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Hacker Destroys Avsim.com, Along With Its Backups

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the giving-you-the-benefit-of-their-bad-childhoods dept.

Security 780

el americano writes "Flight Simulator community website Avsim has experienced a total data loss after both of their online servers were hacked. The site's founder, Tom Allensworth, explained why 13 years of community developed terrains, skins, and mods will not be restored from backups: 'Some have asked whether or not we had back ups. Yes, we dutifully backed up our servers every day. Unfortunately, we backed up the servers between our two servers. The hacker took out both servers, destroying our ability to use one or the other back up to remedy the situation.'"

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One word (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27961977)

Owned.

Lies, damn lies. (4, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962383)

The admins' claim that they were backed up is nothing short of an outright lie. A dependency on rsync or any other mirroring technique alone is just plain negligent, when both servers are exposed to the world at large. As a bad analogy, it's like allowing someone to light two fuses with the same match.

The only way to do backups properly is to have a complete set, offline, in a separate location.

Sheesh. When will people learn?

This should be a lesson... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27961983)

To any sysadmins and DBAs...

Make sure you have offsite backups

Re:This should be a lesson... (0, Flamebait)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27961991)

How about we just shoot all hackers?

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962127)

How about we just shoot all hackers?

I'm not sure how that will protect against data loss from equipment failure, natural disaster, fire, software failure, solar flares, Secret Service, or really anything other than hackers.

Offsite, offline backups aren't a good idea solely to protect against hackers. They're a good idea to protect against data loss in general.

Re:This should be a lesson... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962165)

How about we start shooting people who can't recognize jokes. Sheesh.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962163)

What, you mean like this guy? [archive.org] You probably wouldn't even have the browser you're using right now if it weren't for that particular, uh. hacker.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962307)

Which reminds me. They could always use the WayBack Machine to (help in) retrieving their archives:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.avsim.com/ [archive.org]

Google Cache seems to archive only the most recent pages:
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.avsim.com%2F&submit2=Google [74.125.95.132]

Re:This should be a lesson... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962259)

But then who's going to take out the Gibson?

Re:This should be a lesson... (2, Insightful)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962313)

Or pay them to find shit like this before someone does this.

The logic behind "Destroy your only resource that can work to actually help you fix the holes that will be exploited by foreign hackers or terrorists" is completely beyond me.

In fact, it seems so utterly stupid that I get furious every time I hear some thoughtless moron spout "Punish the hackers". Suggesting they should be killed? I'd personally sooner keep those intelligent if misguided people--being the only ones that are really going to be useful at preventing external penetration of our systems--and kill assholes who can't think of a solution beyond a statement like "Kill the hackers".

Not that I'd really condone either, but if I had to choose...

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Insightful)

addsalt (985163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962387)

In fact, it seems so utterly stupid that I get furious every time I hear some thoughtless moron spout "Punish the hackers".

A little blame needs to come from all areas. Not every website or messageboard is run by someone with a CS degree with a minor in website security. A break-in of a government site or large corporate site is one thing, a family website another. This site is probably somewhere in between.

Saying it isn't the hackers fault that improper mehtods were used to secure a site is like saying it isn't the muggers fault that the lady's handbag was so easy to steal.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Informative)

nemesisrocks (1464705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962035)

Make sure you have offsite backups

In this case, even offline (as opposed to offsite) backups would have sufficed.

Removable hard disks, DVDs -- hell, even tapes. These are all forms of backups that can't be compromised (well, easily) over the internets.

Re:This should be a lesson... (3, Informative)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962185)

From the article

... we backed up the servers between our two servers.

Nope, backing up a server to another online server is not a backup, it's merely another online copy.

Re:This should be a lesson... (2, Insightful)

Steffan (126616) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962293)

... we backed up the servers between our two servers.

Nope, backing up a server to another online server is not a backup, it's merely another online copy.

It's the difference between HA [High Availability] and DR [Disaster Recovery].

Unfortunately, they suffered a disaster, not a 'mere' server failure.

All that said, my condolences to the server admin / founder, and especially, to all of the contributors. Thirteen years is a lot of data.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Funny)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962367)

Thirteen years is a lot of data.

