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The story of Server 54

2011/03/05

I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before, but I cannot find it right now. Anyway the following tweet:

Beaker RT @etherealmind: Existential Angst 4 Network Engineers: If a Network Device isn’t Monitored, does it really exist? < Does when it goes down

brought to my attention by @DrInfoSec triggered my memory to recall the story of Server 54. A story that I reproduce here thanks to the Internet Archive:

The University of North Carolina has finally found a network server that, although missing for four years, hasn’t missed a packet in all that time. Try as they might, university administrators couldn’t find the server. Working with Novell Inc. (stock: NOVL), IT workers tracked it down by meticulously following cable until they literally ran into a wall. The server had been mistakenly sealed behind drywall by maintenance workers.

Digging a little bit more, one can find a few more discussions on Server 54.

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