PhishTank Is Here

PhishTank launched today. PhishTank is a site designed to make keeping tabs on phishing sites easier. If you come across a phishing site while browsing the web, you’re encouraged to submit the URL to PhishTank.

PhishTank is a collaborative clearing house for data and information about phishing on the Internet. Also, PhishTank provides an open API for developers and researchers to integrate anti-phishing data into their applications at no charge.

PhishTank is operated by OpenDNS. OpenDNS opened their services to the public earlier this year to much fanfare. David Ulevitch and crew have done an amazing job with OpenDNS, I expect the same from PhishTank.

PhishTank does not provide protection against phishing sites, they simple store phishing related data. OpenDNS does protect against phishing though. OpenDNS and PhishTank go hand in hand. OpenDNS blocks access to phishing sites that are in the PhishTank database. Here’s a little piece from the OpenDNS FAQ about reporting phishing sites:

The fight against phishing isn’t just for the banks and big companies to tackle; you can help. Right now, we encourage submission of possible phishing sites via our contact form. Nothing will be blocked unless it’s verified.

Later this summer, we will introduce PhishTank.com, a free community site, with API, which will serve as a collaborative clearing house for data and information about phishing and malware on the Internet.


PhishTank will no doubt prove to be a valuable resource for the internet security community. Now, users of OpenDNS can basically control what sites are deemed “phishing” sites by making use of PhishTank. This was one of the main gripes people had with OpenDNS initially. There was no method to show what sites were flagged as phishing sites. Let there be transparency!

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Dreamhost Has A Slow Network

The issues I spoke about in Poor Site Performance probably aren’t related to any content within this site, as I had previously thought. It’s more likely related to the shabby state of Dreamhosts network.

I am now blaming the Dreamhost network for the poor performance of this site for the following reasons.

1. Intermittence:
This one is simple. Sometimes single posts will load in a snap. Other times they take up to 30 seconds to display. Same with the index page, archives, about, and contact pages. The contact and about pages are relatively void of content. There’s really no reason for slowness or lag when loading those pages, there’s not much info to display there.

2. Other Pages: Other pages at the longren.org domain also load slow at times. Take Mint for example. The Mint dashboard fails to load or loads very slowly when this blog is also responding very slowly. It takes up to a minute to refresh some very basic peppers from within Mint.

3. MySQL Is Usually OK: If I’m not mistaken, Dreamhost has it’s MySQL databases on separate servers. In other words, a machine that serves http requests doesn’t server MySQL data at the same time, another entirely separate box would handle the MySQL responses. My thought here is that Dreamhost might have their MySQL serving machines on a different network entirely, one that might not be having issues the rest of their network is experiencing. I could be way off here though, entirely speculation.

The Dreamhost Status site has been unavailable for most of the day. There’s normally a blog hosted there. Currently, there’s simply a few paragraphs of text explaining the current situation:

Network downtime Monday Night (09/11)
Monday night, we will upgrading our core networking equipment, which will result in some downtime of all services lasting approximately 30-45 minutes.
We’re expecting this to put an end to the network problems that were created by the power outages about a month ago..
– Sep. 8, 2006 3:30 p.m.

Oops! Temporary Status Site
We had a little goof and this will be our status site until the other machine can be resuscitated.
– Sep. 8, 2006 11:40 a.m.

So, as you can see, they’re relating this to the downtime experienced a month or so back when a generator caught fire. Hopefully the work they do on this coming Monday will fix the issues we’ve been having. It’s getting real old, real quick. Couldn’t happen at a worse time too, this site is starting to grow by great leaps and bounds. Hopefully growth won’t be affected by this poor performance.

UPDATE: This site was unreachable for about 12 hours lastnight/this morning. Here’s some new items that have been posted to dreamhoststatus.com:

Wilmington Failed Over
Wilmingtons second network card, which carries internet traffic, decided to give up the ghost. The server is on shiny new hardware now and websites are already starting to serve again. Our apologies for the downtime.
– Sep. 9, 2006 1:24 p.m.

Web Control Panel Issue Resolved
The network issues causing slowness for the web control panel for the web control panel have now been resolved. The network overall is more responsive and we will continue to make minor changes to keep everything working as well as possible. The major maintenance on Monday night will be essentially a complete replacement and upgrade of one of our core routers. In the meantime, we have been re-routing as much of our network traffic as possible through our other core router to improve overall performance.
– Sep. 9, 2006 2:48 a.m.

Web Control Panel Slowness
The network issues are also causing problems with the Web Control Panel for several users. We are looking into this and hope to have everything restored shortly.
– Sep. 8, 2006 8:56 p.m.

Network Problems Today
We have been experiencing Network Problems today. These problems are the same problems that have actually been happening since we first reported problems with our network. Unfortunately these problems have gotten worse today and are causing a majority of the downtime and slowness issues you are reporting today. These problems, and our attempts at fixing them, have been an ongoing effort. The maintenance Monday Night will be a big step towards resolving these problems completely. We are currently working on the network and all servers having problems and hope to improve the situation soon. Sorry about the downtime, we hope to have this all resolved soon.
– Sep. 8, 2006 5:45 p.m.

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Slackware 11.0 Release Candidate 4

Slackware 11.0 Release Candidate 4 is out! This release sees kernel 2.4.33.3 included as the default. Soon after RC4 was made, Patrick made another small update to the ChangeLog:

Sun Sep 3 19:59:47 CDT 2006
a/udev-097-i486-8.tgz: Fixed a missing ‘[‘ in rc.udev. Thanks to
guilherme for pointing out the error, and to J., who found the missing
‘[‘. (It had fallen off my desk and ended up under a table)
kernels/System.map: Forgot to gzip a bunch of these. Thanks, Steve’o.

This should definitely be the last RC before Slackware 11.0 final is released. In the past two or three Slackware releases (10.0, 10.1, and 10.2), we’ve only seen 2 or 3 release candidates. I suppose there’s a chance we’ll see RC5 this time, but I’m thinking this RC4 will be the last. Probably see Slackware 11.0 final within a week and a half or so.

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Slackware 11 Feeling Official

Slackware 11.0.0 is really feeling “official” now for me. Yesterday, Patrick made an update to the -current ChangeLog stating he had bumped the /etc/slackware-version number up to 11.0.0. I had been waiting for him to bump that version number up. Now that he’s done so, I know Slackware 11.0 will be out soon. I am excited.

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