Bah--it's not that bad. They actually have crude backups of all their terrain data. They just have to figure out how to restore from 'IRL' format.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1, Troll)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962413)

All that said, my condolences to the server admin / founder

He doesn't get mine. OK, none of this affects me in this case, but if I allowed 13 years' worth of data to be trashed like that, I would never be able to find a job again.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Informative)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962073)

It's actually very difficult to truly destroy data, especially remotely. There is actually a reason the DoD spec. requires physical destruction of the media.

Unless you have overwritten the area on the physical disk that contained the data, multiple times, the data can still be recovered.

The article doesn't lead me to believe that he's tried very hard to get this data back.. Maybe somebody (not me) who cares about this resource, should offer an attempt at data recovery.. Just be sure to hurry, before they do something that will ensure you cannot recover the data.

I've recovered data off of formatted HDD's, off of corrupted file systems, off of compact flash cards and other media (Really useful if you want to keep those photo's that someone thought was deleted, be aware of this people).

It's amazing how most people seem to think deleted means gone.

Re:This should be a lesson... (2, Interesting)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962159)

Seriously, just load up an undelete program, or file restorer. Do a scan, and recover. This isn't rocket science..

Re:This should be a lesson... (3, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962181)

Rootkits nowadays come with disk wiping utility [wikia.com] .

Re:This should be a lesson... (4, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962197)

multiple times? I'd like to see you recover something that has been overwritten once.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962207)

Unless you have overwritten the area on the physical disk that contained the data, multiple times, the data can still be recovered.

People keep repeating that mantra to each other, but is it really true? Getting data off a 'formatted' disk is pretty easy as a format rarely does more than write a few sectors at the start of the disk. Getting data off of a disk that has had 'dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda' done to it is a different matter altogether.

There have been papers written about getting some data out of the inter-track space, and scraping it off the noise floor etc with electron microscopes, but as far as I have researched, nobody has actually done it.

I put it to you that more people have had their kidney's stolen after meeting a pretty girl at a party than there have been disks recovered after being completely overwritten with random data.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962241)

May be they are trying to hide something and use this attack as an excuse?

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962265)

Unless you have overwritten the area on the physical disk that contained the data, multiple times, the data can still be recovered.

This myth always comes up... Could you please provide a reference for this claim (recovery after overwriting)? I and others have asked for one many, many times and so far I've never seen an even remotely credible answer.

bullshit (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962269)

Unless you have overwritten the area on the physical disk that contained the data, multiple times, the data can still be recovered.

How about once? With zeros.

    http://16systems.com/zero.php [16systems.com]

If you can retrieve you data from a drive after it has been dd'd with /dev/zero, you might be able to win this prize.

If you happen to be in the situation described, chances are you're fucked.

Re:bullshit (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962343)

If the challenge was more than $500 they might have some takers. I'm not saying that overwriting with zeros is insufficient for most purposes -- I sold an old laptop yesterday and I did just that -- but hot shot data recoverers aren't likely to be tempted by a pittance.

Re:bullshit (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962419)

If anyone can actually do this, they aint advertising the fact. So clearly it isn't available to people who have lost their backups or whatever.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962325)

It's actually very difficult to truly destroy data, especially remotely.

Ever tried rebuilding a corrupted ReiserFS tree?

Re:This should be a lesson... (4, Funny)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962363)

I hear it's murder. ;)

Re:This should be a lesson... (2, Interesting)

norpy (1277318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962385)

Unless you have overwritten the area on the physical disk that contained the data, multiple times, the data can still be recovered.

A simple dd command with one run of 0's will permanently delete the data on a disk. Once upon a time it may have been possible to read the data after a single write but it is no longer possible. This challenge has been standing for quite some time [16systems.com] and even though this is not proof of my assertion I am certain the multiple passes of writes thing is complete garbage.

Difficult to destroy but not impossible (1)

IntentionalStance (1197099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962411)

About 1980 and I am working for a small Cambridge(UK) software house. I used to back up disc to disc and run on the target discs to verify the backup. In addition I would periodically, ok ok when I remembered, backup to tape.

I left the company and went to work in London. A few months later Terry came in during the middle of the night to do some work. He tried booting his machine and it wouldn't. So, he tries another disc, that didn't work so he tries the first disc in a second machine.

Fast forward an hour - every machine has it's disc heads screwed and every disc has been ripped up by a crashed disc head.

Good job my tape backup was still around - it was the only backup of the company's core product.

