OSSEC HIDS Linux security

Less than two hours after I logged into the admin end of this website, which is powered by WordPress, the site went offline, with a 502 Bad Gateway error. What the…?

So I logged in via ssh and noticed a serious lag between when I type a letter and when it appears on the screen. I’ve got a problem. And with latency like that, running top will not help. After verifying that all the server applications were running, I checked disk usage using df -h. The output hinted at the problem I was facing.

The server was out of disk space! But this is a Cloud server with 40 GB of disk space and only serving a couple of websites. What could have consumed all the disk space?

Just to recover some space and see if I could get the site back online, I decided to delete a few zip files that had served their purpose. Another

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df -h after that revealed that I had recovered 500 MB.

That brought the site back online and put a smile on my face. And just at that point I recalled having installed a backup plugin. Perhaps the backups were the culprits. An ls -lh in the backup directory confirmed my suspicion.

Two huge backup files were in the directory and the latest had a timestamp that matched when the site went offline. Since I had already downloaded the previous backup, I deleted it from the server. Another

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df -h broadened my smile.

Now the site is running like it’s supposed to. The server running out of disk space was an oversight. The main lesson here is I need a better backup strategy. Probably need to be backing up to a Cloud storage service. The other lesson is I need to have a script that reports disk usage by email daily, because this should never happen again.

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Hya, after stints as a quantum researcher at Georgia Tech Quantum Optics & Quantum Telecom Lab, and the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute, I’m now working on superconducting qubit quantum processors at Bleximo. I’ll be speaking during Algorithm Conference in Austin, Texas, July 16 – 18, 2020. Meet me there and let’s chat about progress and hype in quantum computing.