely missed this whole thing til it was posted here... what a great read...
Sad part about this is I think about half the managers I have worked for are right in line with this bozo.
Thanks Gore and Ms M for a great post.
~ I'm NOT insane! I've just been in a bad mood for the last 30 years! ~ Somepeople are like Slinky's: Not good for anything, but the thought of pushing them down the stairs brings a smile to your face!
March 29th, 2006, 09:39 PM
I read the story and found it mind-bogglingly sad but to digress mildly off topic for a moment...
1) Oklahoma isn't in the south...
2) To most Southerners, ask them about anywhere north of where they live and they'll classify that place as 'northern.' Ie., someone in Alabama might refer to someone from Tennessee or Virginia as a 'Yank'
3) Dumbasses abound everywhere, especially in the US. The 'South' has no particular claim nor monopoly on them.
4) If a Northerner is inclined to think that way about the South based off of something like this, then I believe a great many people I know, myself included, would think along the lines of : 'Let the dumbass think that, just one less idiot/jackass that I don't have to worry about being around here...'
Not that I don't think the story is noteworthy/newsworthy, I just don't particularly care for the title.
There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.
(Merovingian - Matrix Reloaded)
March 29th, 2006, 09:42 PM
im sure there are idiots everyware if you just look for them
I hear dumb people.
March 29th, 2006, 09:55 PM
Ok now that is funny. He probably didn't set up the server himself and should have went to the guys that configured it for him.
March 29th, 2006, 10:12 PM
March 29th, 2006, 10:54 PM
LOL, he has a point though - polititians are exempt from payng the TAX - guess that curtesey dosen't apply to diplomats!