Re:This should be a lesson... (0)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962085)

Wrong! Lesson is: Don't piss of people smarter than you.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962221)

Smarter? Getting yourself liable for hell of a lawsuit just to prove a point, isn't exactly what I call smart. About as smart as making nitroglycerin in your basement. Really cool to brag about, but so not worth the consequences.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962299)

Hacker assholes are often not risking anything by rming people who piss them off. They have an established base of zombies to attack from, so you're not going to track them. If they could be caught, they would have been already. Of course, if they're just script kiddies then you probably got owned cause your servers weren't patched. So good fucking luck getting any evidence to use against them.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962379)

A zombie attack would probably be a DoS attack. Maybe a brute force password attack. Could be they got someone's login from a keylogger or some such and had their foot in the door to then escalate privs.

I'm not expert in this but I would bet getting into a system to then destroy it is more of a targeted attack with the direct involvement of the hacker.

Re:This should be a lesson... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962177)

this really is a pathetic situation. Everybody is hammering these guys for just mirroring their data and saying that they should have had off site backup.........true, they should have. What really is the issue here is that ASSHOLES feel the need to attack for the sake of attacking a site. It would be like me going out and punching random people in the face just because I can.

We have to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.

People that destroy just because they can are completely USELESS...............and should be SHOT.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

Foodie (980694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962375)

I agree. If the hackers are man enough, they should even own up and not hide.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962187)

Make sure you have offsite backups

They are a community download site. Surely they could appeal to their userbase to upload any files they'd downloaded? Any content that was remotely popular would have to have copies floating around. And even then, that's assuming that the original creators of the lost assets don't have copies any more. Most of the hobby stuff I've done in the last 10 years is embedded *somewhere* in my recursive backup folder, and I doubt I'm unusual in that respect.

Don't forget step 2 (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962217)

2) Regularly verify your restore process and backups work.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1)

Hailth (1479371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962303)

Offsite, offline, and held in my offhand.

That's right.

My external hard drive is a +3 TB enchanted with easy backup.

Re:This should be a lesson... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962357)

I work in IM and Digital Asset Management, and my mantra "mirrors" many others in the field:
If your data doesn't exist in three places, it doesn't exist at all.

It's a shame in this day and age, people feel secure with having two online backups. The most reliable backup is off-line and off-site.
If you can afford 2 servers, you can't NOT afford 1 USB hard drive.

replication of data for community web sites (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962425)

I don't know what other backup strategies the community web sites I frequent might use, but one of them is to make copies of their entire site available on multiple DVD sets.

That doesn't work so well if the archive is over 50GB, but at least one site I deal with is willing to give out copies of their >1TB collection if you provide them with a 1.5GB or 2GB USB drive to copy onto.

Any personal data the site may have obviously can't be included in a public distribution, so that needs to be backed up separately.

lesson is (3, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#27961985)

more than one backup. always! especially if two servers are running the same software, who says they won't both fail at the same time?

It isn't a backup... (2, Insightful)

IntentionalStance (1197099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27961989)

if it isn't verified

Three words: (4, Insightful)

Girtych (1345935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27961997)

Off. Site. Backups. Textbook example of why you need to secure your backup data in a secure, non-networked location.

Re:Three words? Hell one word! (1)

LABarr (14341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962247)

One word. R-S-N-Y-C! Seriously, with the cost of hard disk drives so relatively cheap and virtually any old PC you may have laying around, which could then be hanging off some LAN at a trusted member's High Speed Internet connection. (Although with rsync you don't even need that really, just damn convenient)

The lack of offsite backup with this cheap and easy solution so readily available makes me think... tsk! tsk!

Re:Three words? Hell one word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962359)

Be careful. If you have a virus that corrupted every file on your disk, and you rsync, all that happens is you spread the curruption to your backup too.

Rsync is not a replacement for offline, read-only, backups.

Re:Three words? Hell one word! (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962407)

Thats why don't just copy data with rsync, but use its --backup option as well.

It's spelled: R-S-Y-N-C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962365)

Fixed that for you :)

There's a special place in hell... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962005)

Reserved for people who don't do archival backups, don't secure their systems, and then try to blame their ineptitude on hackers.

Do backups.
Do security.
Do restore from your backups to test them.
Do not blame others when it's shown you failed steps 1-3.

yes we had backups (4, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962007)

They say they had backups, and put them on the Internet where any hacker could get to them, under the same security the originals were stored under. If that's all they cared about their data, I don't see why the Slashdot community should care any more than they did.

