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The Internet Software Apache

The Chinese (Web Servers) Are Coming 231

Posted by timothy
from the maoism-taoism-i-ching-and-chess dept.
Glyn Moody writes "The February 2009 Netcraft survey is not the usual 'Apache continues to trounce Microsoft IIS' story: there's a new entrant — from China. 'This majority of this month's growth is down to the appearance of 20 million Chinese sites served by QZHTTP. This web server is used by QQ to serve millions of Qzone sites beneath the qq.com domain.' What exactly is this QZHTTP, and what does it all mean for the world of Web servers?"
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The Chinese (Web Servers) Are Coming

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  • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:10PM (#26971539) Homepage Journal
    Self Censoring Web servers! Automatically removes all politically sensitive info for you! This will catch on quick, I bet!
    • by UID30 (176734) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:27PM (#26971885)

      Self Censoring Web servers! Automatically removes all politically sensitive info for you! This will catch on quick, I bet!

      pfft. I've had this running as an apache module for years. mod_bigbrother ftw.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        pfft. I've had this running as an apache module for years. mod_bigbrother ftw.

        OK, I admit it, I googled mod_bigbrother to see if it really existed.

        It doesn't yet, but given the number of modules that exist for Apache

      • by billcopc (196330)

        Your plugin isn't secure enough. I use mod_devnull.so

    • Sure, it can handle heavy loads, but how quickly can your web server sync its logs with gov.cn?

  • by JWSmythe (446288) * <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:11PM (#26971557) Homepage Journal

    ... the appearance of 20 million Chinese phisher sites ...

  • by dimethylxanthine (946092) <mr.fruit@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:11PM (#26971561) Homepage
    Didn't they implement the 1 server per company policy some time ago now...?? oh wait.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:12PM (#26971565) Journal
    Could someone help me out here, I am an ignorant occidental American developer barely able to use English ... I thought QQ was just a messaging program of bloated malware and adware [wikipedia.org] that is insanely popular in China? Has it become (or is it aiming to become) more than that?

    Its parent company is a media company [wikipedia.org] ... is this destined to be China's GeoCities era with horrid user generated web content alongside ads and malicious user generated data like GeoCities in the 90s? Or maybe the Myspace/Facebook [datacenterknowledge.com] of China?

    What exactly is this QZHTTP?

    I honestly don't know. Never heard of it before now, my Google Fu finds nothing in English. Indicating it is most likely propriety to Tancent QQ ...

    I hope this didn't affect the IPv4 exhaustion date [wikipedia.org].

    I guess this could also just be a whole lot of fuss over something that will become common place. I mean with the event of virtualization, hilarious 32 core chips due out and predictably cheap storage/memory ... won't every large company soon be able to foot the bill on and house (what appears to be) 20 million web servers? I guess IP addressing, routing & bandwidth will always be a problem but the hardware is sure getting to the point.

    • by the white plague (1436257) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:17PM (#26971659)
      I thought 'QQ' was "round eyes filled with tears".
    • by JWSmythe (446288) * <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:30PM (#26971967) Homepage Journal

          My guess on the QZHTTP thing is that they're simply sending their own banner, rather than that of their real server. It's not exactly rocket science. Anyone who's good enough to handle millions of domains can set one line of configuration I wish we had some examples. The qq.com domain itself, besides being pathetically slow, gives these headers:

      telnet www.qq.com 80
      Connected to www.qq.com.
      Escape character is '^]'.
      GET ? HTTP/1.1

      HTTP/1.0 400 Bad Request
      Server: squid/2.6.STABLE5
      Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:17:23 GMT
      Content-Type: text/html
      Content-Length: 1336
      Expires: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:17:23 GMT
      X-Squid-Error: ERR_INVALID_URL 0
      X-Cache: MISS from rainny.qq.com
      Via: 1.0 rainny.qq.com:80 (squid/2.6.STABLE5)
      Connection: close

          So, I'd guess they're basing that analysis on the Via or X-Cache lines (or both)

      For those who aren't familiar with the headers, this is what it looks like from Slashdot
      telnet slashdot.org 80
      Trying 216.34.181.45...
      Connected to slashdot.org.
      Escape character is '^]'.
      GET ? HTTP/1.1

      HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
      Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:19:49 GMT
      Server: Apache/1.3.41 (Unix) mod_perl/1.31-rc4
      Connection: close
      Transfer-Encoding: chunked
      Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
      Vary: Accept-Encoding, User-Agent

      I'll simpify the rest, and just show the "Server:" line.

