Recent issues with the Gateway Scenery Map

In August 2019, we experienced two major - however mutually unrelated - issues that caused problems for the users.

Missing airport markers on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

On August 22nd, various users reported that all airport markers on the map had disappeared and no searches returned any results. This was caused by Google Maps API rolling over to version 3.38 which no longer supports the Google Fusion Tables Layer which the Gateway Scenery Map currently uses for visualizing the airport location markers.

I was aware that this API update from Google Maps was coming in August - just didn't know when. And as "luck" may have it, naturally the change happened in the middle of the night (from my perspective) so initially I failed to notice it. Thankfully our users knew what to do and contacted me almost immediately when things started failing, and thus when I woke up I already had tons of problem reports to alert me what had happened and was able to get things back in order very quickly.

A huge "thank you" for all who reported the issue. This is a group effort, and You're the best group I could have backing me up.

Several service outages on Monday, August 27th, 2019

On August 27th, the Gateway Scenery Map suffered as collateral damage of a DoS attack targeted to one of the other services co-hosted on the same server. To the users of not only the Gateway Scenery Map -site, but also of all the other sites hosted on the same server, this caused various problems ranging from service outages to slowdowns, etc.

Our servers mostly hold "not-for-profit" -organizations' & other suchlike websites, so I truly don't know what benefit anyone would hope to achieve from DoS'ing our servers. Granted; handling the issue proved to be a relatively interesting learning experience in improving NetSec of the server live - albeit one that I'd rather not need to spend my worktime unnecessarily on in the future. Yes ... I admit that I'm rather disappointed at having some script-kiddie targeting us, for no other reason than to piss everyone off. But at the same time, I recognise that the attack was not targeted towards the Gateway Scenery Map as such - we simply suffered the collateral damage of the attack. Which sucks.


Anyways ... peace out to all users. Let's hope this doesn't happen again - at least not too soon.

;)
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