Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to How much time does it takes to set up bboard from scratch

Talli wrote: "To put it simply, it's war out there. The number of port scans that are performed on a box connected to the internet is astounding. If you don't really care about your data or how your server may be used if it's been hacked into, then your level of security can be arbitrary."

Just to point out, you don't even need a broadband connection to attract the attention of crackers. I'm on plain old dialup PPP over a plain old POTS line and nowadays I get port scanned every other hour or so. I'm tail-ing the syslog in a small terminal window and with PortSentry listening, I can see every time someone comes knocking at my door. You're really gambling with disaster if you're not proactive and taking active, aggressive measures.

The short shrift paid to security and backups by people who run web services is astounding. You'd think that in this day and age people responsible for serious servers would know better, but I guess some people will only learn by getting knocked down. The site was down for weeks because they A.) didn't have a warm spare, B.) didn't have cold spares, and C.) worst of all and totally inexcusable, in their own words, they didn't have any useful backups of their database/website. Their tale of woe could easily be retitled: How Not to Run a Database-Backed Web Server.

In their case, they weren't really cracked, but the end result would have been the same, maybe worse, because they didn't care enough about their data to keep backups (and their fancy RAID array didn't serve any pages to site visitors for weeks as it languished in one of Compaq's data recovery labs).