Central Scotland Observers Group Forum

General Category => Announcements => Topic started by: G1ZmO on June 22, 2011, 04:28:42 PM

Title: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 22, 2011, 04:28:42 PM
Well here we are.

The following was the discussion with 4Uhosting regarding what happened with the forum.

The result is that unfortunately we've lost almost 6 years of the forum and everyone will need to register again. An absolute nightmare scenario.

I do have a recent backup of the old forum and might install SMF locally and try to retrieve some of the posts. If there's anything specific you want me to look for then please let me know.

Thanks

Paul

22-Jun-2011 09:17 - SUPPORT DEPT
Hi Paul,

Yes, your account has been frequently trying to hack into our server. We caught it running a shell script on Monday night which attempted to take control of the server. This is a very serious matter.

I've looked into your account and it would appear that your SMF forum was hacked at some point in 2009 and the hacker injected alot of code into your database. I'm sure you were aware of the compromise as many of the files in your web space were edited and changed by the hacker. I can see that you have renamed some of them.

Unfortunately, the compromise went a lot deeper than just changing a few files in your web space. The hacker has embedded encrypted code into your forum database and is able to run commands to the server out of your account. I'm afraid there is no way we can un-suspend your hosting without a full account reset. This isnt something that can be cleaned up.


Kind Regards,

Chris.

Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/4uhosting

Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: SpookyKatt on June 22, 2011, 04:36:04 PM
Golly thats terrible, I wonder if thats how all the Denial of Service
attacks are being done by hacked forums on servers etc..

Well done for getting it all up again Paul, you must be raging
over the whole thing.

Kathleen
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 22, 2011, 04:43:13 PM
The only plus is that we're now using the new version of the forum which has better registration options.

I've installed the botscout mod and it seems to be working so far.

Initially as soon as I had installed the forum a bot registered straight away! Had to tweak the registration options and delete the user.

No other dodgy registrants so far though unless you count Ivor :P
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: Takahashi on June 22, 2011, 05:22:49 PM
 :o









 ;D
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: gary1968 on June 22, 2011, 06:33:48 PM
Well, its a risk we take with the forum I suppose...... glad you have it up and running again Paul, well done mate......
The only real shame for me in this is we have lost the gallery and the chat room, will it be possible to recover those?

In the mean time, 3 cheers for Paul, hip hip.........

Gaz
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: Albireo380 on June 22, 2011, 06:38:45 PM
Sorry that we lost all the previous threads, but that is life.

Thanks for getting us going again Paul.

Tom
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 22, 2011, 06:42:20 PM
The gallery content is lost also :(

I'll see if there's a way to implement it again though using the flickr group may be an easier option.

What do you think?

Paul
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: SpookyKatt on June 22, 2011, 07:14:49 PM
What about the '@scottishastronomers.com' mailing list email, was that connected
with the forum and is it now also gone ?

I think the idea of using flickr is a good idea for images etc.

Kathleen
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: blacksaltire on June 22, 2011, 07:15:46 PM
Blimey what a pita ! Good on ya Paul for gettin us up and runnin again ! ;D
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: Lorne on June 22, 2011, 07:50:34 PM
Good to be back.... Had no one to moan about all this rain to!
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: Iris on June 22, 2011, 08:24:12 PM
I dunno what is more galling the hack or the blame laid at your door by the ISP Paul!

Good to see the forum back online quickly though.
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 22, 2011, 08:30:34 PM
Yes, lost that too but I can probably reinstate the mailing list if it's something people want?
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: gary1968 on June 22, 2011, 08:32:33 PM
I'd like that back, it was good for organising obs events at the last minute.

Gaz
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: thelovehound on June 22, 2011, 09:32:28 PM
What a bummer.

Well done for getting it online again Paul.

Flickr groups sound the easiest thing for sharing photos. If people have private stuff they don't want fully shared they can always limit those albums, etc.

As for "hackers" - a name they hijacked - scum of humanity.

Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: stev74 on June 22, 2011, 11:03:13 PM
Hi Paul,

Well done on getting things sorted really quickly.... CSOG down but not out!!!  :) :)

Quote
I do have a recent backup of the old forum and might install SMF locally and try to retrieve some of the posts. If there's anything specific you want me to look for then please let me know.

I think for me the most important thing to keep/restore if it was at all possible would be the observing reports. As the main aim of the group is observing I always felt it was important to post a report after an observing session at one of the dark(er) sky sites.

It would be a shame if all the records of good nights under clear skies were lost and even the frustrating ones when the clouds roll in, kit doesn't work or a certain target can't be found. It's a good record of what stargazing is all about.

I like the idea of using flickr as it's always good to see members DSO images etc. Would it be possible to maybe still have a gallery on the forum just for posting pics from CSOG events?

Cheers





Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: dogfish on June 23, 2011, 01:24:33 PM
Another plea for the mailing list, although my telescopes are all down in Galloway nowadays. Any chance of reinstating the observing challenges section? It may prompt me to write some more?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 23, 2011, 01:36:03 PM
No sooner said than done Martin :)

I really enjoyed the ones you set. Would be great to reinstate them.

Paul
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 23, 2011, 10:00:34 PM
btw for everyone's info the last backup I did of the old forum was on the 17th June 2011 so IF I can retrieve some of the posts then we've only lost 2 or 3 days of data!

I won't be restoring directly onto this forum but I'll do text posts of anything I can retrieve.

Never done a restore from scratch though so dont go counting those chickens.... :P
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: SirFoo on June 26, 2011, 11:52:27 AM
Thanks Paul for getting this up and running. It must have taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get it going again.
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 26, 2011, 02:05:13 PM
Here is my thread on the SMF support site: http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=439687.0

I already have a mediawiki server running at home and have managed to successfully install SMF 1.1.14 but don't know how to restore the june 17th backup of the forum.

Apparently I have to use phpMyAdmin but dont really know what I'm doing lol

any advice appreciated :)
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on June 26, 2011, 03:17:13 PM
ok right! I have the old forum running on my home server.

The observation reports have 169 topics though (and lots more posts)

Have no idea how I'd transfer these as text to the new forum though....
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: Lensman on July 03, 2011, 12:17:42 AM
Thanks Paul,

Great to see the forum up and running again.  :) 

Let's hope we don't have any more problems like this.

Cheers

Frank
Title: Re: The Forum
Post by: G1ZmO on July 03, 2011, 12:08:55 PM
FYI folks,

I spoke to the software developers who are re-engineering our database at work and he said that he's give me some advice on how to extract parts of the old forums database to reinsert them into the new one. It may take a couple of months but I should be able to retrieve the observing logs and other valuable stuff (though not any attachments)

Cheers

Paul