when the forum gets hit up...

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V Williamson
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1388
Joined: February 6th, 2008, 9:16 am

when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by V Williamson » October 31st, 2015, 8:29 pm

mmmm... it seems everyone has run away... not even a testing 1 2 thread... So what actually happens when the forum gets "bombed" by spam accounts? How come a couple of threads vanished altogether? I know it is not easy being a volunteer mod around here, so I am not having a go at anybody. What has to be done has to be done I suppose. Just wondering...

In the mean time, my 1:144 Lancaster Bomber is about 75% complete. Matt black underneath, needs some "dark earth" (brown) straggled over the green plastic to make it look camouflaged. Then the final fitting of perspex and guns. Anybody got a dab of "gunmetal" in Humbrol or the like they can lend?? And a touch of yellow for the propeller tips?? Dunno how to get paint through the forum though....

Peter Aawen
Admin
Posts: 20777
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by Peter Aawen » October 31st, 2015, 8:51 pm

When the Forum gets hit with a deluge of spam, some one or if we are lucky, a collection of one's (IF there happens to be more than one around the Forum at the time) gets to go thru & basically identify each & every thread that has been spammed & either remove the individual spam posts or when there's a bunch in there, sometimes the entire thread. There are some 'quick mod' tools that sometimes allow us to look at forum sections & all the thread titles in that section, who made the last post in it, & basically make a judgement call on that thread - ie decide if it's a legit & 'meaningful or helpful' thread that's got a bunch of helpful stuff there then it might be worth putting it aside for now, pulling it off the public pages & later on making some effort over cleaning it all up; or is it a fluff piece that's got few posts in it except the spam posts; or if it's dodgy or questionable to start with- then whoever is actioning it has a very short time to decide what to do with it, dump it, or put it aside & come back later to spend an hour or two fixing it! But often it's an 'each & every post/thread' thing, & do it quick or you'll get swamped!! And either way, that swamping isn't always easy to avoid, especially when the spammers & spam bots are putting up a few posts/threads per second &/or the dodgy registrations are loading up at a rate of 250 or so every minute!!

Then factor in how slow the system is atm when YOU as a user are trying to post anything & consider how frustrated you get when it takes forever for anything to happen/the system to update/apply.... That applies doubly so for us - so maybe just have a little consideration for the Mod/admin who's trying to track down & ban the 30 odd spam bot registrations that are each making spam posts/threads at a mind boggling rate RIGHT NOW while the Mod/admin is at the same time trying to getting rid of all the crap the bots have posted before anyone replies to it, cos the second that happens the bot that posted that particular crap gets notified it's hit a live one & will let loose another deluge of garbage cos now it KNOWS it's got someone watching!! And while the Mod is trying to do that, there's often someone adding posts/threads with the same or similar titles as all the dodgy stuff; or someone posting sarcastic remarks about why the Forum is being so slow atm; or someone having a go at one of the Mod/Admin team cos the fluff thread they put with one post in it amongst all the other spam crap has disappeared; or... maybe just imagine the Mod/admin is a one armed piccolo player with the crabs & an awful itch who's working for a very demanding Conductor!! You get the picture???.... :eek:

When the spam deluges come (& they do come far more often than we'd like!!) taking quick action can mean the difference between the Forum remaining open or having it either grind to a halt under the deluge or get shut down to stop it failing... If we happen to lose a few posts or threads every now & then in trying to keep the Forum live, then I really am sorry, but rest assured that individually & collectively, the Mod/Admin Team has done everything they could at the time to let you (the users) keep on posting & to retain the important info & accumulated knowledge & experience threads that the Forum holds.

Thanks for your consideration. :thumb:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Shann Low
Avid Poster
Posts: 765
Joined: April 2nd, 2014, 3:14 am

Re: when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by Shann Low » October 31st, 2015, 10:29 pm

Is it possible - perhaps that a competitor or miffed former member 9whos been banned) uses their computer skills to target the forums with a spambot distributed denial of service (DDS) attack?
Maybe its being crashed deliberately?
Had it happen once where someone used a known forum exploit to log onto my own forums and ban me the admin, and take over my forum! :lol:

Luckily for me I'd left a backdoor in (a sleeper member) to be able to get back in, and sort the pr!ck out! :thumb:

Never underestimate the capability of these kids these days!.

Peter Aawen
Admin
Posts: 20777
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by Peter Aawen » November 1st, 2015, 7:45 am

Sure it's possible Shann, we've been hit by what certainly looks like 'denial of service' spam attacks before & probably will be again; & there may have even been occasions when that was prompted by someone as you suggest, or even when someone upset at A4WDA or EMG for something entirely un-related to the Forum has tried to get at them thru disrupting the Forum, but it's rare for it to be an individual & really, 'individuals' who do that aren't a major issue, at least not for long - they WILL be identified eventually & not only are there now some pretty powerful laws that can be brought to bear (the laws even go so far as potentially banning them from holding ANY telecommunications account in this country!!) but well before it gets that far, hitting the 'smite' button tends to work quicker on getting rid of them than they can register a new name, log-in, & post something that gets removed, then register the next one, log-in, etc, etc. And while sometimes the system can be slow for everyone (Mods & Admins too) there are those 'behind the scenes' tools that let us do things 'broad brush', altho they tend to be an 'all or nothing' thing, which means there can be stuff removed that we'd rather stayed, but once it's got that far along there's no easy way to pick & choose what stays or goes.