Re:yes we had backups (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962201)

Wait, we have to care? I thought we were supposed to point and laugh...

Re:yes we had backups (4, Insightful)

BenBoy (615230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962245)

Absolutely, I mean, so what if those guys broke into your house and killed you and raped your mom *right in your own basement bedroom* ... y'know, you should have had better locks, and used them more consistently; y'know, if you'd really cared.

Sure, there are *much* better backup strategies; that having been said, somebody broke in and did a bunch of damage for shits and grins. They suck.

like the backups should have been (3, Funny)

OttoM (467655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962009)

You now will be escorted off-site.

the web is ephemeral (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962017)

That really sucks - I used to use that site all the time back when I was into sims, and even contributed some TerraScene and other goodies.

This highlights the ephemeral nature of the web. Thousands of years ago, information was carved into rock, and we still have many of the originals. Then it was written onto scrolls, some of which survive today. Now it's on a disk, with a lifetime of a few years. Yes, they can be backed up... but the whole thing is very precarious. In 500 years how much of what people create today on sites like avsim will still exist? I predict basically none of it.

Maybe future historians will consider this a dark age, whose intellectual production was lost.

Re:the web is ephemeral (4, Funny)

rve (4436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962105)

Maybe future historians will consider this a dark age, whose intellectual production was lost.

Please don't say our treasured facebook, twitter, slashdot posts, wikipedia revision wars and v1agra spam may not be preserved for posterity.

I'm not yet convinced that information that today exists only on the internet is really meant for eternity :)

Re:the web is ephemeral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962225)

Yes, I would not miss the facebooks and the twitters, although they may be of interest to masochistic historians.

However, there is a LOT that doesn't fall into such a category.

Eternity (4, Funny)

hessian (467078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962263)

Only goatse is eternal. The rest is being used to seed a randomness generator somewhere.

Offsite backups? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962021)

I realize that from quite a few people's perspectives, storing their backups in a separate building constitutes off site storage. I'd almost buy that strategy. Not in the same environment, network, city etc.

These guys were stupid.

The day after 9/11 I was in an elevator, and caught a snippet of conversation between 2 people that had business interests with a firm that was in the WTC. The comment I heard was 'their backups were in the other building'. Another company lost.

You can never totally plan for every contingency, but you can insure yourself. I know many developers that take hard copies of their code (meaning on removable media) home just for this reason. I have seen sys admins do the same because they didn't trust their DR stratagy.

This was avoidable. This isn't even about disaster recovery. It is about business continuity.

You can't afford not to protect your data.

Really? (1)

chise1 (1284788) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962027)

What has AVSIM ever done to anyone? Anyone who hacks a flight-sim sight has no life and really needs to get laid.

Re:Really? (1)

mattydont (849321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962057)

shhhhhhhhh.... you might give Microsoft more ideas for crappy excuses for a game.

Re:Really? (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962205)

Hopefully someone recently crawled the site just to have their own local copy. And hopefully AVSIM didn't have much of a robots.txt file.

Didn't AVSIM offer CDs of their website? A lot of smaller sites do and obviously their stuff would be handy on CDs.

I'm still hopeful someone will step forward that made their own backup. I know I wanted to crawl it but just had never done it. Sigh.

Re:Really? (5, Funny)

RattFink (93631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962223)

Anyone who hacks a flight-sim sight has no life and really needs to get laid.

Coming from a slashdotter that is pretty rough.

Sigh. Mirror != backup (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962029)

Repeat after me: mirroring is not a backup. Backups are physically removed from the machine and stored where they can't be altered until they're needed for a restore. If they aren't removed from the machine, well, as we've just seen that only ends in tears. Observe their pain and learn from it!

Copying between servers is NOT backing up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962031)

Losing all data because two servers go kaboom is not unique. This is the situation where you see how well the site was administered and how good the backup strategy was. Looks like the site administrator had no idea what the word backup really means. He was an average guy who had no clue. :(
Always take backups to tape or similar media and store it in a safe place. Also keep some backup media in off-site storage.
I hope the same administrator will never again make the same mistake with backups.

Re:Copying between servers is NOT backing up (3, Insightful)

lecithin (745575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962055)

"I hope the same administrator will never again make the same mistake with backups."

He won't for this company, that is for sure.