      Apache.org: Server: Apache/2.2.9 (Unix)
      Microsoft: Server: Microsoft-HTTPAPI/2.0
      Whitehouse.gov: Server: AkamaiGHost
      cnn.com: Server: Apache

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        Netcraft confirms it! Apache is dying, to be replaced by Apache!

      • by Anonymous Conrad (600139) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:41PM (#26972183)

        Try qzone.qq.com rather than just qq.com.

        HTTP/1.1 200 OK
        Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:41:06 GMT
        Server: QZHTTP-2.3
        Content-type: text/html
        Content-length: 1728
        Connection: close

        • by TheLink (130905)
          My verdict is a modified version of thttpd, see the error message:

          telnet qzone.qq.com 80
          Trying 58.251.60.181...
          Connected to qzone.qq.com.
          Escape character is '^]'.
          GET - HTTP/1.0

          HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
          Server: qhttpd
          Connection: close
          Content-Type: text/html
          Content-Length: 235

          <HTML><HEAD><TITLE>400 Bad Request</TITLE></HEAD><BODY><H2>400 Bad Request</H2>Your request has bad syntax or is inherently impossible to satisfy.<HR><ADDRESS><A HREF="http://w
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:17PM (#26972811)

        I think you are mistaken here.

        The sites in question are not qq.com they are subdomains of .qzone.qq.com
        (BTW http://qzone.qq.com/ [qq.com] by itself does not use QZHTTP 2.3 web server software it uses Apache)
        like
        http://182273490.qzone.qq.com/ [qq.com]
        Here is the netcraft report for that site:
        http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=182273490.qzone.qq.com [netcraft.com]

        These sites appear to be running on Linux and state they are running QZHTTP-2.3 web server software.

        Yes you can edit the banner but often netcraft digs further into it then this (response times, packet information, etc) and doesn't blindly use the banner value.

        It is likely to be using a modified version of Apache like Google do with their GWS (Google Web Server) software.

        And thus given a separate version of web server software in its own right. So I suspect there has to be a significant changes to the normal operation/code of Apache (or whatever they have modded). It could be a whole new set of web server software but likely a significantly modified version.

        Hope it helps

      • by miller60 (554835) * on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:25PM (#26972937) Homepage
        Netcraft's actual site report [netcraft.com] for qq.com shows it using Apache on Linux, so odds are qzhttp is either customized Apache or using altered headers.

        Spoofing headers to fool Netcraft is nothing new. Bruce Perens did it [netcraft.com] with his Open Source Parking project. He was using lighttpd but wanted to help Apache's numbers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Two things:

        Use netcat, not telnet.
        Send a HEAD request, not a bogus GET.

      • by Arimus (198136)

        X-Cache: MISS from rainny.qq.com
        Via: 1.0 rainny.qq.com:80 (squid/2.6.STABLE5)
        Connection: close

        So, I'd guess there basing that analysis on the Via or X-Cache lines (or both)

        From the X-Cache line you can find the server name but not the server type...
        From the via line you can find the server which in this example is squid... nothing to do with QZHTTP.

        Using qzone.qq.com you get:-

        HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
        Server: qhttpd
        Connection: close
        Content-Type: text/html
        Content-Length: 235

    • by querist (97166) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:38PM (#26972133) Homepage

      I don't know about malware in QQ's software, but QQ is much more than just China's answer to Microsoft Messenger.

      QQ is a portal site that links to search engines and also provides users a place to create their "home" on the Internet, much like live.com and other sites.

      Yes, QQ is insanely popular in China, as is MSN and Yahoo! chat.

    • I'll bet dollars to donuts it's just "a patchy" apache. This raises the question as to how netcraft should determine speciation...

      • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:17PM (#26972817) Journal
        I think it's more likely to be a version of thttpd because of an error message I got:

        telnet qzone.qq.com 80
        Trying 58.251.60.181...
        Connected to qzone.qq.com.
        Escape character is '^]'.
        GET - HTTP/1.0

        HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
        Server: qhttpd
        Connection: close
        Content-Type: text/html
        Content-Length: 235

        <HTML><HEAD><TITLE>400 Bad Request</TITLE></HEAD><BODY><H2>400 Bad Request</H2>Your request has bad syntax or is inherently impossible to satisfy.<HR><ADDRESS><A HREF="http://www.tencent.com/">qhttpd Server</A></ADDRESS></BODY></HTML>

        Compare that message with:
        thttpd-2.25b
        libhttpd.c: "Your request has bad syntax or is inherently impossible to satisfy.\n";
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What exactly is this QZHTTP?

      I honestly don't know. Never heard of it before now, my Google Fu finds nothing in English. Indicating it is most likely propriety to Tancent QQ ...

      Proprietary? Perhaps. But I'd be willing to bet that the codebase is more than likely a fork of Apache or another open source web server, or else a "customised" version of IIS. Copyrights are not a Chinese concept, and I doubt that a site as large as QQ claims to be is running off a web server they rolled themselves.

  • Neck-and-neck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by conureman (748753) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:14PM (#26971597)

    LOL- good to see MS prompted to fight for its second place standing.

  • Why mock this ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:18PM (#26971685) Journal
    I don't understand the people mocking this. Sure this is probably a service a la geocities with a minority of webpages worth of any interest. But some are. Internet gains million of new users and publishers and people just dismiss this as non-significant while we should try to build bridges. As ugly a Myspace-QQ bridge may sound, it could be a worthwhile objective...
    • I don't understand the people mocking this. Sure this is probably a service a la geocities with a minority of webpages worth of any interest. But some are. Internet gains million of new users and publishers and people just dismiss this as non-significant while we should try to build bridges. As ugly a Myspace-QQ bridge may sound, it could be a worthwhile objective...

      At least Geocities was better than Myspace.

      • Barely. I think the only way in which Geocities wins that contest is there were no integrated forums/walls on each garish, color-clashing, animation heavy page.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          I remember, in the days of dialup, having a really terrible Star Trek fan page. It had a 500KB animated gif up at the top, which I converted from a video file. Glad I've grown up since then. Now I think I would put a 50MB animated gif, at least!
        • Barely. I think the only way in which Geocities wins that contest is there were no integrated forums/walls on each garish, color-clashing, animation heavy page.

          Geocities had fewer instances of black text over very dark and busy background images, and slightly less music loading with the page. Also, for awhile people put quasi-content on geocities. Little freeware apps, etc. I haven't seen something useful yet on Myspace.

          • I think you have very rose-tinted memorise of geocities. It didn't have as much black text on a black background, but it did have a lot of fluorescent text on a repeating background image.

            MySpace, at least, is used by a few bands. Weird Al, for example, has put a few tracks up there for free download.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kabocox (199019)

      I don't understand the people mocking this. Sure this is probably a service a la geocities with a minority of webpages worth of any interest. But some are. Internet gains million of new users and publishers and people just dismiss this as non-significant while we should try to build bridges. As ugly a Myspace-QQ bridge may sound, it could be a worthwhile objective...

      There are times that I'd like to give China a small hint on the best way to culturally take the US would be. First mandate an entire generation

      • by Skye16 (685048) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:48PM (#26972283)

        We'd learn some sweet Mandarin phrases, get some space ships, and then live in a pseudo wild-west sci-fi sort of situation.

        Just remember; I do the job, I get paid.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Correction, we would all cuss and argue in Mandarin, and that's all we would use it for (except for the cool-looking Hanzi logos on our ships!) Still....I call the engine room bunk!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why do you want to do this?
        It seems you want to elevate the Chinese by introducing them to your superior culture.

        An entire generation of Chinese students is ALREADY learning English.
        They ALREADY have net books and cell phones.
        They ALREADY have their own mirror internet with youtube and facebook clones.

