Open source cms upgrade nightmare
Recently we developed a new site for one of our clients. By default we configure it on our new shiny bling bling server. But, this client also had one really really old site, that they nevertheless wanted to keep alive online. Client was really unhappy with their current hosting company, and they asked us to migrate it to our servers. You must understand that we are not hosting company, but we provide uber hosting services only to our own clients and for our own projects. We are not happy when we must put single line of code on our servers that haven’t been artificially grown in nivas labs.
Anyways, that really old site was running Mambo Open Source v4.0.12. The moment site was online, our server security alarm bells started ringing, flashing, horning etc. Somebody started to rape mambo’s contact component to send huge amounts of spam. Well how nice. I never used mambo-id like cms in past, but looking at administration console for half an hour – I was unable to find any possible way to disable contact component. Ok, so as said earlier, we are dealing with mambo 4.0.12 here. As written in source files, this version is dated back from 31/10/2001.
1 hour later – half of mambos code deleted and other half replaced with redirects to our new site. I am not proud of doing that, but hell – it worked. And yes, I could have easily spend several months on trying to upgrade to current, but I wonder how well would client handle that invoice. Site is now running in safe mode, but I can bet that it won’t take long and it will get hacked again. The code is so bad, oh man, pure poetry… FUBR.
The point of this story – open source is not for everyone! I can’t figure out why clients tend to put their mission critical (corporate) websites on OS projects, which they don’t indent to upgrade (nor employ someone to do that). The previous hosting company which hosted this website didn’t even bother to look at their server logs. They would probably discover that they are missing large amounts of bandwidth used for sending out spam. Who knows how many other companies like that is around the world? I would say A LOT… And all this spam is stealing my bandwidth aarararaagh!