Re:Copying between servers is NOT backing up (2, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962237)

Honestly, how many man-hours and equipment do you really want to commit to backup? Do you really think it's worthwhile to get a tape system and regularly move tapes off-site for some community mods? Anyone can envision a system that is far more secure than this, but paying for it is another thing.

If the mods were good quality and downloaded often, the community should be able to act as a backup of sorts.

Re:Copying between servers is NOT backing up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962249)

"but paying for it is another thing."

You can't afford not to pay to protect your data.

Re:Copying between servers is NOT backing up (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962333)

> Honestly, how many man-hours and equipment do you really want to commit to backup?
> Do you really think it's worthwhile to get a tape system and regularly move tapes
> off-site for some community mods? Anyone can envision a system that is far more secure
> than this, but paying for it is another thing.

Actually all that was needed was a $100 hard drive, that could have been rsync'ed to automatically even over DSL.

So, they had NO backups? (3, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962045)

'Backed up between two servers'... that's not what a backup is.

I'm... astonished at the level of incompetence here. A site with 13 years of work like this, and they didn't bother to backup anything at all?

And now they're trying to handwave it away with 'oh uh, uh really folks, seriously, were really did have backups haha, between servers olol'.

I don't think 'olol' is going to impress anyone whos work was just wiped out by their incompetence.

backup? (0, Redundant)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962049)

So they say they backed up the server... To the 2nd online server! That is not a backup.

Gadzooks! (1)

Lokinator (181216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962059)

Ye leaping lizards of shoggoth! Mirroring=/=Back-up!

Two words (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962071)

Offsite backup.

It's a hard lesson to learn.

What was the admin password? (1)

vikstar (615372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962075)

pilot747?

I wouldn't put it past him with a "backup" like that.

Re:What was the admin password? (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962415)

I was thinking either "gaben" or "scott/tiger". :)

Learn from Kuwait too (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962079)

When invaded their identities system was lost too.
All they had was a back up copy that made it out.
After the war they could go in and find what was tampered with. ie who got a false identity.
Take your data home with you every night.

Re:Learn from Kuwait too (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962145)

When invaded their identities system was lost too.

Sounds like a feature to me.

And yet another example why you need real backups (3, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962083)

As the subject says. "Online" backups and replication are simply tools to try and minimize downtime. They are NOT a backup solution. They never were and never should be touted as one, just as this example shows. The only good backup is one that occurs frequently, is verified that it worked, and is stored in a secure location such as a fire-proof safe, and even better in two different fire-proof safes in two different locations, preferably more than 100 miles apart.

Love Boat captain Gavin MacLeod dead at 79 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962089)

Gavin MacLeod found dead

Born Allan George See in Mount Kisco, New York, he grew up in Pleasantville and studied acting at Ithaca College, graduating in 1952. His father, a gas station attendant, was a Chippewa (Ojibwa) Indian. After serving in the Air Force, he moved to New York City and worked at Radio City Music Hall while looking for acting work. At about this time he changed his name, drawing "Gavin" from a cerebral palsy victim in a TV drama, and "MacLeod" from his Ithaca drama coach, Beatrice MacLeod.

Career

His first movie appearance was in I Want To Live!, a 1958 prison drama starring Susan Hayward. He was soon noticed by Blake Edwards, who in 1958 cast him as a neurotic harried navy yeoman in Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Operation Petticoat proved to be a breakout role for MacLeod, and he was soon cast in another Edwards comedy, High Time, with Bing Crosby.

MacLeod also appeared as the villain on TV shows of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He played the role of a drug pusher, 'Big Chicken', in two episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O. His first regular TV role came in 1962 as Joseph "Happy" Haines on McHale's Navy. MacLeod's role as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show won him lasting fame, and two Golden Globe nominations, followed by another three nominations for his The Love Boat work.

Conversion

During the mid-'80s, MacLeod and his then ex-wife Patti became Evangelical Christians and remarried (see TPE "Conversations 12/25/2005"). Professional responsibility as a senior actor on the set of The Love Boat weighed heavily on his mind to the extent that he "very selfishly" (his words) divorced Patti. His wife, trying to mend their marriage, then spent the next 3 years seeking help with psychiatrists on both the west and the east coast. Then one day, his wife received a telephone call from Patti Palmer, first wife of Jerry Lewis. Patti Palmer then invited her to a Christian prayer group with a number of famous actresses in it. "From that day, I started to think about her. Something told me to call Patti. I called Patti. I went back to see her the following Monday and things haven't been the same since." MacLeod asked her what had happened. She then explained everything to him including that she had given her life to Christ. Following his conversion and remarriage, he and his wife wrote about struggles with divorce and alcoholism in Back On Course: The Remarkable Story of a Divorce That Ended in Remarriage. The MacLeods have been hosts on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for 14 years, primarily hosting a show about marriage called Back on Course (see TBN "Our Programs"). Gavin MacLeod appeared in Rich Christiano's Time Changer, a movie about time travel and how the morals of society have moved away from the Bible. He also has the lead role in Christiano's The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.

