Forum Wackiness

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:28 am

There have been a couple of outages in the last day or so. These are the effect of another DDoS attack.

This time the server is not being harmed, following the improvements made by Ornette as a result of the previous attack; the outages are simply caused by the swamping of the network at the server.

Please be patient as we look into further ways to improve the defences.
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Postby robersora » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:43 am

Srsly, who would DDOS this forum.
Do Xard, Ray, Bagheera etc. have the skills for that?
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Postby Zoop » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:25 am

A DOS doesn't have to be on purpose.
It can happen when for example, some spambot is being overly zealous and requests too much from the server in a small span of time.
Or some bug/error in software, causing to poll the site in an infinite loop.
Or simply too much traffic.

A DDOS tho (extra d for distributed) means, a lot of traffic from different locations.
So that can still happen when theres simply too much traffic, for example.

Though normally most servers would provide enough overhead to be able to deal with minor bogdowns like that.
But still, unless more information is available, its a bit premature to start suspecting old members.
Besides, hiring a botnet can be expensive, and not too mention dangerous when getting caught with it, altho there are plenty of dumb script kiddies out there. Anyway you don't need skills (as you put it) to pull something like that off. Just the right connections

I'm willing to bet it's probably some random malware-bot, looking for exploits to plant itself in.
I believe its possible in older phpBB's to cause an overflow by spamming the server, in which it defaults back to non SSH (non secure) connections which allows more messing with (tho this is more than a decade ago). Just a sad side-effect of being a decently popular forum thats been around for so long ...

In my experience tho, unless theres money to be gotten from it, this usually is some random process coming from some country. And not really a directed attack. Ofcourse it could still be a directed attack out of spite by old members or something. But i'd say thats unlikely (unless they really are THAT dumb)

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Postby robersora » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:31 am

Ok thank you, I've learnt a lot!
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:04 pm

View Original Postrobersora#891968 wrote:Srsly, who would DDOS this forum.
I think Zoop has the right of it -- just an impersonal attempt to compromise, rather than it being someone with a vendetta against the site (and on that score, I can think of more likely names than your list).

It just makes a change that it's likely an attack against phpBB rather than the usual run of hacks against wordpress blogs.
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Postby pwhodges » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:11 pm

Two of the three people Robersora named I communicate with from time to time; certainly neither would want to attack the forum in this way, and I doubt either would know how. As for whether it's a directed attack or a chance one, I'll keep an open mind - it makes no difference to the effect. Tracing the attacker would take more effort than I am interested in making, and continuing to reduce the effect is the way I think we should go.
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Postby kuribo-04 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:16 pm

Thanks for your work guys.

Also, it's Seele attacking.
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Postby Blockio » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:32 pm

Nah, it's Ireul :tongue:
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:02 am

Is this why I'm being logged out every time I try to make a post? It's the weirdest thing (and quite annoying where I lose the text I was writing!)
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:09 am

Sessions expiring while composing a post has always been a thing, though it's possible some of the measures we've taken in response may have had some inadvertent effects on sessions. I've had to answer the "captcha" as part of logging in a couple of times following the recent changes.
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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:01 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Sessions expiring while composing a post has always been a thing, though it's possible some of the measures we've taken in response may have had some inadvertent effects on sessions. I've had to answer the "captcha" as part of logging in a couple of times following the recent changes.


I'm pretty sure sessions are not supposed to expire within five minutes or less.
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Postby pwhodges » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:15 am

Another time-related change is that the forum header has a much shorter time before being refreshed. This means that if you choose the theme with all the headers rotating randomly, they'll change about much more frequently. I guess this means that CloudFlare chooses a new Time-To-Live header value for us.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:46 am

I'm sad because for me it was a small way to remember/honor NemZ, but selecting "Evageeks Banner (Wide)" rather than 'Evageeks Banner Random (Wide)" fixed this issue, at least.
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Postby Reichu » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:23 am

Just got this error while using the Wiki:

Code: Select all

Fatal error: Call to a member function isDisabled() on null in /home/evageeks/wiki.evageeks.org/includes/db/DatabaseError.php on line 252
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Postby FelipeFritschF » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:28 pm

Same here.

EDIT: Ah.


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Postby Mr. Tines » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:54 pm

In sum, things are hosed until Ornette gets time to pick up the pieces.

We've been using an old -- and significantly customised -- version of the wiki software, which can't cope with the new database version; and the new database version doesn't allow downgrading the data back to a version the wiki does support.
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Postby silvermoonlight » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:23 pm

I'm just posting this on a friends behalf as ElSqiubbonator told me there having logging in issues this was their issue.

I tried to make a post on the EvaGeeks forum today, but it wouldn't let me. It kept saying I had to log in to make posts, even though I was already logged in. I tried resetting my password, but that did nothing
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Postby FelipeFritschF » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:48 pm

View Original Postsilvermoonlight wrote:I'm just posting this on a friends behalf as ElSqiubbonator told me there having logging in issues this was their issue.


That sounds more like a local problem to me. Tell him to try cleaning up his cache/cookies/etc, and/or try logging in from incognito mode or another browser first.

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Postby Ornette » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:21 pm

Salvaging the data before the upgrade is still possible, I have a backup of it from March 3rd (pre-upgrade). But this whole exercise really just means it'll happen again and eventually the system will be at a state that vital services can't be upgraded because of dependencies.

So instead, I've bit the bullet and upgraded mediawiki, the wiki software. This means we'll lose some functionality and customizations. Some of the templates may not work anymore, but the major casualty here is our old custom skin probably was not compatible. We're missing some description files, and given some research into this we can probably cobble together something, but in the meantime I've enabled some not terrible skins that were available through mediawiki's site. You can access them through the perferences/appearance, and the newer mediawiki even allows you to insert customized CSS and Javascript.

At this point, we're probably going to need to look for volunteers to manage some of the wiki backend, if anyone wants to help with looking for broken templates and fix them, which may involve fixing broken extensions. We can see the old behavior of the wiki at archive.org if you want to compare: https://web.archive.org/web/20200120062 ... /Main_Page

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Postby kuribo-04 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:52 am

Really sad about this. The EvaWiki was like a holy place im my teens lol. But at least we can look at the old wiki with the wayback machine.
Wish I could help, but have no knowledge about these things.
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