        And I already know the real average Chinese point of view because I asked them. They think their nation and culture is superior, just like most people from every other nation and culture.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Well, in France we wondered why Americans didn't take over all French websites by learning some basic French ;-)

        Seriously, what would be the point of this ? Do you think they don't have their own blogosphere, slashdot, webcomics, news sources ? All in the language that the biggest part of humanity uses ?
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:19PM (#26971717)

    "...What exactly is this QZHTTP, and what does it all mean for the world of Web servers?"

    Ah, what does it all mean? I dunno, are the Chinese proposing some sort of new web server protocol standard? Is there a new RFC out?

    Seems we might be confusing web content with web server software and/or protocols. IM and blogging isn't exactly new, and neither is the idea that whatever China chooses to put online en masse would be larger than just about anything else in the world based on their population numbers alone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Ah, what does it all mean? I dunno, are the Chinese proposing some sort of new web server protocol standard? Is there a new RFC out?

      They've just called their software 'QZHTTP'. Try 'telnet qzone.qq.com 80' and 'HEAD / HTTP/1.0' and you'll see for yourself:

      Server: QZHTTP-2.3

      I don't think anyone's suggesting there's a new protocol here.

  • Websites (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iztehsux (1339985) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:19PM (#26971729)
    I really don't care what they're serving up on QQ as long as they knock it off with the repeated brute force SSH attempts every single day.
  • Ships with mod_serialz, mod_sslstrip, mod_censorhip and mod_smtprelay all configured and ready for use out of the box.
  • Let's see how all you pro free-trade computer people make out now. Boy, after decades of saying that auto-workers should make the same as their chinese counterparts, how will it feel to hear corporations saying the same about computer people?

    • by homer_s (799572)
      how will it feel to hear corporations saying the same about computer people?

      Is there any reason why someone should make more here for the same work than someone in Asia? Do you apply the same logic toward automation and the resulting cost savings?

      Whether by computers or by cheap labour in China, reducing the cost of production generates wealth. If you want all the jobs to stay in the US - automotive, coffee plantations, shoe manufacturing, fruit picking, etc - how would you have time to create new te
      • by tjstork (137384)

        Is there any reason why someone should make more here for the same work than someone in Asia? Do you apply the same logic toward automation and the resulting cost savings?

        Yeah, I would prefer to not live in a one room hut with 20 people. I like to have more than one TV. In fact, come to think of it, I really, really like electricity.

      • Re:LOL web admins (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:32PM (#26972009) Homepage Journal

        Every job has a cost - the opportunity cost. Reduce that cost and you increase wealth.

        It's whose wealth is being increased, is the question that we're asking here.

      • by RingDev (879105)

        Is there any reason why someone should make more here for the same work than someone in Asia?

        Yes.

        How is the price of bread set in the United States?

        How is the price of bread set in China?

        Once you see the difference there you should be able to understand why it is critical for someone here to be paid differently than someone in China, and why Tariffs can be used not just for protection and isolation, but to foster a healthy global economy.

        -Rick

    • by agrounds (227704)

      Let's see how all you pro free-trade computer people make out now. Boy, after decades of saying that auto-workers should make the same as their chinese counterparts, how will it feel to hear corporations saying the same about computer people?

      I guess you have been hiding under a rock for the last 6+ years or so and entirely missed the whole offshoring-to-India movement? Thousands of jobs forever lost to the WalMarts of India IT.

      Frankly, if those jobs went to China from India, I'd probably laugh at this point. It would only be a change in accent from the people I have to deal with every day already. The level of service couldn't possibly go lower.

      • by tjstork (137384)

        I guess you have been hiding under a rock for the last 6+ years or so and entirely missed the whole offshoring-to-India movement? Thousands of jobs forever lost to the WalMarts of India IT.

        No, I really haven't. I noticed it most when American Express offshored its customer service, and they position themselves as a premium service card. I've actually argued that of all the dumb things that McCain and Republicans did in the campaigns of the last, oh, 6 years, was to be in favor of free trade. It's politic

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:22PM (#26971801)

    An hour later and your browser is hungry for headers again.

