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  #1  
Old 09-06-2009, 02:05 PM
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Site Maintenance, Software Upgrades, Downtime, Glitches etc

In keeping up with the latest advances in vBulletin development, TRF's owner Andy R has upgraded us to vBulletin version 3.8.4.
There are some additional features which members may find useful, and of course there are some which may be less so.

The three member-related areas affected by the upgrade are:

Private Messages
  • a PM reply box, with the original PM already in quotes, now appears underneath the PM.
  • There is a new Search/sort option for incoming and outgoing PMs. At the top of the list of PMs, Title/Sender and Date are clickable and will sort PMs accordingly. Below the list is a more extensive search function that allows members to select PMs from particular senders or with particular titles or date ranges. The Sender option in the 'Sent Items' (or outbox) area isn't very useful as the sender will be yourself.
Social Groups
  • We now have the ability to have threaded discussions in the social groups.
  • The Administrators can now create Categories for social groups. This may become more useful as the number of range of the social groups expands.
  • Members can now subscribe to threads in the social groups so that automatic notifications are made when there is activity in a thread.
  • We can now add Icons for the social groups to give a splash of colour.
User CP
  • Members can now determine the privacy levels for different areas of their profile and profile page. You can select one of Everyone, Registered Members, Your Contacts and Your Friends. These will allow or restrict who sees what in areas such as your Profile Picture, Profile Comments, About Me, Friends, etc. This new feature can be found under the heading Profile Privacy which is in the Your Profile panel on the left hand side when in UserCP. Check it out!
If other useful features contained within the upgrade come to light, they will be added to this list.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:34 AM
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We're back - unexpected forums outage

An exploit in our software was taken advantage of by some hackers who linked to a malicious site. It appears there was a little over 4 hours between the time it happened and the time we took the servers offline Thursday.

In an effort to minimize damage to the board we opted to shut everything down while we investigated the issue and formulated a game plan. Our team (server admins, programmers, and software vendors) coordinated and developed a plan to remove the malicious files and secure the servers. We believe that forum members should not have any system issues associated with this so long they didn't visit the malicious site AND install anything.

While the service interruption was unfortunate, it was important to us to make sure this issue was fully addressed before returning to business as usual. Protecting our community from this kind of intrusion is paramount and we'll post more info here as it becomes available. It's possible that we may need to continue tweak the forum setup and if so, we may have another service interruption.

We thank you for understanding
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:49 AM
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Yay......I can't be without the forums.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:06 AM
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I'm so glad you're back. I've been checking in for hours. Perhaps this should go in the "You know you're addicting to The Royal Forums when..." thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
An exploit in our software was taken advantage of by some hackers who linked to a malicious site. It appears there was a little over 4 hours between the time it happened and the time we took the servers offline Thursday.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:19 AM
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I don't know if it is linked to the issues of yesterday night, but yesterday in the afternoon (2.55pm) I've received an e-mail about a new post in a thread I've subscribed, and the subject of this e-mail was "[SPAM] Reply to thread 'Movies - What was the last one you saw? Part 3'".
What's strange is the "[SPAM]" at the beginning of the subject sentence.
Did it happened to anyone else? Do you know what is the matter exactly?
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2009, 05:40 AM
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Thank goodness the team solved the problem...thank you to all of you guys for those hours you put in finding the cause and solving it!

Sad to think that some moron would plant a virus or that some one may have found a way of trying to disrupt the forum and succeeding! Just goes to show I suppose ...trust no one!
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2009, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for taking care of this thoroughly! It's still better to live without the forums for a couple of hours than ruining one's computer!
While surfing on the TRF yester afternoon (I forgot the exact time), my computer announced that it was warding off some intruding virus. I think the name was bloodhound plus a number. Was this coincidence or was this related to the hacker's intrusion?
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2009, 09:32 AM
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No, not a coincidence, that's likely a result of the malware.
In my case, whenever I clicked on something the PC warned me that I was trying to access an unsecured site.
The focus of the hackers appeared to be more directed at our servers rather than members.
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2009, 09:47 AM
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I hope so.

As much as I like this forum I hope that security is better than the search machine abilities for instance. I do not know excactly what hacking can do.

