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> Recent Database Mayhem, Regarding the two recent downtimes
    Posted: Sep 5 2007, 10:21 PM

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Posts: 8,011
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Joined: Sep 15th 2002
Location: San Leandro, California

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the two recent downtimes happened on September 1st, 2007 and September 5th, 2007. The first downtime lasted from 04:40PM to 12:00AM and the second downtime lasted from 4:00PM to 10:00PM. Both downtimes were caused by MySQL database using up all the CPU resources. Immediately after the first downtime, I've investigate into the reason as to why the database suddenly start using up all the resources and I've checked the raw access log and found nothing suspicious.

After some in-depth examinations, I realized the underlying cause could be due to a recent change in the codes from the registration form. About a week ago, I modified the coding in the registration form so that spambots must pick the right option before the registration can go through successfully. Ever since the new implementations, none of the spambots can go through the registration process. However, it seems like these spambots are programmed to keep retrying until they successfully obtain an account. And they also seem to be programmed to take actions around 04:00PM Pacific Time.

My guess is that all these spambots keep retrying to register at an insane rate and thus causing the database to uses up all the CPU resource and ultimately making it crash. The codes have been changed back to how it was originally. That means, spambots can still register but they will automatically post-banned and will have their accounts deleted periodically. This way, the spambots will report back to their owners that they've successfully registered and won't trigger the re-try mechanism.

Special thanks to thewird for rebooting/recovering the database immediately after I've notified him both times. Special thanks to spinnee for notifying me about the second downtime by phone. And thanks to every one for patiently waiting for the forums to come back.
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