View Full Version : board downtime & an important safety caution

5th September 2007, 07:20 PM
I have an update I've needed to do to the board for ages that I will probably finally get time to do this evening so if the board is down for a bit, that's why. Sometimes these go smoothly and are back right away and sometimes glitches arise so fingers crossed it will be a fast update. :) They are a pain to do especially one as major as this which requires a full reinstall, not just changing some files. This includes some security updates that are required though, hence it must be done.

Just on the note of security, a reminder that it is a good idea never to click through to member websites on this site or anywhere else that appear to be bogus registrations as the links are almost certainly going to take you to one of three places (or a combination of all three):

1) a hardcore porn site that people may find disturbing
2) a 'phishing' site that may try to get you to enter personal information: see http://www.onguardonline.gov/phishing.html
3) a faked website that looks innocuous but can upload malicious code to your own computer (usually via your browser), especially if you use Internet Explorer, or if you click on *any link* within the site. Pop-ups that open automatically can also plant malicious code in your computer. Most likely you will not notice anything but your computer will now go on to continue to spread that code or malicious programs, often by being used in a botnet or zombie net (see http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci1030284,00.html).

It is best practice for boards and chatrooms to remove malicious links and spam posts immediately, but not all do -- and as many here also frequent other boards, I want to flag this issue.

As many will recall, one of the reasons I moved to this particular board software in April is that it was difficult to manage all the spam registrations (on the old phpBB board, up to 20 a day). Though I did install some of the available code modifications for phpBB to disable the ability of people to post their website on registration, or for people to post until I approved their account -- which removed almost all risk to board users -- there was still a lot of daily to weekly admin tasks clearing out attempted spam registrations.

I am pleased to say that on the current vBulletin board, we have had just ONE spam registration get through in five months because it has great tools for making it hard for spammers to even register in the first place (that's why. for example, you are asked that odd registration question where you type in a letter). :)

That means all my admin time can go towards content and almost none goes to tedious tasks like deleting spammers and porn sites in the member list. :rah: Indeed it is pretty much impossible for a spammer to register a website here, as you will not appear on the member list at all until you make at least one post (in case anyone who isn't listed, and doesn't post, is wondering why they aren't there). Spammers don't tend to make friendly posts and I have lots of hoops for them to jump through before they even get as far as trying to post. Most (which are robot programs anyway) won't bother trying.

If your computer seems to run very slowly and does odd things now and then you may well be part of a botnet. You'll need to thoroughly scan your computer and perhaps have professionals have a look at it to clear off the malicious program(s). NB: anti virus software and malware scans will not necessarily catch malicious code. And be cautious of free programs for doing this on the net unless you can find lots of independent verification that it is legit. A lot of malware disguises itself as yes, a malware removal tool. :mad:

6th September 2007, 11:56 AM
Yet again, didn't get enough time to do this but will aim for accomplishing it today!

7th September 2007, 12:16 AM
OK, this is done and went fine and fast! :)

So we are all up to date with security and general board upgrades. :rah:

Oops except some of the old style icons came across as well! Have to delete out those.