Thursday, September 04, 2008

Scientific Linux - navigation blocked

I was browsing the Scientific Computing World article A Universe of Data on the computing resources at CERN, when my attention was caught by mention of a version of Linux that I had not heard of before called Scientific Linux. What's so special about that? So I duly Googled the string "Scientific Linux" and the top hit was described as:

Scientific Linux - Welcome to Scientific Linux (SL) - 13:58Is a Linux release put together by Fermilab, CERN, and various other labs and universities around the world ready tuned for experimenters. - 26k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

So I then followed the link to get this:

I have never seen this sort of warning before, and I do a lot of internet browsing. I didn't explore any further because unexpected things on the internet always spook me, and by playing very safe I have managed to avoid all the nasty problems that I regularly hear about from other people.

I am reasonably sure that the problem is a trivial misconfiguration of the site, rather than a malicious attempt by Internet Explorer to try to prevent people from visiting this particular site. Surely, it couldn't be the case that a is so self-righteous that they shoo away Internet Explorer users? Or am I just being paranoid?


gotjosh said...

Hey Stephen,

Basically it seems like scientificLinux has created their own httpS certificate and it has not been validated by a "Recognized authourity"

They redirect all hits to http -> https, so to view the site it seems like we have to add an exeption in our browsers to trust the home brew security certificate.

I'd say its a kinda "We make our own linux distro, and we can make our own cerificates too" kinda attitude.

My view is no harm to check it out, just double think before entering any secure data or personal info... which probably won't be happening anyway...

by the way, i dig the GeoDome math you did, thats actually why i am here... just got curious about the sciLinux thing along the way...

cheers mate,
keep up the strong thought!

Stephen Luttrell said...

You have confirmed what I already suspected about the attitude of the site's author(s)!

As for my earlier geodesic dome posting, the analysis and software was something that I did several years ago after I had been to a festival where I saw a couple of such domes.