ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How do you say "Access denied for user" in Dzongkha?

I've been trying to reach DDC online dictionaries for the last few weeks, but I keep getting the following warnings:
Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Access denied for user 'dzongkha'@'' (using password: YES) in/home/dzongkha/public_html/online/config.php on line 2
Warning: mysql_select_db(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL-Link resource in /home/dzongkha/public_html/online/config.php on line 3
What's going on here? DDC's web server cannot access the back-end database. But in the process, it prints diagnostics ("Access denied for user ...") which I, as a user, should not see. These messages can help an adversary to hack into the system, since now the "bad guy" has information about the database server and the username. The web server should not print these messages. A webmaster can easily turn off diagnostic messages in the production system. In addition, it is highly advisable to employ a monitoring mechanism which will periodically check that the web server is functioning correctly.

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