He is survived by his wife.

Re:Love Boat captain Gavin MacLeod dead at 79 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962117)

I'm assuming he wasn't backed up, either.

Re:Love Boat captain Gavin MacLeod dead at 79 (2, Funny)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962267)

Actually, he got regular backups at the Dollhouse. I'm not sure how he'll respond to being in Eliza Dushku's body...

These aren't hackers (4, Insightful)

fishnuts (414425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962091)

Whoever did this must have willfully wanted to destroy the website and its content. Deleting data in this manner is far beyond vandalism or criminal mischief.

I hope the perps get served by a judge who recognizes just how severely malicious this was, and that enough of the people who used the site can provide the files back to the owners and the community.

DTAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962107)

Where is your DTAP street???? In that case you would have had 3 backup's!

Some backup stories (5, Interesting)

IntentionalStance (1197099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962129)

I worked for a computer bureaux in the 80's. We upgraded the operating system - very cool, the new release allowed larger files. We didn't, unfortunately, upgrade the backup utility to handle these larger files. Months go by - then there's a problem - whoops backups are useless - Luckily there's a physical audit trail so we we can pay for very large data entry exercise to get our client's data back.

A couple of years later, I am in the pub with some mates and John turns up. I ask him how he's managed to finish work and get to the pub so early. "I did a fast backup" he said. I was interested so I asked him to explain. "Oh, it's easy, get the target tapes from the rack, rub out the old date, write the new date, put them back into rack and go to the pub"

Worked for a large software shop in the 90's. I am part of a decent sized Oracle development (circa 50 devs). Ops decides that Oracles backup routines are too slow and 'optimize' them. Some weeks later - guess what - there's a problem and the backups are useless - No physical audit trail this time - the team has to redo all of there work - it was not good for the project budget, the team moral or the client

i just got off the toilet (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962133)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

There's a perfectly good set of words for... (4, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962143)

...the thieves and vandals who steal data and wreck servers.

THIEVES AND VANDALS.

Not "hackers".

What was done was not hacking. It was vandalism. Plain and simple.

Hackers create. Vandals destroy. Thieves steal.

I'm surprised that this needs to be explained to the Slashdot community.

Re:There's a perfectly good set of words for... (1)

PottedMeat (1158195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962261)

...the thieves and vandals who steal data and wreck servers.

THIEVES AND VANDALS.

Not "hackers".

What was done was not hacking. It was vandalism. Plain and simple.

Hackers create. Vandals destroy. Thieves steal.

I'm surprised that this needs to be explained to the Slashdot community.

It doesn't.

Real men... (5, Informative)

hugetoon (766694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962215)

"Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff
on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)"
                                                    Linus Torvalds Jul 20 1996, 3:00 am

Hindsight is always 20/20 (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962227)

This is a lesson every system administrator worth his or her salt learns over the long haul. You might back up dutifully, test restore, and have a well done system of ensuring backups are rotated correctly. Then you find out the tape drive you use is miscalibrated so only it can read your backup tapes, or you find the backup software you use on a daily basis is not in production, or the latest version has no support for the backlevel formats.

I have found that in a production environment, you really need multiple methods for backup if at all possible:

The first level is a dedicated backup server. This machine is locked down to the best of your abilities, and firewalled from the network, only allowing critical ports such as what the backup software uses, and perhaps ssh or RDP (if a Windows box). This machine copies everything from the other servers onto a large disk array, then to tape. The tapes are then cycled offsite via a service like Iron Mountain. Of course, the tapes are encrypted, and corporate officers get a copy of the master keys.

Why tapes? Because they can be set read only after they are dismounted, and no computer, no matter how infected can modify or delete the tape contents once this is done, outside of a reflash of the tape drive's BIOS. This is important because its not unheard of for someone to write a program that trashes backups over a time interval. Higher end tapes can be used as WORM media like DLT-ICE.

