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I'm at $BigClient, which is taking a Citroen like approach to infrastructure and operations. "We recognize that the McPherson strut is simple, efficient, good enough for most use cases and accepted by everyone in the industry, but we shall do it with hydraulic fluid at high pressure. What could go wrong?"
Except $BigClient's far away from a competent Citroen shop. $BigClient's Citroen has gone through a few years of 'just keep it running on the cheap' upkeep without access to factory parts.
I've got an odd patching problem on a handful of servers. Systems are rolling back to insecure versions (2.0.2 ->1.4.6) and nobody knows why.
Or at least, nobody's talking.
I don't know what to do yet, so I decide to go and get lunch. I work out the possibilities.
- There's something wrong with our validation procedure- they're actually patched and we're reading the wrong thing.
- There's something or someone else downgrading these systems.
Number 1 requires more documentation, which $BC doesn't seem to want to show me. Number two might be hiding in logs, which are emailed to me on a regular basis.
I walk back to my cubicle, grab my laptop and a notebook and find a quiet corner to figure things out. I find one in a tiny conference room.
I read through my emails and search for any of the logs from the api servers.
I spend about ten minutes on Stack Exchange for the appropriate sed, awk, tee and cat munging to pare them down to what I want. Eventually I dump them all to Excel, because I am a bad person.
Some filtering and I can see what's going on. The system orchestration updates each server every other midnight. I see about three quarters of them download the 2.0.2 version as a part of the night's update.
Every two nights a (seemingly) random selection of servers updates. I scribble the order on the conference room whiteboard and stare at them for a few minutes.
Nothing in the orchestration system logs shows another process loading the older 1.4.6. version. But something is.
Nothing in the logs emailed to me obviously points to another process.
I take a walk to get a coffee and think. Nothing comes to me and I have to scour the kitchen for unflavored coffee. I walk back to my conference room to find an intern-like person.
me:"Hey, I apologize. I didn't know the room was reserved. I'll take my stuff."
Other person:"That's ok. Are you Rob?"
I take my stuff and make my way back to my cubicle.
A few minutes searching leads me to a shared root password for the servers stored in the password vault.
I login to one of the remaining servers running 2.0.2 and look at the running processes. Nothing obvious like "random updater".
I lean back and stare at nothing in particular trying to come up with some ideas.
Unfortunately, it's fairly packed and I'm next to a bullpen.
Voice 1:"So the Sky Caps put blotter in the vat without telling anyone"
Voice 2:"Hilton Honors kicks' Marriott Bonvoy's ass any day."
Voice 3:"No, I'll pick her up at 4"
The voices wash over me in some clip reel workplace sitcom haze. I'm not going to get anything done. I take a walk around the offices to get the lay of the land. It's a Hanna-Barbera cartoon of grey cubefarms, tan breakrooms, free coffee but no snacks. The only attempts at color are people's cubicles. Family pictures, shirtless men with fish, desk toys and action figures. It's like a mall- everything's pleasant, non threatening and in identically-sized stalls, with colorful (but bounded) individuality, all for commerce.
Then I find the Hot Topic meets Successories manifesting in a cubicle. There are two dorm-room sized posters of the gold Bitcoin-coin, along with framed inspirational quotes about success and perserverance set against pictures of Game Of Thrones characters and muscle-bound men in insignia-less camo. A new leather jacket with an embroidered skull is on the back of the chair. This person is either a hoot or insufferable.
I keep walking. I have a breakthrough.
Where are the API servers getting
the older version to install? Maybe that'll lead me into the library. I'm not yet Adso, but perhaps I'm one of the other ,lesser scribes copying my book and scribbling fanciful drawings of the things I miss, like decent coffee and a cell-mate that doesn't snore.
I walk back to my cubicle. A different intern-shaped person is in the conference room, all alone.
I can't save them. Eventually they'll be standing in the corner of their cubicle looking away while the middle manager cleans out the rest of their team.
I'm in my seat. Some searching results in a few possible repositories. Some more searching finds me the one repo that still has v1.4.6 of this application.
Just to make sure, I compare a downloaded copy of v1.4.6 and the installed version of v 1.4.6 on one of the servers.
I search all the folders and files for the URL of the repo server and find it.
In the application itself. The server waits every two days and looks to the repo. If the installed version is not equal to v 1.4.6, it downloads v 1.4.6 from the server and installs it, then forces a restart.
This code is commented out (made non-executable) along with an actual comment:
/REMOVE BEFORE PRODUCTION
I quickly scan through the API servers to find one of the ones still running 2.0.2. I search for the term "REMOVE BEFORE PRODUCTION"
And there it is, in the application code.
Except it's not commented out.
In a text editor, I write up my findings, conclusion and a recommended fix- delete the upgrade code snippet, increment to 2.0.3, push it out using the orchestration tool and call it a day.
LC Chat won't let me attach my text file, so I breathlessly LC Chat my document, line by line at Vincent, the poor bastard tasked with closing audit finding 162, the mystery of the random rollback.
Clearly, Vincent is choosing his congratulatory language carefully.
Vincent:"Can't apply the fix. The application is owned by Development. They're behind on other things, so they won't update the software until next quarter."
me:"It's about thirty lines of code we can comment out"
Vincent:"Can we say it's fixed for the audit since we know what the problem is?"
me:"No. We can patch it, or we could write up a remediation plan and get it on some schedule."
me:"But that's more paperwork than the actual fix."
Vincent:"But Ops isn't on good terms with Development."
me:"So they're not going to touch it any time soon."
me:You guys own that repo server, too"
Vincent:"I don't see how that's good for anything"
me:"We cut out the update code in 2.0.2 and call it 2.0.3. We name the file 1.4.6 and replace the existing 1.4.6 on the repo server. Either the app gets updated via your orchestration server or it updates itself. We're fixed in two days either way.
Vincent:"But policy requires that we get approval"
me:"There's an exception, if you have a superior in Operations to sign off, you can call it an emergency fix. Ask Trevor. He just needs to not tell anyone else. You submit the ticket and eventually the devs will get to it and fix the problem for good. Until then, you pass that part of the audit."
Vincent tells me he's going to talk to Trevor. I'm going to take a walk. Out of curiosity, I go back to the Hot Topic cubicle to get a look at its occupant.
The jacket is gone and the monitors are off. Mystery person has left for the day, I assume. I look at the large jars of nutritional supplements with macho names- Gorilla Rage, LumberJacked, Psycho Focus".
I notice the name-plate on the outside of the cubicle.
To Be Continued...
edit- made modifications to satisfy Internal Audit 8-)
As long as we get trolls in this sub putting down Bitcoin Cash, its a good sign of health. I often wonder if some of it might be "false flag" attacks - supporters of Bitcoin Cash pretending to be trolls because a lot of these troll submissions have great outcomes. Many of them are platforms for people to list great links, resources, information that is actually quite useful. submitted by
Thanks trolls for providing a shelf space for supporters to share valuable information about Bitcoin Cash!
edit: I was not quoting MobTwo in the header or text.
Many thanks for your assistance. submitted by
I was told to buy this machine to test my gold instead of chemical testing. I bought my first coin [arrives today] and am pretty excited. A little worried because I bought it from someone in this sub. submitted by
I will pay with bitcoin only.
EDIT: NEW OR USED - I just have bitcoin and not cash - wont sell my gold
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