Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

The Return of the King

A comment from Silentbob on the the ep 37.4 page pointed out that the actual episode was returning a 404.  Like a good troubleshooter, I check to see if I could recreate the problem.

Yikes!  The episode went missing!  That warrants some kind of investigation.   It marks the first time an episode has actually disappeared– rather than overwritten, which used to happen before I implemented DropPod.   It could be a sign of a very strange intrusion.

So I took a look at the Staty McPodface logs on my webserver.

Sep 1 16:49:30 kali mcpodface[14668]: [AAA] logged hit for ‘AAA_S37E4_Podcast.mp3’ on 350.797.450.980
Sep 1 16:59:18 kali mcpodface[16006]: [AAA] file [AAA_S37E4_Podcast.mp3] not found

So, 2019-9-1 was a Sunday.   That’s obviously interesting, as that’s show day.  Also, we logged a hit on the episode at 4:49, and then logged a 404 at 4:59, meaning the episode was deleted within that ten minutes.

Welp, Ask an Atheist generally posts on Sunday between 3:00 and 5:00 PM.   Which suggests a correlation with posting episode 37.5.   I wonder what time that episode was posted?

September 1st, 2019 at 4:56 PM

Well, that’s telling.


Did I produce that episode?   Nope.   I was elsewhere.


Members of the jury of podcasting, I present to you: my scary hacker.

All and all, I don’t think I’m going to take steps to remove the method of intrusion when the attacker is the more professional of your main hosts.   And you’re sort of married to them.

Loop 404 Image credit: Wikipedia link

About the Author: Sam Mulvey

Sam Mulvey is a producer and the technical brain behind Ask an Atheist. He is a collector of vinegar varieties, vintage computers, antique radios, and propaganda.

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