In normal life we tend to keep track of everything that we do. We keep track of ourselves even if we do not intend it to be that way. We keep track by the list that we make on what we need to do that day. Our calendar application is how we keep track of what we are going to do and what we have done that week. Our store receipts also help us keep track on the purchases that we have made. They let us know what time we bought the item and how much that it cost. Keeping track of everything is good because there are times when we might have to backtrack to correct an error that we might have made along the way.
Your computer server is the same way. The different things that you do on the server is kept track in a format that is called Logs. This is especially true on Linux servers. The logs on a Linux server will let you know when a person logged in, what user name they logged in under, and what applications are running at any one time. The web server software that is running on your server also has its own set of logs. This set of Logs keeps track of the people who came to your server by their IP addresses. It also helps to keep track of what site link they followed to get to your site, the time of day they came to your site, as well as the month and the year they came to the site.
While all of this information being tracked might sound obsessive it is actually quite useful. It allows you to be able to track anything that is done on your server. This information also includes when people have tried to hack into it. The first thing that a black hat hacker will do while attacking your server is to turn off the log functionality. Fortunately for you, not all black hat hackers are smart. And many times you are able to track them down by using your logs.
So if you are running a server and bad guys just happen to attack you then make sure you check your logs. They can be the key to tracking the threat down and prosecuting them.