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Peter Gabriel's Web Server Stolen 287

miller60 writes "Web servers hosting musician Peter Gabriel's web site have gone missing from their data center. "Our servers were stolen from our ISP's data centre on Sunday night — Monday morning," reads a notice at The incident is the latest in a series of high-profile equipment thefts in the past year, including armed robberies in data centers in Chicago and London. How secure is your data center?"
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Peter Gabriel's Web Server Stolen

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  • Heist! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by warriorpostman ( 648010 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:15PM (#23313950) Homepage
    Wow. It never even occurred to me that people would execute traditional bank-style heists of data servers.
    • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:17PM (#23313982) Journal
      Did they break in with a sledgehammer?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vimh42 ( 981236 )
      Hopefully people will start to become aware of this issue more. I've read similar stories where people show up dressed as IT staff and just walk off with servers and witnesses simply assumed they were legit and just doing maintenance.
    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )
      Why wouldn't they? All that user data, credit card info.. etc.

      Lot easier then trying to 'hack' in.
    • Re:Heist! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JCSoRocks ( 1142053 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @03:37PM (#23315908)
      What blows my mind is the article that talks about a group of guys cutting through reinforced walls with a powersaw... what the!? the techs didn't hear an insanely loud noise and think - maybe I should investigate? Then after having realized a bunch of whack jobs are coming in just call the cops and hide someplace? The place has already been robbed 4 times. They can't come up with some better security? geez. You might as well be hosting your stuff at 7-11. At least there you might get a feisty old timer with a shotgun or a bat to fend criminals off.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jellybob ( 597204 )
        I'll let them off for not hearing - most of the data centers I've been in have been so noisy you'd be lucky to hear a JCB driving through the walls. Our main one is loud enough that we're legally required to wear ear-defenders now.

        There's no excuse for being robbed 4 times though. If I had any hardware there, I'd certainly be moving it.
  • Cleary (Score:5, Funny)

    by hansraj ( 458504 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:16PM (#23313952)
    It's a handiwork of music pirates!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Shock the monkey!
      • The "intruder" used a "sledgehammer" to break in and has hidden it at "Solsbury Hill". A ransom note was sent "through the wire".
    • Benevolent music pirates.

      Because, really, have you heard his music?
      • His stuff with Genesis was pretty good, and his solo stuff wasn't too bad, up until recently. Now he's just another self-important pretentious fart like Sting, Bono and Bob Geldoff. That's what I like about guys like the Stones, they may do the odd charity gig, but it's all about the rock and roll, and not about albums designed to educate us. I certainly don't need Gabriel forming some Amnesty International knock-off and then using his records to push it and show us all his social conscience.
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:17PM (#23313976) Homepage
    Peter Gabriel isn't the first musician to be a victim of equipment theft. Earlier in the millennium BT and Hybrid suffered major setbacks in the making of long-awaited new albums when their computers were stolen. I remember being royally pissed when Hybrid's Morning Sci-Fi [] , already generating a lot of buzz based on the band's material at concerts, was delayed years just because some dumbass saw shiny electronics in a studio and walked off with them.
    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:27PM (#23314126) Journal
      Jimmy Page had all his tapes for Outrider stolen, and was forced to rerecord the entire album from scratch. In that case I expect the theft was targeted, while in this case, I imagine it's just guys busting into a data center to steal equipment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Jimmy Page had all his tapes for Outrider stolen, and was forced to rerecord the entire album from scratch. In that case I expect the theft was targeted, while in this case, I imagine it's just guys busting into a data center to steal equipment.
        This has also happened to, ironically, Thievery Corporation.
    • by sokoban ( 142301 )
      Or what about Sonic Youth. They had every single piece of their gear stolen just about. Especially bad was the fact that many of their instruments were prepared in some way to get special tones.
    • Electronic artist Matthew Dear had an external HD stolen in the middle of a set []!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlts ( 1038732 ) *
        On gigs, its not uncommon for people to try to rip off the USB dongles which are used as license keys for VST plugins and various music software. This sucks because it might cause a band not to be able to complete their set if they don't have backup tracks.

        Protecting VST keys for desktop or rackmounts is fairly easy -- you have a USB card with an internal port and plug your VST license dongle into that, leaving that inside the machine. However, for laptops its harder and quite easy for someone to walk up,
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      Yes, that thief is a prick, and I feel bad for the victims.

      That said, Off site back-up people.

  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:19PM (#23314004)
    If at first you don't succeed... buy a gun and go there in person.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:21PM (#23314026)

    Peter Gabriel's Web Server Stolen
    This is, this is just utterly devastating.

