Published: Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:24
Written by Ben Tasker
We've all, almost certainly, had a boss we didn't necessarily get on with at some point, but that doesn't necessarily make them a bad boss.
People are different, and sometimes view points collide, it's an inavoidable risk of putting distinct personalities into a group and asking them to spend their days together.
What makes a true bad boss is when the power/influence they exert is mis-used.
In my career, I've had one particularly bad boss (I hasten to add - I'm not working there anymore!), not only did their behaviour ruin my enjoyment of my role, but they (in my opinion) deliberately went out of their way in an (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to severely tarnish my reputation and my name. Their attempt could also have had a devastating effect upon my quality of life.
In this post, I'll be taking a broad overview of what happened, and examining what I learnt from the experience, and (with the benefit of hindsight) what the early warning signs were.
The events I'm going to discuss occurred a number of years ago and I always planned to write about it, but wanted to leave it long enough that I could be truly objective. As a result, I never quite got around to writing about my experiences.
Being a denizen of a number of internet forums, I've seen others post about experiences they're currently going through, and some of them really ring alarm bells for me - so it seems like the right time to get around to writing about it.
I'm not going to name names, as that isn't the point in this piece. I've tried to keep it as brief as possible, but being quite complex it's not as short as I had originally hoped.
Published: Saturday, 19 April 2014 21:21
Written by Ben Tasker
When the HeartBleed bug was unveiled, I checked all of my servers to see whether they were running vulnerable versions. They weren't, but once the patched versions were released it seemed a good juncture to test and roll out the update to one server.
What followed was something of a headache, initially with all the markings of a serious compromise.
Having now identified and resolved the root cause, I thought I'd write a post about it so that others seeing similar behaviour can get something of a headstart.
In response to threats such as CDorked, I run PHP Changed Binaries on all my servers, so any file in PATH is checked (daily) for changes, based on a cryptographic checksum. If any changes are detected, an alert is raised so that I can investigate the cause of the change.
The day after I updated OpenSSL, I started receiving alerts for a wide variety of files (I'd updated hashes following the update of OpenSSL)