Sometimes I deeply dislike computers, especially when they try and be too clever. It’s actually a little bit scary (The Terminator‘s looking less and less far fetched!).
Recent incident – true story. My website now runs on my own server at home, at the end of my broadband pipe. Despite what the provider claims it really isn’t fibre, but it is 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up, which is far more bandwidth than the traffic I generate. So far so good.
Last week, I suddenly started getting e-mails from Google’s search bot telling me the number of 404s on my site has suddenly increased. Oops, think I, must have bust something when I moved it. I look at it – strange, all seems fine. I also found out that my sitemap XML hadn’t updated itself since 2006, but that’s another story.
So I try from Google using the “view as Google” thing – 404s, 500s, cannot access, requires authorisation. Really weird.
So I forget about it for a bit, and then try again from work. Suddenly I can’t see my website at all, just errors. I go to the homepage, and am presented with the login screen for my NAS drive!!
Eeek – that drive has got all my photos, filing, backups, etc, and it’s being exposed to the Internet?!?!?!
Turns out that my Broadband hub had turned on UPnP by itself. It then also turned out that the NAS drive will aggressively try to find a router on the local network, and ask it to forward ports 80 and 443 to itself. And the broadband hub will obey, even though I had manually set up those ports to be forwarded to my hardened server. I didn’t see the problem from home because I was accessing the server directly (even though I thought I was going through the router).
Thankfully I could SSH in from work, which meant I could access the hub admin site, and turn off UPnP and the port forwarding, and put some measures in play to stop it happening again.