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Thread: Hacking Troubles

  1. #1
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    Hacking Troubles

    A few days ago some odd things started happening in the forum. Here's basically what:

    - A hacker gained access to an admin account, likely with an automated system. Not sure how, but I've made it significantly harder to do again. And if it does, it won't be as bad.

    - VBulletin, in its infinite wisdom, lets you do just about whatever you want with an admin account by default. This includes uploading custom files to the server and overriding just about anything you want. I've removed these capabilities from the admins. I will be as responsive as possible if the admins have requests for plugins or anything else that I've disabled.

    - The last roughly two days of posts have been removed. I had to revert to an older copy of the database to save some data and make it as secure as possible. If anything especially valuable was lost, I can retrieve it manually.

    - There's a new url for the forum now, forum.cosmoquest.org. This is because I've moved the forum to its own server. We were planning to do this in a few weeks, but things had to be pushed forward some. This gave us a fresh copy of the forum, which should make things better all around now that it's not directly tied to the cosmoquest site.

    - As far as I can see, NO information was stolen from users. The hacker didn't have database access. No tools were used to gather user info.

    - The purpose of the hack: 1, to add a few files to the server that would use it in a DDOS attack. This was stopped. 2, once I had fixed most of the issues (I thought I found all of them at the time), the hacker noticed, and wanted to make a big show before I fixed the issue. Making a God user, etc.

    I sincerely apologize for the lack of info for the last few days. 1, I didn't want to send out emails to 150000 users, most of which wouldn't care. 2, I didn't want to say anything incorrect. I wasn't sure how fixable this was, or when I'd be done. Honestly at first I thought it would just take a day.


    Summary: Everything should be good now. I had to start fresh with the forum, so if something doesn't work, say so in this thread or at https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...the-Build-Team. If you have any questions or concerns, I'll happily answer them.
    Last edited by slang; 2017-Feb-27 at 08:53 AM. Reason: unstickied

  2. #2
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    LookingSkyward is offline Honored Member
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    Thanks Cory, for both the fixes and the information.
    Truly appreciated!

    dave

  3. #3
    Nice to be back.
    Freaked out, got paranoid got talked down at international skeptics.
    Thanks Cory.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
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    Nice work on a job I hope to never need to do myself.
    Thanks more than words can convey.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  5. #5
    Now if next time if you want to make some extra money there a few posts I would like deleted. :-)
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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    Superb work, Cory! I was shocked when Cosmoquest went black (or white, in this case) and was quite nervous hoping everything would be OK. Glad to see you got everything fixed!
    "The difference between theory and practice is that in theory, there's no difference."

    "Aikido: the art of hitting people with planets."

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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    Nice work on a job I hope to never need to do myself.
    Thanks more than words can convey.
    You're welcome. astrotimer's sweet cash will fill in what your words can't.

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    Thank you!
    Solfe

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    That's a heck of a lot of work. Thanks.
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.
    Yeah, yeah, right, right. Okay.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the update and for the hard work.
    As above, so below

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    Thumbs up

    Thanks, Cory!

    Although, as you can see, some of the simley images are missing.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
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    "People sleep peacefully in their beds only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" From George Orwell I think. Thanks.
    Just because you're a genius doesn't make you a smart guy

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    Thanks to Cory, we call go back to arguing if AI's are a threat to jobs.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by DukePaul View Post
    "People sleep peacefully in their beds only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" From George Orwell I think. Thanks.
    I thought it was Jack Nicholson.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Thanks to Cory, we call go back to arguing if AI's are a threat to jobs.
    They're not with Cory on the job.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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    Good work in a tough situation. Been there. Thanks, Cory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I thought it was Jack Nicholson.
    Apparently not even Jack - or Cory - but a writer in 1993.

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations

    "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us." [Edmund Burke, 1729 - 1797]Alternative: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

    Alternative: "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

    Commonly misattributed to George Orwell without citation. Sometimes also misattributed to Winston Churchill without citation.

    Actual source: Quote Investigator found the earliest known appearance in a 1993 Washington Times essay by Richard Grenier: "As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." The absence of quotation marks indicates that Grenier was using his own words to convey his interpretation of Orwell's opinion, as seen in citations below.

    In his 1945 "Notes on Nationalism", Orwell wrote that pacifists cannot accept the statement "Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.", despite it being "grossly obvious.""Notes on Nationalism"

    In an essay on Rudyard Kipling, Orwell cited Kipling's phrase "making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep" (Kipling, Tommy), and further noted that Kipling's "grasp of function, of who protects whom, is very sound. He sees clearly that men can be highly civilized only while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them." (1942)

    Similar phrase: "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it." – Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men)
    And thank you Cory....I was having withdrawal.

  17. #17
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    Great work, Cory! I was really worried when it all went down. Yay!

    CJSF
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    What does it mean? (What does it mean?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by LookingSkyward View Post
    Thanks Cory, for both the fixes and the information.
    Truly appreciated!

    dave
    Seconded! Or thirded, or fourthed, or whatever. Good job.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Couple of big thumbs up!
    "Back off man, I'm a Scientist!"- Peter Venkman, PhD in Psychology and Parapsychology

  20. #20
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    Thank you very much Cory, and thanks also for keeping us informed about it. We appreciate it!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  21. #21
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    Thank you so much Cory!

    I've never understood hackers. It saddens me that people with skills more marketable than I will ever have use them to break windows and spray-paint walls.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    1993.
    1793

  23. #23
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    Thank you Cory for your work and for the information. This hacker could be a disgrunted and banned guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    Thanks, Cory!

    Although, as you can see, some of the simley images are missing.

    Fred
    Two things I've noticed that are not working.

    One, as Nowhere Man noted, a lot of the smilies are not working.

    Second, all the internal links are broken. So for example, the links in The Advice for ATM Advocates (or in my own signature) to the rules no longer point to the rules, since the forum address has changed. I suspect this cannot be fixed in-mass, and will have to be fixed individually, which will take some time.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  25. #25
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    I hope we didn't lose so many posts that I'm back in that wretched moderation gaol.

    If someone became banned during the two days that were lost, would that person be unbanned now?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory View Post
    I sincerely apologize for the lack of info for the last few days. 1, I didn't want to send out emails to 150000 users, most of which wouldn't care. 2, I didn't want to say anything incorrect. I wasn't sure how fixable this was, or when I'd be done. Honestly at first I thought it would just take a day.
    Another thank you for the hard work. I don't think I would trade my weeks of fiscal year closeout stress for the past couple of days you had. I appreciated seeing the announcement on the CQ blog. It was the first place I went for information with the forum went down.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  27. #27
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    Another broke thing: all the custom titles, including those for ToSeek and Peterscreek, are still missing.

    I'm not trying to be negative.... just trying to get a working list. If there isn't a universal fix for broken links, I'll probably end of fixing those myself.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  28. #28
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    What? So my new ATM thread that irrefutably explained the theory of everything might be gone forever? Maybe I should have kept notes . . .
    Depending on whom you ask, everything is relative.

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    Hopefully the hacker didn't access that Majestic archive we have on old Nazi anti-gravity drives and secret moon bases. Best keep that information to ourselves.
    Just because you're a genius doesn't make you a smart guy

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkline55 View Post
    What? So my new ATM thread that irrefutably explained the theory of everything might be gone forever? Maybe I should have kept notes . . .
    Yes, the answer was 42. Unfortunately, the question was in the missing posts.

    But thanks for all the fishes.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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