Category: General Help

End of Life – PHP version 4 webhosting

PHP version 4 was officially retired 8 years ago and no longer receives any kind of official patches or support. To preserve functionality for our resellers who have customer services requiring PHP v4 we have maintained our own patch subset for PHP v4 since 2008.

Our volume of PHPv4 websites has now reached a low enough level that it no longer makes business sense to maintain our PHPv4 Webhosting services. Effective 1 August 2017, we will no longer offer / support PHPv4 websites.

We recommend to all customers to either upgrade their websites to PHPv5, PHPv6, or PHPv7. You can select the different version from our webhosting panel to temporarily change your php version to see how it may affect your website. We would recommend trying PHP 5.2.

If you need help with migration we recommend placing a RackCorp support ticket. Any sites still operating on PHPv4 will be automatically upgraded to PHPv5.2 on August 1st. Please note there is a VERY HIGH chance that this will break sites that were built for PHPv4.

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Cisco ASA 5512-X Allow outside/external ssh access

To enable external SSH access to a brand new Cisco ASA 5512-X, follow these example instructions:
X.X.X.X is the IP address you wish to allow access from.
yourusername is the username you want to use
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX is your password

ciscoasa# conf t
ciscoasa(config)# ssh X.X.X.X 255.255.255.255 outside
ciscoasa(config)# crypto key generate rsa general-keys modulus 2048
ciscoasa(config)# username yourusername password XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
ciscoasa(config)# aaa authentication ssh console LOCAL
ciscoasa(config)# ssh version 2

You may also want to set an enable password:
ciscoasa(config)# enable password XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
(You should probably make this different to your user password)

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CVE-2015-0235 “Ghost” Linux glibc vulnerability

For those that missed it, CVE-2015-0235 (aka Linux Ghost) was announced today which details a glibc library bug that is still on many Linux distributions. glibc is used by many applications including webservers, mail servers, php applications etc.

The specific bug was in the gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() functions (hence “ghost” name!), so only applications that call these are potentially vulnerable. Even then, there is limited scope for exploitation, but there already has been a PoC for the Exim mail server developed so it certainly is possible (given the right conditions). Luckily, these two functions lack IPv6 support, so many newer applications and services have chosen to stop using these functions, and instead use IPv6-enabled functions instead. As has been seen however, some popular ones such as Exim do still use the older IPv4-only functions.

The bug itself has been around since 2000, and was inadvertently patched in August 2014 without realising the implications. Unfortunately since the security issues were not detected at the time, many Linux distributions didn’t back-port the patch into Linux distributions. This is what has occurred today.

Accordingly, we have now taken the following actions:

  • All standard-level webservers globally and chroot environments have been patched and restarted between 6:30AM and 7:15AM this morning.
  • All mail servers were patched and restarted between 6:30AM and 7:15AM this morning.
  • We will be taking the following actions that may result in a few minutes downtime for some sites tonight:

  • All protected-level webservers globally and chroot environments will be patched and restarted overnight at varying times (critical maintenance alert will have been received by all affected customers). As these are all behind load balancers, this shouldn’t have any end-user affect.
  • RackCorp monitoring services will be restarted throughout the day. This may result in some performance graphs being slightly skewed at times.
  • In addition:

  • VM Hosts will have no noticeable impact.
  • Load Balancer services will have no noticeable impact.
  • RackCorp API services will have no noticeable impact (however some unrelated database maintenance is scheduled for tonight that may result in queries taking a few seconds longer than usual).
  • Content delivery services are unaffected.
  • Network services are unaffected.
  • In terms of customer patch cycles, we are treating this as a critical bug for some customers, and moderate (normal patch cycle) for others depending upon the attack vector surface area. All affected customers will have received an email accordingly. If you are unsure of the impact for your specific services, please raise a support ticket accordingly.

    Additional useful resources:
    Ars Technica Writeup on Linux Ghost
    gethostbyname() vs getaddrinfo() by Erratasec

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    RackCorp welcomes Melbourne to our global network

    We are pleased to announce high-availability premium virtual servers via in Metronode’s recently completed Melbourne 2 Data Centre located in Victoria, Australia.

    This data centre is unique in that not only does it allow us to offer hosting and server products in a location geographically convenient to Southern Australian users, but provides very high security and energy efficiency features.

    Our Melbourne point of presence is ideal for customers in Victoria, South Australia and especially Tasmania who are seeking the best latency and speeds to their websites.

    rackcorp_network

    RackCorp’s in-house developed management system and global network

    Combined with Metronode’s Tier 3 Rating means our Melbourne site is ideal for customers who require a higher level of redundancy and reliability

    What Exactly is a Tier 3 rating?

    A specification defined by both the Uptime institute and ANSI/TIA of USA which contains formal requirements for the design of a data centre.

    Tier III Certified

    The rating covers items such as

    • Site space and layout
    • Physical infrastructure such as cabling, site security, access control and power.
    • Reliability rating of the sites infrastructure
    • Environmental efficiency and Management, both internal and external

    Very few data centres in Australia are Tier 3 rated as a number are just designed to best-practise rather than an industry recognised specification.

    Energy Efficiency – the future key to reliable web hosting

    A commonly cited metric to measure a data centre is its PUE (power utilization efficiency) rating. The lower the PUE, the more efficient the cooling, better the reliability with less chance of outages and the lower the energy costs.

    Metronode’s unique ‘BladeRoom’ data hall design and Melbourne’s cool climate enable a very low PUE of 1.1, one of the lowest possible and best in Australia.

    View Melbourne Plans

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    RackAdmin – RackCorp’s in-house developed web hosting and network management platform

    One of the key principles behind our company is emphasis on in-house custom developed solutions based on open source software.

    A bespoke open source foundation provides us with

    • Maximum reliability as bugs can be patched before official fixes are available
    • Maximum performance thanks to streamlined and lean code
    • Maximum flexibility and extensibility to meet our customers and our own specific needs
    • Minimising cost and licensing which helps keeps prices competitive

    These principles form the basis on which is why we built RackAdmin, the backbone of our company since foundation. A custom, in house developed management platform which provides end-user account management, option and service provisioning including reseller management and geo-location and automated billing. All within a slick and easy to use interface and an API.

    rackadmin_landing

    Rackadmin provides is a streamlined,slick and easy to use solution to manage your web hosting needs

    Read more »

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