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Old 14th April 2021, 02:51 PM   #1
Lee
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Exclamation April 9 - 14 Service Outage and Looking to the Future

Please accept my apology for the recent service outage.

I presently believe that an issue with connectivity between the vBulletin programs server and its supporting SQL server generated a large number of emailed error messages on April 8. This set off the spam alarm at the web hosting company and their investigation disclosed a number of malware files scattered widely throughout the file structure and so they locked the site until it was cleaned up. In retrospect, I suspect the email flood and the malware were actually unrelated. A detailed sweep through the file structure was made and a large number of malware files were detected and deleted. I also replaced the vBulletin files from a backup. Unfortunately, the URL of the SQL database had changed in the interval since I made the backup and so, when the hosting company turned the site back on, another error email was generated each time anyone attempted to do anything on the forum and about a thousand such emails were generated over 40 minutes before the spam alarm sounded and the site was locked down again. A second sweep found no recurrent malware and the incorrect parameters were corrected with the correct ones and the site restarted.

How the malware found during that first sweep got there is unresolved. If this were my fault, then it would most likely have been due to my failure to apply updates to the vBulletin program over a period of more than a decade.

I am currently in discussions with vBulletin about updating our installation and possibly moving the forums only to their cloud service where maintenance and updates are managed by vBulletin. If the migration proves feasible, the forums will become vikingsword.org, paving the way for the long term.

Your comments are welcome.
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Old 14th April 2021, 04:56 PM   #2
francantolin
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Hurray !

First thought the forum was over...

Thank you Lee for all your work !!
And all the staff !!
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Old 14th April 2021, 05:34 PM   #3
corrado26
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I admire people who are able to handle such enormous technical problems. Many thanks for all your effort
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Old 14th April 2021, 06:05 PM   #4
fernando
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Good thing we have a splendid 'back up' ... named Lee .
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Old 14th April 2021, 06:05 PM   #5
David
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Thanks for your amazing and tireless effort getting us back up and running Lee!
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Old 14th April 2021, 06:48 PM   #6
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I am so happy the site is back up and running. I didn't realize how much I visit the site until it was gone.
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Old 14th April 2021, 07:15 PM   #7
Ian
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Thumbs up Special thanks for Lee's hard work ...

Lee does a lot of behind-the-scenes work on this Forum that largely goes unnoticed. It's only when something major happens, like this recent event, that we realize just how much time and effort he puts into keeping this site running. Thanks entirely to Lee, this site is free for anyone who wants to participate and follow the Forum Rules, as well as for many more who simply come here anonymously to browse information not readily available elsewhere.


As already noted, you don't know how much you come here until you can't.
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Old 16th April 2021, 07:20 PM   #8
Norman McCormick
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All is well with our world once again
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Old 16th April 2021, 07:55 PM   #9
RobT
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Default Thank You For All Your Selfless Dedication

Lee,

Please allow me to join the chorus of thanks for all your work. I have been a member of the forum for many years and consider it a vital and enjoyable adjunct to my collecting hobby. For me, it is truly a treasure. Thank you again for keeping it going. We are all in your debt.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 16th April 2021, 10:06 PM   #10
Rich
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Lee

As I mentioned in my email, your hard work is so very much appreciated. I might suggest while re-doing stuff you might want to set it up as a secure site(s) - https not just http. Might reduce the chances of malware intrusion. Just a thought.
Rich
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Old 17th April 2021, 02:15 PM   #11
Lee
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Cool Bitter pill of change

Again, thank you for your kind words.

The advantages of https have been raised previously and were investigated in the context of the existing installation with the conclusion that a slowing of performance and breaking of links and bookmarks would ensue.

I understand that, having accepted these bitter pill of change's side effects, we will have https, the highly the desired inline attachments feature and a number of other refinements at the completion of the upgrades.
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Old 17th April 2021, 02:58 PM   #12
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Thanks a lot, Lee!

Https is certainly not needed for any intermediate changes but would be highly appreciated to have with the future .org reincarnation. I always cringe when having to send passwords via http...

Make sure to reach out if you need any helping hands with those upgrades, especially tedious tasks like fixing broken links, etc.!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 21st April 2021, 09:38 PM   #13
Philip
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Fantastic. Thanks, Lee, for all your hard work.
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Old 26th April 2021, 12:26 PM   #14
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yes indeed , keep up the hard work please and thank you for your dedication in an area way beyond my imagination never mind ability ! So many of us would be lost w/o this site .
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