    The repercussions of this show what kind of destruction something like this can bring ... Wikipedia's page on Gabriel is grinding to a halt as millions of confused people log on to figure out who he was ... tens, maybe even hundreds, of people are rushing to change their credit card number after they realize that they purchased something through that website ... and on top of all that, this sudden rush back into the spotlight just might cause Gabriel to release another album, possibly setting popular music back decades again.
  • by WilyCoder ( 736280 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:22PM (#23314038)
    Gabriel stole it from himself. He's jealous of Rick Astley's recent fame. He wants an internet Peter-roll using "Sledgehammer"...
  • For the amount of money that is invested in server equipment, I'm amazed that they don't have a server cam for security (sending high-res images of the room to a remote server via wireless or cable).

    • They did... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But that server was stolen, too. Unfortunately, the servercam on that one pointed to another server... which was also stolen. That one didn't have a camera, however.
    • by jimicus ( 737525 )

      For the amount of money that is invested in server equipment, I'm amazed that they don't have a server cam for security (sending high-res images of the room to a remote server via wireless or cable).

      90% of CCTV systems out there produce such appallingly poor images that all you'll know is "the intruder was an amorphous grey blob" - and that just helps you find the intruder at a later date, not necessarily recover your equipment. They certainly don't deter criminals, if that's what you were expecting.

      It'd be cheaper and more effective to keep offsite backups of important data.

  • by flynt ( 248848 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:24PM (#23314074)
    A similar method of attack, layer 1 hijacking [] has been around at least 10 years now.
  • There were three...
  • Did anyone else read the title and, quite literally, laugh out loud?

    Just me, then?

    I'll just go stand over in the corner where I belong, then....
    • Move over...

      bahahaha... BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!


      Sheesh. It really is funny in a way. Which reminds me, I wonder if my absent-minded co-admin bothered to lock the door to the server shack last time he was in. Oh damn. Gotta go.
  • Probably not very (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KeithIrwin ( 243301 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:26PM (#23314114)
    There was a talk at ACM CCS a couple of years ago by a guy who specialized in physical security. He runs a company which works as site security testers. He told of being hired to check how secure a client's computers were in a "secure" data-center. The servers were in a floor-to-ceiling cage with a padlock and security cameras. All they had to do was to fake some passes to get into the data center and then either go under the floor or over the ceiling. In this data center, as in most, there was about a 2-foot crawlspace below the floor and another one above the ceiling. Floor-to-ceiling cages don't mean much if you can just go around them, and that's how many "secure" data-centers are set up. Likewise, the security cameras are only useful if someone is watching them, and in the places he tested, no one was. Since he was only testing, he didn't actually steal the machines, but he did put stickers on them to prove that he'd been there.

    So, how secure is your data center: probably not very.
    • Re:Probably not very (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:37PM (#23314254)
      It blows my mind that people who have a raised floor, and presumably go down into the raised floor all the time in order to run cable or whatever, wouldn't realize that people could get under a cage through the same mechanism.

      At the data center where I work, all of the cages are extended beyond the raised floor down to the concrete. Sure, if you had a heavy enough set of bolt cutters you could get through, but the metal detectors and security guards should keep you from getting something like that into the building. Plus, the fact that you would have disappeared under the raised floor for several minutes while you cut through the cage should be noticed.

      Granted, I work in a Tier IV data center (getting through security is like going to the airport every morning) and don't expect such a high level of security everywhere, but I would think extending the cages beyond the raised floors (and dropped ceilings if present) would be a no-brainer and would be done at very little cost. In addition, I would think at the very least having cameras on and recording 24/7 shouldn't be that big of an expense.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )
        You see shit like that all the time.

        I've seen security windows ahve the frames installed backwards(screws on the outside), I've seen cash rooms in a casino that open up into a walkway in the attic, I've seen a touch screen access pad hooked to a computer that was exposed to the interior network.

        A lot of stupid crap.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gclef ( 96311 )
        Yeah, and don't expect that even the high-priority data centers are all paying attention. At one of the high-profile data centers where I used to work (didn't tier I used to be what people bragged about?), there was a guy sleeping under the raised floor for a few months before people finally caught on. He had a sleeping bag, food, etc down long as he only went down there after regular business hours, his odds of bumping into someone were pretty low.
      • ll of the cages are extended beyond the raised floor down to the concrete

        A good method, although a cheaper and easier method would be to use the raised floor tiles that screw down to the pedestals at all 4 corners. Just a thought ;-).
      • I'd have thought whoever was asked to install a 'cage' should take that to mean 6 metal sides. 4 walls, a top and bottom.

        Clearly in my mind I'm not doing it right.

  • They will throw them in the BIG HOUSE!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:30PM (#23314158)
    That is stolen music.

