Updates

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 12 hours, 17 minutes ago

    2020 January 18

    Committed the changes to:
        ~/plug/buddypress/bp-notifications/bp-notifications-adminbar.php
        ~/theme/functions.php
    developed on January 14-16 to deal with the notification
    avalanche problem (Build 413).  The final settings I decided on
    were to prune notifications when a user has more than 500 unread
    notifications, prune notifications older than 30 days, and limit
    notifications included in the drop-down menu to 35.  The
    diagnostic code which logs prune operations in the error_log
    remains enabled at present; I'll turn it off after I've had more
    experience with…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 day, 10 hours ago

    2020 January 17

    DOM selectors for things we need to access when applying
    a notifications update:
    

    document.getElementById("ab-pending-notifications").innerHTML Bubble with count of pending notifications

    document.getElementById("wp-admin-bar-bp-notifications-default").innerHTML List items for notification drop-down list. Note that the first item is the "Mark all read", which must be preserved. The balance are the old notifications, which should be replaced with the new ones. Each is wrapped by tags like: {li…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 days, 11 hours ago

    2020 January 16

    The notification pruning test continued to run smoothly
    overnight, revealing a new record holder with 25588 unread
    notifications, 23860 of which are more than 30 days old.
    

    Based upon the experiment, I increased the number of unread notifications which trigger the prune process from 250 to 500. This will reduce the number of prunes run after the initial prune has been performed.

    Made the deletion code in rb_notif_prune() live. We will now actually prune the old unread notifications.

    The first two active prunings of old notifications have now run. It appears to be…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 days, 12 hours ago

    2020 January 15

    The first-level mitigation of the notification avalanche appears
    to be working well.  Since it was implemented, around 22:00 UTC
    yesterday, there have been no deep draw-downs of CPU Credit
    Balance other than the usual ones for scheduled backups.  The
    deepest draw-down was to 574, and in each case there was a swift
    recovery to the maximum of 576.
    

    The date of creation of a notification is given by the "date_notified" field in the notification object. Its format is "2020-01-15 11:55:56n" (note the line feed at the end).

    Added the top layer of defence against…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 4 days, 10 hours ago

    2020 January 14

    Enough.  Firewalled:
        muzzle 207.46.13/24
    Away with you, lying Bingbot!
    

    It looks like we've finally silenced Bingbot and MSNbot as well. With the final IP range block, we've seen no hits from either bot in the 18 hours since. Thus, the blocks you need to firewall to get rid of Bingbot are: 40.77.0.0/16 157.55.0.0/16 207.46.13/24

    We have a user who has been accounting for an inordinate amount of our data transfer bandwidth. With hits and files accounting for less than 0.9% of load, the user accounted for 16% of all data transfers from the site,…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 5 days, 12 hours ago

    2020 January 13

    More weirdness on the bingbot front....  More than 24 hours
    since I disallowed bingbot in ~/rb/robots.txt, we continue to
    get hit, and hard, by bingbot, coming mainly from 207.46.13.71,
    but also from other addresses in the 207.46.13.0/24 block, which
    is part of 207.46.0.0/16, owned by Microsoft headquarters. There
    has not been a single request for robots.txt from bingbot in the
    last 24 hours.  Looking deeper, however, surprise, surprise,
    surprise!  There *have* been numerous requests for robots.txt,
    including a blast of 7 of them within a period of 10 seconds,
    all…

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    • “I have no idea why that was done.” I have no Idea how it was done. I accidentally posted before making private. I opened to edit, but clicking on the little button next to Visibility:Public did nothing for several tries.
      That TinyMCE is well below my normal window. My guess is the page was not fully loaded and that caused all my clicks on the “edit” to be registered exactly one hidden screen below what was visible.


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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 6 days, 12 hours ago

    2020 January 12

    The period of heavy load which began to hit us last night around
    20:00 UTC and, in two major waves with the second hitting near
    00:40 UTC, finally abated about 05:00 UTC, after which the CPU
    Credit Balance began to climb linearly from its low of 522 back
    to the maximum of 576.  Between the two steep down-waves, there
    was sufficiently heavy load to prevent any significant recovery.
    

