Fun things to do while being digg’ed

I recently wrote a cluster article that made it to the front page of This was by far the most traffic my site has ever seen and I was very happy to see it happen.

Shortly after being digg’ed (dugg, digg’d, eh never mind) I started thinking of what I could do to best spend my time while all the traffic was coming in, so I SSH’ed into my server. Here are fun things I came up with to do while being digg’ed

tail -f‘ your apache dom logs. Watch all the different IPs flow by, all looking at the same page. Very rarely did I see anyone poke around. They always just checked out the one article and left. I’ll have to tweak the site a bit to make it more sticky.

‘iptraf’. Its a hoot. Watching all the connections come in (80 new connections in about 10 seconds) I couldn’t help but flash back to working the night shift as a sysadmin at Liquidweb. I would always run this utility on a machine that was on the receiving end of a DDoS attack. The effect is very similar.

Knowing “the greater your exposure the greater your risk”, I started to get paranoid. I checked my /tmp and /var/tmp (and all other world writable dirs) quickly to look for any odd files. I ran ‘netstat -a‘ a few times to make sure no one was poking around on ports they didn’t belong on. Then I ran ‘tail -f /var/log/messages‘ for a while. In doing so I found someone start trying to brute force my ftp daemon. I grep‘ed my domlogs for the ip and find he was referred to my webpage from digg. Ha! Being paranoid paid off! 🙂 I added the IP to my firewall’s black list and kept watching for a while.

I was then informed by my friend Shelby that I should really be running bsuite for wordpress and google analytics. Google wasn’t accepting any new users so I scrambled and installed bsuite. I must admit that it is pretty damn cool for generating blog specific stats.

Throughout this entire process I was amazed to see that the large amounts of traffic barely made my little ole P4 (webmaster series from Liquidweb) break a sweat. The load hung around 0.5 at max.

After all was said and done, I went from an average of 20 unique visitors per day to 5,000 for the last 2 days. It brought me a total of 11,000 unique visitors over the past 4 days and is still growing as tons of other sites linked to it.

So to recapp,

  • netstat -a‘ to ensure no one is poking around
  • regularly check all 777 directories
  • iptraf‘ to watch it all go down
  • tail -f /var/log/messages
  • tail -f‘ your apache domain logs for your site.
  • uptime‘ or ‘top‘ to monitor your load. ‘watch -n 30 uptime‘ will refresh it every 30 seconds.

Thanks digg’ers. I’ll keep writing them, if you keep coming and reading them. Remember that I have a bunch of other useful posts in my various categories, stay a wile and poke around 😉

3 Replies to “Fun things to do while being digg’ed”

  1. Never used iptraf before, but it’s actually going to be really useful with what I’m doing at work these days. Thanks for that.

    Oh yeah, fuck digg these days. That site has taken a fucking nose dive… 🙂


  2. I just re-read this article and realized that it may convey the wrong idea.

    I do not suspect the digg community of being evil or malicious. I am simply a paranoid kind of guy. Paranoia is common in my line of work. 🙂

Comments are closed.