Here’s a CattleMax story for the books…
Just after midnight on Saturday, I received an email from Rails Machine, our incredible hosting company, saying they had proactively placed a temporary block on a particular computer IP address. The IP address was blocked from accessing CattleMax Online because of unusual activity. The technician wanted to give me a heads up so that I could check it out and let them know if the block needed to be removed.
Though I was already winding down for the evening so I would be rested up for church the next day, I jumped out of bed and ran to my computer. Was someone really trying to attack our server?!
I began scanning through the server logs and saw the computer address and account matched recent activity from a long-time customer, so I went from being concerned to being puzzled. The customer had logged in Friday afternoon without any issue. Then on Saturday, that same computer loaded the last page from Friday afternoon 4,300 times in under 20 minutes. OK, so someone wasn’t trying to attack us. Maybe the customer had some kind of virus or malware that was attacking websites they had visited.
First thing Monday morning, I called the customer. I wasn’t quite sure how to start out the call… “Were you trying to crash CattleMax?” seemed accusatory… “have you run a virus scan lately?” seemed condescending. So, I just said, ”I wanted to let you know about some unusual activity from your account on Saturday around mid…”
The customer just started laughing, before I could even finish my sentence. She said “Yes, there was some unusual activity. Somehow a stray cat had sneaked into my office on Friday. By Saturday night, he was ready to get out. When I arrived at my office this morning, I thought my office had been broken in to… my desk was a mess and my monitor had fallen on to the keyboard.” She followed with, “At least I now know that you all really are looking after everything.”
So, mystery solved. It wasn’t as exotic as a coordinated attack from the other side of the world, nor was it as annoying as a virus or malware. The culprit was a stray cat! The upside is that another customer has experienced that we really do monitor CattleMax Online 24/7.