    I extracted the access_log for the day, pruned out the AWS Health Check accesses (which are a low-level constant background), and then processed the remainder first with logresolve and…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week ago

    2020 January 11

    Made a mirror backup to Juno.
    
    Made a backup AMI:
        Ratburger Backup 2020-01-11  ami-029cfb7aac2ca5963
            /           snap-0651f4ea9804a5a7c
            /server     snap-0d53ebfd0e6298163
    
    Installed all pending update packages: 25 in total, 10 for
    security including a new kernel.
    
    Ran a Garback to preserve firewall settings and the muzzle list
    across the reboot.
    
    Rebooted at 12:33 UTC. The system came up normally after the
    reboot.  We are now running on kernel
    4.14.158-129.185.amzn2.x86_64.  The system had been up for 32
    days.
    
    After the reboot, both the IPv4 and…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 1 day ago

    2020 January 10

    Our blocking of SemrushBot in ~/rb/robots.txt on 2020-01-06
    appears to have stopped the flood of requests from the pure
    strain of that bot, but we're still seeing knocks on the door
    from a mutant, which identifies itself as user agent
    "SemrushBot-BA", hitting us from an IP block, 85.208.96.0/22, in
    Cyprus, which is, of course, where one expects to find ethical
    Web crawlers making their home.  This IP range is owned by
    "SEMrush CY LTD".  I added an exclusion of this user agent to
    ~/rb/robots.txt.  If this doesn't shut it up, I'll proceed to
    firewall its IP range.…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 2 days ago

    2020 January 9

    Updated the Stop Spammers plug-in to version 2019.6.  You'll
    recall (or, at least, I do) that on 2019-12-27 the 2019.5 update
    was released in which the only change was begging for money.
    Well, I guess that didn't work, because now along comes 2019.6
    in which the changes amount to replacing the previous
    maintainer's name with a new one and commenting out the previous
    beg banner, with the plea to pay replaced with "Blah blah
    blah.".  The release notes say to expect a forthcoming "Pro"
    version, which I'm sure will contain thousands of zowie new
    features for which…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 3 days ago

    2020 January 8

    As of 10:00 UTC we've finally clawed our way back up to the
    maximum of 576 CPU Credits, marking an end to the aftermath
    of the denial of service attack that started on 2020-01-05 at
    23:44:09.  This is an example of the havoc that one bozo,
    combined with the cosmological scale incompetence of the design
    of WordPress can wreak on an unprotected site.  Note that
    probably in excess of 99% of sites which do not run a front-end
    such as Cloudflare are vulnerable to an attack of this kind.
    
    Confirmed that access to ~/wp-config.php is denied by .htaccess.
    This is one of the…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 5 days ago

    2020 January 6

    Woke up to find a CPU Credit alarm from CloudWatch in my E-mail
    in-box.  The alarm triggered at 07:31 UTC at the threshold of a
    credit of 250, and by the time I checked, the credit was down to
    108.  The evolution of the credit balance for the day was:
         2020-01-06
        00:00  558.58
        01:00  511.67
        02:00  467.73
        03:00  420.99
        04:00  380.02
        05:00  323.49
        06:00  272.24
        07:00  226.95
        08:00  188.78
        09:00  148.37
        10:00  108.28
    Checking the access_log, it was immediately apparent we were
    under an intense login storm attack originating…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 6 days ago

    2020 January 5

    Updated the Inline Spoilers plug-in to version 1.5.0.   On
    2018-03-30 we added local code to this plug-in in:
        ~/plug/inline-spoilers/inline-spoilers.php
    which disabled the "optimisation" logic which only loaded the
    plug-in's JavaScript and CSS modules if a post actually included
    the {spoiler} shortcode.  This "logic" broke spoilers within
    comments on posts which did not, themselves, contain a spoiler.
    We've been carriying around this local code ever since.  In the
    version 1.5.0 update to the plug-in, the developer finally
    twigged to the problem (although another…

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    • That was my report of a problem scheduling a post for delayed publication. I still don’t know what I did wrong.
      Thanks.