    Now you can tell the difference.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jez9999 ( 618189 )
      I'm not normally this anal, but...

      music is an abstract concept that can't be 'stolen'. That was copy(ies)of music.
  • by techpawn ( 969834 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:32PM (#23314188) Journal
    Our data centre is behind three locked doors and on the middle floor. I love telling people when I remote into a server "yeah, I'm rebooting a box 16 miles away, behind locked doors and guards..."
  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:39PM (#23314274) Journal
    with these new containerized data centers you don't have to worry about hackers (crackers, whatever); you have to worry about somebody with one of these. []
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 )
      I can see the conversation now...

      Admin: He's getting away with our IBM iDataPlex! Quick, to the IBMobile!
      Intern: Um, I'm sorry but the marketing department borrowed the golf cart for their golf outing today.
      Admin: Well, then come on; it can't be moving more than 5mph anyways...
    • What's the bandwidth of one of those?

      Please answer in terms of car loads of encyclopedias or 747s full of CD-ROMs.
  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:41PM (#23314310)
    I have a friend whose co-located server went down. The Linux partition was screwed, and it needed a reinstall something fierce. I couldn't reach him (he was on vacation), so I drove down to the provider to grab the box. They did not so much as ask for my name; they just let me in, said, "go on in the machine room and grab it." This perturbed me a bit (because the machine clearly had a label that said "Property of [not me]. Do not touch."), but I went in, took it, brought it home, and fixed it up. When I brought it back (with a new install of SuSe and the then newly-released 2.6 stable), the techs remarked that the owner's roommate showed up to see what was wrong with the server. Having been told that an unnamed individual was allowed to make off with the server, he threatened to call the police. The service provider's response to him was, (and I quote), "fuck off."
  • by ascii ( 70907 ) <ascii.microcore@dk> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @01:58PM (#23314528) Homepage
    To quote a favourite band [] of mine:

    "But this feels so unnatural
    Peter Gabriel too"
  • Really need to get to work on encrypting those email addresses stored in the user's table.


  • Fact is, due to inefficient software (and I am not talking about proprietary systems only) we are stuck with expensive machines. I wonder if more efficient systems such as Plan 9, not to mention Lisp and/or relational operating systems and machines, wouldn't enable us to have cheaper, and therefore less attractive to criminals, systems.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      No, because then the cheaper machines wuld ru everything fine, and be just as valuable.

      Now, host on a mainframe and it isn't likely to be stolen.
      Or, have competent security and have a team of security argents do an audit once in a while.
      • by leandrod ( 17766 )

        the cheaper machines wuld ru everything fine, and be just as valuable.
        But not nearly as expensive.
  • by noc007 ( 633443 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @02:04PM (#23314612)
    The company I work for has all of its servers in a secure colo. The place offers secured cabinets, secured cages with racks, and even does walled off areas of the datacenter floor with a secured door for high paying customers like Google. The facility is manned 24/7 with cameras all over outside and in. The rear of the facility is fenced and gated.

    If you're on the roster for your company with floor access this is the process you have to go through to even get to your server:
    -If it's at night, you have to use your RFID badge to get in the front door
    -Check in with security and sign out for your key if the door is not a combo lock
    -Security needs to buzz you through the first door
    -RFID badge and finger print through two or three doors
    -Iris scan in the man-trap to get to the datacenter floor
    -Combo or the checked-out key to get in to the cabinet or cage

    On regular intervals they check the people on the floor to make sure that you're suppose to be there.

    I'm not saying this place is a fortified facility that can handle a team of insurgents. However, I'd feel that my equipment is safe from the theft I've been hearing about at some datacenters. For a cabinet with a 1Mbps commit data rate with an actual 10Mbps internet connection and IPs, it's about the same cost of having a T1 to the office.

    For those that want to know who we use, it's Quality Tech.
  • Virtual everything around here is being stolen for scrap metal value: irrigation pipes, public statutes, road rails, roof flashing, etc.
  • Sorry to reply with a personal story, but I once had a server in a secured facility in the downtown of a major city. I signed up with the place because on their web site it said "you get 24 hour secured access to your server". Amongst the many false advertisements, they couldn't offer me this because they didn't want commoners such as their paying customers to run amok in the data center.

    So I take off on one columbus day weekend for a 3-day holiday. That friday night (midnight on a saturday), they power dow
  • by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @03:07PM (#23315476) Journal
    Dammit, CowboyNeal! I told you to steal Rick Astley's web server []!
  • by Bushido Hacks ( 788211 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @03:22PM (#23315696) Homepage Journal
    In this Land of Confusion, only one man could be so evil to steal Peter Gabriel's hard drive: Phil Collins. Peter could probably fell it coming in the air tonight. (Oh! Lord!) But Seriously, (gotcha!) we'll see his true colors shining when the cops catch Phil throwing it all away. No son of mine would get away with that!

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