Of course I have my own security system on the laptop but I would not be surprised if some members did not. That part is of course our responsibility, a thing we can control ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren View Post

No, not a coincidence, that was part of the malware.
In my case, whenever I clicked on something the PC warned me that I was trying to access an unsecured site.
Quote:
The focus of the hackers appeared to be more directed at our servers rather than members
.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:04 AM
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You took the correct measure yesterday in shutting down the site completely. Very responsible ... and we all thank you!
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:04 AM
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In all my time here I've never come across any instance where a member's computer has been infected with destructive software that originated in or via our servers. Last night I received "unsecure site" warnings but my PC security software didn't detect any attempted entry or suspicious activity.
As I mentioned earlier the hackers appeared more interested in interfering with the forum servers rather than the forum members.

This post was meant to be in reply to Susan so I'll add that the search function is part and parcel of the vBulletin forum software package. Improvements have to come from the vBulletin software developers.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:09 AM
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Thank you for clarifying this, Warren. I think I had the same message before my security software intervened, for which I'm quite grateful. I hope that the hackers were discovered before too much damage was done.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2009, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
I'm so glad you're back. I've been checking in for hours. Perhaps this should go in the "You know you're addicting to The Royal Forums when..." thread.
You and me both, Mermaid! I must have checked the site four or five times in the course of a few hours. TRF addiction diagnosed & confirmed....

Even while experiencing withdrawal symptoms, though, I was very grateful to the administrative team for taking responsible measures to protect us all. Thank you!!
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:23 PM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilia C. View Post
Thanks for taking care of this thoroughly! It's still better to live without the forums for a couple of hours than ruining one's computer!
While surfing on the TRF yester afternoon (I forgot the exact time), my computer announced that it was warding off some intruding virus. I think the name was bloodhound plus a number. Was this coincidence or was this related to the hacker's intrusion?
Yes, bloudhound.exploit.193 my virus scan warned me too and succesfully blocked it when I was surfing TRF yesterday.

Thanks for the quick action everybody.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:31 PM
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My antivirus system said that there was something wrong. After few unsuccessful checks I saw the warning about hackers on TRF!
And today TRF's back

Thanks to All Admin&Moderators team
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  #16  
Old 11-21-2009, 07:20 PM
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I have a laptop that is totally infected now with worms and viruses....have to take it in to the computer doctor!!!
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2009, 04:32 PM
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Oh, Ye Gods and Little Fishes, what will the idiots think of next. Being a complete computer hopeless and helpless I cannot think for the life of me why anybody in his right mind would want to plant viruses or some such, parasites, worms bugs, slime mold etc in any of the wiring or what not of the Royal Fora. Talk about nutcases that have nothing better to do with their time, this must be one for the books. These people or person must be some kind of rabid republican type. So stern, so serious, so grim. Sigh. And one of the innocent joys of life has now become, SOB, a Target. That is the trouble with all these zealots and fanatics. No sense of humour, and by that I do not mean just laughing a jokes and funny things, I mean a sense of appreciating the happier side of life. MY favorite line in Horace: "Amara lenti temperet risu." Let him soften bitter things with a gentle smile. And while I am boring you to tears, one of my other favorite things is a literal translation from some Chinese sage or other: "good men, I good them. bad men, I good them too." So I suppose we should feel pity for the misguided creatures and their pathetic little stunt. But between the noble Warren and the other moderators, all these gorgeous royals and their palaces and trinkets, along with chocolat we can be transported to a happier world. Cheers.
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:01 PM
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Not boring! You made me chuckle, think, and generally smile (gently, of course. I'm practicing tempering all that bitterness). Of course chocolate helps. Cheers!
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2009, 04:19 PM
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Bah Humbug - Site Downtime

Sorry for the downtime today. It appears we had some technical issues that caused some improper page redirecting. It was a bit harder to line up the resources to find and fix the problem as it's the Saturday before Christmas. By mid-day we had our team in place and they worked as fast as possible to get the issue resolved. There was no risk of viruses like what happened in November.

Once again sorry for the downtime and Happy Holidays!

Andy
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2009, 04:39 PM
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thanks.... season greetings to and your family too andy !!
however as a rule when i log on i enter via the blog page, but since todays incident i enter via the home page... i have also noticed when i click on the link to access the blog page ...i have no response what so ever....so i hazard a guess there still some issues to resolved !!
edit....also i have noticed when i visit my friends profiles.....the profile picture / photo is missing, however my own is ok
my best regards jonny
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