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks ago

    2020 January 4

    Updated the BuddyPress plug-in to version 5.1.2.  Remember back
    on 2019-12-18 when I disabled the REST API, warning that it was
    a Trojan horse of security vulnerabilities?  Well, here's an
    example.  BuddyPress last dribbled an update from their lips two
    days before Christmas, and now they're back with the latest
    "improvement" which, according to their update log, which is not
    disclosed within the plug-in but rather sends you to their
    "codex" site:
        Security: A vulnerability was fixed that could allow private
        data to be exposed via REST API endpoint.
    Well, what…

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    • Good call on disabling a vulnerability. Thanks for reading the code and keeping Ratburger.org safe.


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    • Oh, I believe it. I could never get security to work with BuddyPress, and I ditched BuddyPress rather than try to figure out its issues.
      Dime hardest hit.


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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    2020 January 1

    Having generated a video to embed in a post or comment with
    OpenShot in OGG format (remember that you must rename the file
    from its default extension of .ogg to .ogv to avoid rejection by
    WordPress for "security" reasons), use the following commands to
    re-encode in MP4 and WEBM for cross-platform compatibility.
        ffmpeg -i myvideo.ogg -b:v 1200k myvideo.mp4
        ffmpeg -i myvideo.ogg -b:v 1200k myvideo.webm
    The -b:v option sets the bit rate of the encoder.  The setting
    approximates the quality and file size of OpenShot's OGG encoder
    when set to "High" quality.…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    2019 December 31

    Having dropped the version 4.0.4 clinker down the chimney on
    Christmas Eve, the WP Ulike plug-in is back on New Year's Eve
    with another dud firework, version 4.0.5.  This includes three
    new "[PRO]" features, including the "Proffesional Schema.org
    generator", which is such a revolution in computing that it
    merits the introduction of a new way to spell "professional".
    There is some additional faffing around with the code in several
    other files, including Jolly Roger:
        wp-ulike/inc/general-hooks.php
    where most of our local code resides.  However, the changes are
    in…

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    • Hey WordPress: “No thanks and
      never ask me again”.

      “Okay, remind you in four days.”


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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks ago

    2019 December 28

    Installed Speedtest_cli according to the instructions:
        .http://www.tecmint.com/check-internet-speed-from-command-line-in-linux/
    in ~/linuxtools/speedtest/speedtest-cli-master
    Results were:
        ./speedtest.py
        Retrieving speedtest.net configuration...
        Testing from Amazon.com (35.156.218.212)...
        Retrieving speedtest.net server list...
        Selecting best server based on ping...
        Hosted by fdcservers.net (Frankfurt) [0.89 km]: 1.782 ms
        Testing download speed................................................................................…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 1 day ago

    2019 December 27

    Updated the WP External Links plug-in to version 2.43. This
    plug-in was last heard from on 2019-12-18, when version 2.42
    came across the transom.  This update is not just a one-liner,
    but a one character fix to the regular expression that the
    plug-in uses to parse {a} tags out of the HTML it is
    processing.  It previously did not ignore an idiotic and
    meaningless "{a}" tag (without any attributes), but since this
    is WordPress and idiotic and meaningless stuff comes with the
    territory, a fix was in order so it doesn't fall on its face
    when encountering it.  We have no…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 2 days ago

    2019 December 26

    Added diagnostic code in:
        ~/plug/disable-json-api/classes/disable-rest-api.php
    function get_wp_error() to log REST API crack attempts to the
    error_log with the IP address of the attacker.  It's worth
    getting an idea of how frequent these are and whether, for
    example, it would make sense to have gardol_wp monitor them and
    firewall attackers.
    
    Updated the User Role Editor plug-in to version 4.52.2.  It's
    Boxing Day and, ker-pow!, along comes another User Role Editor
    update, with two fixes for flaws in version 4.52.1 of
    2019-11-12.  The most humorous is that when…

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