  • by MaxwellEdison (1368785) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:23PM (#26971819)
    I knew it! China is finally making their move by grabbing up all q's. Then when we least expect it they'll slam down QUAMQUAM on a triple word score and we'll be toast! Why else would the Chinese have such a firm grasp of the Latin language?
  • by SilentBob0727 (974090) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:29PM (#26971961) Homepage

    served by QZHTTP. This web server is used by QQ to serve millions of Qzone sites beneath the qq.com domain

    A quorum of queasy, quitting queens, quaffing questionable quaaludes, quietly quote quips of quality quite exquisitely.

  • Please no more... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericrost (1049312) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:30PM (#26971973) Homepage Journal

    Stop linking to zero content, zero insight, zero analysis blogs!

  • I know I know...back to the Warcraft forums.
  • What makes this all slightly troubling is that I don't know anything about QZHTTP: I presume it's not open souce, since I can't find any links to its code.

    The only point that I could find from the second article (oh wait, random vapid blog post referencing the first article). What kind of logic is this? "I don't know anything about X, therefore X must be a scourge upon the earth." I personally don't know anything about Glyn Moody, so I assume he is a SCO shill trying to incite terrorism.

    • by argent (18001)

      What kind of logic is this? "I don't know anything about X, therefore X must be a scourge upon the earth."

      Well, it's not the logic in the article you're referencing, so my guess is that it's reductio ad absurdum.

      Getting back to the logic in the article itself... if it was open source, then he would likely have been able to find it by searching the web. He tried to find links to it, failed, so it's a reasonable assumption that it's not open source. He obviously doesn't like the idea that it's proprietary. Pe

  • Mao is dead!
  • by beadfulthings (975812) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:05PM (#26972579) Journal

    It's a whole new arena from which the Chinese hackers can continue to launch their lame--but oh, so annoying--port scans and root login attempts. I'm jaded enough to be willing to bet money that the security will be up to the usual high Chinese standards--absent unless they decide to block something. Every day I have the same struggle: Bad Self says, "Just block the whole goddamned country." Good Self says, "Shame on you." One of these days, Bad Self is going to win.

    (Speaking of lame login attempts, the firewall just blocked the first one ever from Rwanda. Good Self is telling me that I should be encouraged that they actually have an Internet there...)

  • I don't get why the article is being sensationalist about this. Is it simply a re-configured Apache? Is it a new closed source platform? I just don't know. It's curious, yes, but hardly frightening.

    Competition *IS* good right?

    Maybe I'm missing something like... Is the server itself doing anything odd other than "being mysterious"?

  • Actually, wait. Considering this is China, I'll accept QQ instead of pewpew.

  • "learn Chinese"
  • I've seen many sites change the headers/version replies for various reasons. Hell, anyone using mod security for Apache will default to a different version if they use the community ruleset.One website I know will respond with:
    Server: Apache/2.2.0 - However, I know for a fact it is running 2.2.11

    That can easily be changed in the mod security ruleset to be anything. Like this: Server: Myfakehttpdtakesovertheworld/1.9

    I'd bet it is just apache.
  • qhttpd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ianare (1132971) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:50PM (#26973255)

    they're using qhttpd and linux.

    filtered/parsed results from running :
    nmap -A -T4 -F 182273490.qzone.qq.com

    Port80-TCP : i686-pc-linux-gnu

    501 Method Not Implemented
    The requested method 'OPTIONS' is not implemented by this server.
    http://www.tencent.com/ [tencent.com] - qhttpd Server
    Server: qhttpd
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html
    Content-Length: 255

    info on qhttpd :
    http://www.xman.org/Qhttpd/design.shtml [xman.org]

  • " What exactly is this QZHTTP, and what does it all mean for the world of Web servers?"

    I think the first question is settled on the page referenced (as well as in another reply here), but the second one really cracked me up. Why should it mean anything of import to "the world of web servers"?

    Even if it were truly a new piece of code written in China as opposed to Apache (maybe with mods, maybe not), why would anyone outside China worry? As for the Chinese, I suspect they're far more concerned with overall

  • Wikipedia page or it doesn't exist.

    ;-)

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