[ProgSoc] Black box question

Justin Steward althalus87 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 3 06:19:29 EST 2011

>From the description, initial guess would be file system is corrupt and
needs a manual fsck. But then I'm not actually awake yet this morning

~ Justin
On 3 Feb 2011 05:55, "jedd" <jedd at progsoc.org> wrote:
> Hello peoples,
> Here's the scenario - I have a Debian box that I can't speak
> to at the moment, and it's on the other side of the planet, with
> no convenient option to get someone who knows what they're
> doing near it. My sister is near it, but is proof positive that
> geekiness is very much a recessive gene.
> Happy to take ideas on what might be wrong, and what other steps
> I could do to narrow in on the problem.
> Background .. 'nothing was changed', the old mantra, but in this
> case accurate. About two months ago the RAID5 array was degraded,
> but I'm not too fussed as I have all that data backed up. About 3
> weeks ago I lost SSH and HTTP access to the box. I was occasionally
> able to get SSH into the thing, but rarely, and never usefully (the
> two times I did, I'd been trying repeatedly, and flicked to another
> screen, coming back to see the server's prompt and a timeout message).
> It's fronted by a netgear ADSL that does incoming NAT on 22, 80, 9418
> and I've proved that out of the equation by having the NAT redirect to
> my sister's desktop for port 22 - and that works fine. Inside the LAN
> I can ping the server, but can't SSH / HTTP to it from there, either.
> Local console access is working fine to the server, and I've got my
> sister to run a couple of obvious things -- top and df -- and she
> reports back that load average is very low, there's plenty of free
> disk, heaviest task is using <5% CPU (a vmware-server instance)
> and this changes periodically with a couple of other tasks (top,
> the other vmware-server instance, etc). She's also restarted the
> machine, with no change in symptoms.
> NFS from the server to the desktop computer is also failing.
> I don't think it's anything too malign as network usage (via the ISP's
> UI) suggests nothing of substance, and a naive belief that most
> rootkits try to hide the fact they're there - not take out git, http,
> nfs, and ssh at the same time.
> Best guess gets a hug in April.*
> Jedd.
> * Any promises pertaining to hugs may not be honoured.
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