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Updates on VPhot

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stellakafka
stellakafka's picture
Updates on VPhot

Friends,

 

As you may have noticed (and was mentioned on a different thread  https://www.aavso.org/vphot-inaccessible), on Wednesday (14 March) VPhot became unavailable to the community. This is due to a hacker attack on our systems, targeting VPhot and resulting to abrupt interruptions of its activity. We spent the time immediately after the attack reviewing our infrastructure and assessing the overall impact.  No other AAVSO software or web servers were affected as part of the hack.

 

Sadly, cyber-attacks are not uncommon and they result in major inconveniences (to say the least). We recognize that this was a weakness in our system; we are doing our best to tighten even more our security protocols for VPhot and ensure that such incidents will not happen in the future for this or for any other piece of our software. We are also reviewing all our security and backup procedures accordingly. Impact seems to be minimal – only user data temporarily stored on the server are missing, along with the relevant processing files. We do have a backup of the VPhot code, and we are restoring the software as fast as we can. We also take this as an opportunity to improve VPhot: while restoring the software, we are moving it to a new Amazon Word Cloud instance with increased memory which will improve VPhot’s functionality. 

 

I appreciate your patience and understanding while we reinstate VPhot for your image processing needs. We hope to have VPhot back up and running by the end of this week.

 

Best wishes - clear skies,

Stella.

spp
spp's picture
Proposing a VPhot fund.

I see that George Silva is looking for volunteers to help him with some aspects of  getting VPhot up and running again.  Perhaps the AAVSO should set up a VPhot fund specifically for situations like the current crisis or for major system upgrades. 

I would gladly donate to this fund, and I'm sure there would be plenty of other CCD observers who would also contribute.  If such a fund were in place now, George might be able to hire an expert immediately without having to wait for someone to raise his or her hand.

Phil

 

MZK
MZK's picture
VPhot Restricted Fund

Hi Phil:

A restricted fund for VPhot already exists. Do a search for restricted funds. See below:

VPHOT Maintenance and Upgrade Fund

The corpus, contributions, and income derived from the investments allocated to the VPHOT Maintenance and Upgrade Fund are considered temporarily restricted for the purpose of funding maintenance, upgrades, storage, and operation of VPHOT, the AAVSO primary Photometry Tool.

 

Ken (MZK) 

spp
spp's picture
VPhot Restricted Fund

Thanks, Ken,

Let's all send a contribution.

Phil

SBL
SBL's picture
Proposing a VPhot fund

Good idea Phil !

Ed Wiley_WEY
Ed Wiley_WEY's picture
VPhot Fund

Jut made a dontation via PayPal but forgot to tag it as for VPhot. 25W31338SE586704M. Hope it gets put to that use.

Ed

MZK
MZK's picture
VPhot Donation

Ed:

Thanks very much but I would call HQ (Elizabeth, Kathy?), and tell them of your specific restriction.

Ken

Ed Wiley_WEY
Ed Wiley_WEY's picture
VPhot Donation

Already done, Ken. Owen took care of it.

Ed

SGEO
SGEO's picture
VPhot is back!

VPhot is now back online!

First thing you should do is check your telescope profiles. The information there will be over a year old. So, bring it uptodate. Likewise any saved sequences will also be old, so update those too.

If you have any problems or see issues with the recovered website, feel free to contact me directly at vphot@gasilvis.net. Describe the problem and send me a screen shot and I'll get it fixed. And be prepared for the site to have some interruptions of service as we get it tuned up.

I want to thank the members who helped test the new website: Ken Menzies, Gordon Myers and Phil Sullivan. And a special thanks to Matt Merrill who helped sort out some tough programming issues.

George

Geoff
Thank you George! 

Thank you George! 

uis01
Thanks for your work George.

Thanks for your work George.  Are *all* the sequences and images that are missing from this restoration gone or is there more content that will be restored later?  

Asking before I start reconstructing.

SGEO
SGEO's picture
Losses on VPhot

The restored VPhot server lost all images and analysis logs. Since VPhot is a pipeline, not an archive, the loss of the images should not be a tragedy; just reload if necessary. The loss of the analysis logs will hurt more since many members maintained those logs for years. If there is interest we can investigate how to download/upload analysis logs.

Sequences and telescope profiles were restored as of 8/2016. That was a failure of having the backups on the same server. Ouch. Won't happen again, promise.

George

 

HQA
HQA's picture
restored images

Further on what George has said, AAVSOnet keeps two public archives of images.  Those of you who opted for "VPHOT" upload had images sent directly there, but they are also on the ftp site as well.  So you can download them from your obscode directory on ftp, and then re-upload to VPHOT, if you did not have them archived on your local computer.  This only works for fairly recent images, as the ftp site is also not supposed to be used for permanent archiving.

ftp.aavsonet.aavso.org

Arne

Ed Wiley_WEY
Ed Wiley_WEY's picture
Thank George, Ken, Gordon, Phil! Upload Frenzy is in Progress!

Many thanks to you all for getting VPHot back up. The upload frenzy is now in full progress.

Ed

MZK
MZK's picture
Upload Frenzy?

Hi Ed:

It should be "interesting" to see how VPhot reacts to this potential "overload", of both uploads and processing?  wink

We know that there may be a few (I know of one at least?) issues to resolve during this roll out of the revised system on the new AWS x64 bit server with updated Win Server OS. Keep your eyes open and send emails directly to George as mentioned separately. Descriptions of issues and screen shots are most helpful.

Ken

TRE
TRE's picture
Thanks

 Thanks to George and Matt Merrill and HQ for their support of VPHOT. I too, will  contribution again to VPHOT. 

 

Ray

 

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