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Friday, August 17, 2018

Celebrity Birthdays- Database Tampering

On November 29, 2011, I wrote about an incident involving my Celebrity Birthdays Database. The article is rather lengthy, however discusses in some detail how and why I created the database and related Java Applet & Servlet that were used to both update and display the database information.

The article, provides an illustration of the number of records I had in my local [offline] database at the time of the article [Nov. 29, 2011]. The following diagram shows the same illustration side by side with today's record count in my local database.

The data is credible because it was extracted from the Biography.com site. Initially, the data was gathered using a custom program [Java JDBC/servlet] I developed which parsed the biography.com html file relating to current birthday information and added the entries to the online database.

When I first developed the servlet which extracted data and updated the database, I was unaware my server and database were so accessible by anyone who wanted the data. I also discovered the data was being tampered with. That is why on April 29th, 2011 I accidentally, deleted all of the records. I used the "<>" the wrong way. So it really was an accident. I was trying to make the data less attractive.

Biography.com provides an HTML page showing all of the birthdays for the current day. The page also lists separate article links about each celebrity with a birthday on that day.

The custom program extracted each day; the individual celebrity article link, celebrity name, and the month and date mm/dd".

I could have left the program in place, however did not want others to use it so I deleted it. That program only needed to run for a full year. When I manually updated my local database, I did not do it with the program. I would have had to run the tool every day in local mode-- so I manually extracted the data from biography.com using cut and paste. Keep in mind, only the offline database is complete. I purposely left the online version corrupted.

The following illustration shows data in the online version of the database that I recently deleted. The records were deleted because someone inserted records with links to the biography.com html page of birthdays for the day and not the individual biography.com articles about the celebrity. I did not do this nor did my program.

In my current effort to remove all of the applets used on WiredPages, thereby using only servlets, I recently replaced the Celebrity Birthday interface used on the WiredPages Style & Events page to the new program which only uses the Java servlet.

If you do not see the interface that means the online version of the database does not have birthday records for the current day. My offline version does, and periodically I will export the records from the offline version and import them to the online database, as was the case for today, August 17, 2018.

I will install the entire Celebrity Birthday Database to hosting-q.com, when I am able to control who has access to the server. In the meantime, this provides explanation of why the interface is sometimes unavailable.

QiSoftware is a legal business entity and registered in the State of Maryland. When you tamper with my online assets you are interfering with my business ventures. Please cease and desist at once.

As of the entry time of this post-- hosting-q.com is having a problem with the with JSP, i.e., Java Servlet support. This means there are many "Service Temporarily Unavailable" messages throughout the pages of WiredPages, even though the main site, hosting-q.com is available. I host a lot of my programs on the hosting-q.com site.




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