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I do not know what has caused this but my websites have been down for 2+ days now and I cannot connect via SSH or FTP either.

The only way to get signs of life from my server is to reboot it via the members area of my provider, this sorts everything out very briefly before everything returns to it's broken state!

I didn't make any configuration changes so unsure what may have caused this. I do however have my ubuntu set to automatically download the daily updates.

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Can you remotely connect via telnet to the ports? –  Techie Joe Jun 5 '13 at 0:00
    
Nope. Forgot to mention that in the only correspondence I have received from my provider they told me that everything was fine since my server was responding to pings (I already knew this... and its not fine!) but also that "all the ports are closed". I did not close them nor do I know how to open them! –  Euskadi Jun 5 '13 at 0:04
    
Since this is an ISP you need to check this for yourself as some ISP's don't always have the best and brightest manning their systems. I had similar problems with a linux box where not only DNS was misconfigured but they botched the inital setup of the server...twice. In cases like this you're gonna have to verify these things for yourself and then present your findings to them. –  Techie Joe Jun 5 '13 at 0:18
    
When testing ports, are you using "telnet <server> <port>"? If it's just hanging, and you can ping server and nslookup works, then it's possibly a firewall problem. Make sure you test with IP and hostname to see if there is a DNS issue. –  Schrute Jun 5 '13 at 5:23

1 Answer 1

If you are able to ssh to the server after a reboot, I would:

  1. reboot the server,
  2. get hold on a ssh connection,
  3. wait for the issue to happen,
  4. debug it with the opened connection.

tcpdump will be your friend: after the issue, what can tcpdump see on port 22 (except your current connection). If it does not see anything, you can tell your ISP that the packets seam blocked on their side.

If after the issue, you loose your ssh connection, you will have to be smarter and setup a tcpdump in a screen or setup iptables logging.

It might be another problem like a process leak in your web server which forbid sshd (and the ftp/web server) to spawn a new process to handle the new connection. After rebooting the server, try to disable the web server to see if this solve the problem: if it does, you will have found the source of the problem in the web server and can check deeper into this.

Good luck debugging your server.

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