Hacking

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Zed Hunter
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Hacking

Post by Zed Hunter » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:51 am

I'm jacket that this site, a major source of info. and entertainment for me, keeps getting hacked. It seems that each time it takes about 5 + days to come back. Can't we get better security?

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NT2C
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Re: Hacking

Post by NT2C » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:57 am

Zed Hunter wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:51 am
Can't we get better security?
Look around? Notice that the place has undergone a bit of modification? This is the visible part of a system-wide upgrade designed to do exactly what we all want, better security and to make the site more hacker-resistant. As to the delays in getting the site back online again after a successful attack, there's good reason for them. With this last attack, all of the people who had access to the server and who could have done anything were at a convention and the best that could be done was to shut down the domain until they returned and could deal with the damage. Fortunately, because the last attack was caught early and the domain was shut down by Crypto (who had just had a finger almost amputated in an accident and who could barely type) the damage was limited and easily repaired during the upgrading. On the previous attack, the damage was so severe that parts of the site database had to be carefully spliced back together and parts restored from older backups. Even then, the site was very much still crippled in some ways, with a lot more hours needed to repair the damage. Since everyone who is involved in keeping this place running also has lives to live, regular jobs, etc. there were other things that had higher priority, but the site was still being worked on and repair when time permitted.

We understand how frustrating it is when attacks like this happen and the site gets taken down, and I'm confident that I speak for all involved when I say we wish the site and the forums were 100% bulletproof and had a paid staff that monitored and maintained it 24/7/365. Unfortunately, as none of our lottery tickets have been big winners so far, we don't have that luxury, so we all do the very best we can to deal with problems when they arise, fix damage when it happens, and harden the site against further attacks.

What you're asking for is getting done, mostly behind the scenes, and the volunteers who are doing this thank you for your understanding and your support.
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crypto
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Re: Hacking

Post by crypto » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:48 am

yeah man I'm sorry we were down for a week, but everyone who could have helped was out on a mountain for a week at the annual ZS campout/seminar stuff. We're all just volunteers man, and we don't have a lot of money to play with for active security.

That said, we're taking some pretty comprehensive steps to freshen up the old software that was more vulnerable to exploit, and prevent it in the future. None of us liked being down for a week.
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Re: Hacking

Post by Zed Hunter » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:00 pm

Thanks for the reply. I hope you get full use of your digit back. Hand injuries are no joke. Yea volunteer orgs. have allways had financial problems. (All my lottery tickets have just been an expense.) Im glad to know upgrades are in the works.

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Re: Hacking

Post by JeeperCreeper » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:45 pm

So when you say hack, what is the nature of it.

I'm not very techy... so is it like a guy who just likes to shut down sites looking for info or like a program/algorithm/bot written to burn the 'net?

Is there a way to tell?
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NT2C
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Re: Hacking

Post by NT2C » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:37 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:45 pm
So when you say hack, what is the nature of it.

I'm not very techy... so is it like a guy who just likes to shut down sites looking for info or like a program/algorithm/bot written to burn the 'net?

Is there a way to tell?
In this particular case it was determined that it was a bot, probably Russian. One way that's used to differentiate between the two types of attack are the types of damage done. Human hackers tend to have a particular agenda they want to push and make known. Sometimes it's revenge, sometimes it activism, sometimes it's a combination of the two, or an entirely different reason. As an example, I used to run a forum very much like this one (same basic "software" though I heavily customized it) that was the support site for a popular old-school WWII wargame. We were hacked one year by a group in Turkey who believed we were encouraging modern warfare (things went sideways with a translation when they saw a memorial wall we had set up dedicated to deceased veterans and first responders, from all countries, especially if they were related to one of our 55K+ worldwide members), so they hacked our site and left all kinds of anti-war graffiti and other vandalism. The site was quickly restored from backups with minimal disruption, the security hole they exploited sealed, and we were back online within a day or so. It was pretty evident, from the damage done, that my site was the victim of human hackers then. This site here didn't have that kind of directed damage, just the result of an automated bot looking for security holes and exploiting them to direct traffic elsewhere.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except sailors. They will kill you and sing songs about it.

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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