I can't emphasize enough about securing the backup server, both physically and network-wise. If this box gets compromised, all your data is available. On Windows machines, I recommend using some form of disk encryption (Bitlocker if the machine has a TPM, TrueCrypt, etc) so if the backup server or an array gets physically stolen, the data is of no use to a thief. This is in addition to the backup program's encryption.

After you have a central backup server installed, secured (security is paramount on this machine unless the backup program client can do encryption), and backups running, you focus on the other levels of backup.

The next level of backup is on the local servers. Most operating systems have a method of backing up the computer. If you can do this with a server, fire off a snapshot backup every month or so. Most OS backup methods don't have encryption, so this backup should go directly to a tape safe or secured container in the data center. Optionally, you can install backup software locally that can encrypt. I like using the backup/restore utility the OS gives for an image every quarter, then using more secure software more often, so the OS backups can be stored in a tape safe or physically secure container. This way, if the third party backup software ends up inoperable, there is still a method of getting a machine up somehow, or putting it in a virtual machine for recovery purposes.

Finally, after you have backup servers and a rotation, companies might consider offsite cloud backup services like Mozy. Mozy offers use of keyfiles so all data is stored encrypted (encrypted on the client end). Of course, making sure the encryption key is stored safely is paramount, and the cost of storing a large backup in Mozy's cloud may be prohibitive. However, if worse comes to worst and your site is completely knocked out, as well as the offsite backup site, it may be thing that keeps your business up.

Of course, scale this up or down as per your company's needs. A smaller business can get by using Mozy and a Windows Server 2008 box running Bitlocker, a network backup program with encryption such as Retrospect or Backup Exec, and using external drives every month to copy backup sets from the main ones to store offsite.

A larger business might see about a true backup fabric system sold by IBM (TSM), EMC (Networker), or Microsoft's solution.

The key is to not just have some built in redundancy so if one backup method is not usable, you have another, even if the backups are older, but to be able to do this in a manner that doesn't add too much time and equipment expense.

Re:Hindsight is always 20/20 (4, Informative)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962351)

And for those who don't like to pay $10000 for backup software, there's Bacula [bacula.org] . Couple that with an LTO-4 drive (~1000) and LTO-4 tapes (800GB uncompressed, ~60/piece) and you're set. Rsync.net is a decent, cheap online provider for those gaps when you haven't rotated tapes.

Bacula is pretty sweet because it lets you backup to disk volumes and then you can schedule a roll to tape. So you can just back everything up incrementally to a disk volume and then copy those backups to tape, and then run rsync on the disk volumes to have an offsite, online backup. When recovering, you ask to recover from whatever's available. If you keep enough disk storage around (and there's really no reason not to) you can recover to any date in the past. In the event of a disaster your tapes come into play.

Now with drives so cheap the temptation is to buy a external hard drive and use that. But tapes have a long history, guaranteed backwards compatibility (planned anyway, LTO drives have to R/W the previous generation and Read 2 generations back), last longer than moving drives, are simpler, lighter, more robust and more portable. Not that I wouldn't keep a external around to dump desktops but tape is the DR standard.

Really? (1)

TravTrav (1236742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962233)

"The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from,"
should read:
"The method of the backup makes recovery difficult, if not impossible,"

obligatory conspiracy theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962273)

An error, a bug, a virus, etc infected/corrupted the first server which then neatly replicated the same problem as designed to, which then destroyed the second server.

Instead of admitting they were responsible for there own downfall, simply blame some "hacker"

archive.org is your friend (1)

PhilK (20847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962277)

Unless it was all password protected, most of it will still be on archive.org.

This is exactly what happened with JournalSpace, so it's hardly a new thing.

Crackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962291)

Those are called crackers, man.

Of course I have an extra set of keys.. (5, Funny)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962309)

I kept them in my other pocket.

Data recovery... (1)

bjwest (14070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962323)

Unless they did a complete disk wipe, the data is still there. If it's so important, ask for donations from the community to pay for it.

Re:Data recovery... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962339)

Users should have clones or copies.

lol (1)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962327)

... there's a reason tape backup is still in use.

Everyone say it together now... (1)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27962353)

Offsite and Encrypted!

Use the distributed backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27962361)

Avsim was serving that data to a lot of users, right? Just let them upload their copy again. This restores most of the lost data and could weed out a lot of low quality/low interest datasets.

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