Messages & Announcements

  • 2010-10-31:  Firefly: head node crash
    Category:  System Failure

    Firefly's head node crashed at approximately 6:00 AM today. The head node has been rebooted.

    Please log in to check if your submitted jobs are still running.


    Firefly's head node crashed at approximately 6:00 AM today. The head node has been rebooted.

    Please log in to check if your submitted jobs are still running.

  • 2010-10-26:  Prairiefire and Firefly: logins enabled
    Category:  General Announcement

    Security patches have been applied to Prairiefire and Firefly and logins have been reenabled.


    Security patches have been applied to Prairiefire and Firefly and logins have been reenabled.

    While we do not anticipate any submitted jobs to have failed, please check to make sure your jobs are still running or have terminated correctly.

  • 2010-10-25:  Prairiefire, Merritt and Firefly: offline due to a possible security exploit
    Category:  General Announcement

    Prairiefire, Merritt and Firefly were taken offline on Saturday (October 23, 2010) due to a vulnerability in GNU libc.


    Prairiefire, Merritt and Firefly were taken offline on Saturday (October 23, 2010) due to a vulnerability in GNU libc.

    We have taken preemptive measures by terminating and disabling login (SSH) session to these clusters. Jobs that were submitted will continue to run. We will reenable logins as soon as we receive a patch from our software vendor.

  • 2010-09-21:  PrairieFire available
    Category:  Maintenance

    PrairieFire has been upgraded to a new distribution and kernel, and is again available for use.


    PrairieFire has been upgraded to CentOS 5.5, including an updated kernel. Jobs submitted before the security incident should be unaffected and continue to run to completion. With any system upgrade, there may be compatibility issues, but codes tested so far have been unaffected. Please contact hcc-support@unl.edu if you have any difficulty.

    Best regards,
    David Swanson
    Director, HCC

  • 2010-09-21:  Firefly, PrairieFire and Merritt back up.
    Category:  Maintenance

    Firefly, PrairieFire and Merritt are back up and available.


    A login account on HCC machines was compromised on the evening of September 20, 2010. It appears that the damage was limited due to alert and quick action by HCC staff.

    We are taking preemptive measures to mitigate further and future compromises.
    1) Your .ssh directory in your home has been moved to .ssh-old-20100921. This is to prevent potential unauthorized access to the HCC systems using
    passwordless ssh connections.
    2) We are implementing stronger password policies. Passwords need to be at
    least 8 characters long and must have 1 digit and 1 uppercase character.
    3) We have changed all passwords. Your new password will be emailed to you in a separate email. This password will work on all HCC managed clusters. Please change this immediately after logging on! Please run the "passwd" command. We strongly urge you not to share your password with anyone including your colleagues.
    4) We have locked all accounts that have been dormant for more than 1 year. These accounts are not deleted, and can be opened if needed.


    If you had submitted jobs to Firefly, Prairiefire or Merritt before this
    incident, your jobs most likely survived. However, please check on your jobs.

    If you have questions related to the HCC clusters, please contact us at
    hcc-support@unl.edu or stop by one of our locations.

    Best wishes,
    David Swanson
    Director, HCC

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