However, as you alluded, the real issue with 'denial of service' attacks comes from the 'bots' or spam engines - they can create registrations, user accounts, & posts faster than any Mod or Admin or collection of those can get rid of them as individual posts; & that's where the behind the scenes stuff comes into its own.... We can & do use those tools as necessary to get rid of that sort of stuff in its entirety; registration, accounts, posts, & all - but sometimes someone who might be perfectly legit or a perfectly legit post or thread can for whatever reason fall within the range of the 'selection criteria' & get swept out with the rubbish! And sometimes, in the rush to get rid of the offending posts/threads, something that doesn't stand out as being legit that really is might simply be missed by the Mod/Admin as they work at getting rid of the problem posts/threads. I know it can & does happen altho we actively try to avoid it, but when the spam attacks happen, we tend to do whatever it takes to keep the Forum up & people posting (even if it might be awfully sloooowwwwlllyyy at times!)

Knowing, registering, & behaving in accordance with our Rules & Guidelines can help minimise that, because the R&G's ask 'real' Forum users to do certain things & behave in a certain way when they register & post etc, things that IF complied with, would make it far less likely that they or their posts would be swept up with the bot generated rubbish (& probably generate less individual animosity too) but even if everyone did post within those R&G defined bounds all the time, there would probably still be times that something or someone we'd rather have kept gets removed from the Forum. There's not much more we can do about that except to keep asking people to try to post in accordance with the R&G's, & for the Mod/Admin Team to continue to work as hard as they do in keeping the bots & their crap posts off the Forum!!

And while all this 're-active' stuff is going on once the spammers of any type hit us, there is also a continuing 'pre-emptive' battle happening behind the scenes too; not only to keep spammers & scammers away, but to keep the Forum working and to improve it as well!! The IT Types are always doing stuff to the existing platform in an effort to keep it running & doing what we want of it, as well as looking at what our needs may be in the future & how they can accommodate us within whatever future platforms EMG & A4WDA may end up with!! One of the issues they face both now & in the future is that the Forum has been around for a long while as forums go, the data-base of posts/threads IS pretty large already & is continually growing, & this Forum is just one part of a fairly large & complex organisation... There is a vast amount of 4WD knowledge & experience already stored in amongst the posts & threads here, in fact there's not much that hasn't been asked & at least discussed if not answered at least once; and that's not something to let go of lightly!! Plus it takes some effort to keep it all accessible & useful, even up to date - all of which chews computer & other resources that can impact on our daily use let alone on whatever the future holds for us. All food for thought & consideration ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Muckinhell
Need to get out more
Posts: 2079
Joined: November 16th, 2006, 9:25 am

Re: when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by Muckinhell » November 1st, 2015, 7:56 am

photos of the lancaster? my grandad flew in the pathfinders as radio operator.

V Williamson
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1388
Joined: February 6th, 2008, 9:16 am

Re: when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by V Williamson » November 4th, 2015, 8:59 pm

Thank you for your info Pete. I have no doubt that others as well appreciate all the effort that goes in to keeping the forum alive! And all that work just to keep useless mongrels at bay. Nearly as bad as teatime telemarketer phone calls. Pity the day that it all goes down when those looking after it finally throw there hands in the air and say they have had enough.... :(

Anyway, the Lancaster... see below!
20151104_211556_1.jpg
I bought it at the War Memorial shop in Canberra and it has decals for "G" George (the AWM Lanc.), "V" Victor and "S" Sugar.

I understand a now late mate of mine, Lyle Patison, VK6ALU (ex VK2ALU) [SK] flew in Sugar I think at the end of the war when the Lanc ops were food and medicine drops as well as repatriating POWs. Lyle was a navigator and was using the radio aids including H2S and the 10cm microwave radar. Lyle later went on to almost single-handedly build VHF and UHF as well as microwave equipment to do "moonbounce" ie bounce radio waves off the moon. He, along with a colleague in the UK held the world record for distance microwave communication. It was EXTREME amateur radio!

In the Lancs, his aircraft took flak on New Years Day 1945 after an attack on the canal system. The aircraft crashed just over the allied lines in the Netherlands. All crew made it out and back home about a week later where there belongings had been set aside as they were MIA! An incredible story. Lyle commented how Bomber Command took the heaviest losses of any allied unit in WW2. The loss statistics are terrible. I think if you look elsewhere, something like half of the over 7000 Lanc built were lost in action. (I think the German U Boat losses were perhaps higher, but that is another argument.)

So as it advances, (I painted the straggling stripes on a few minutes before I took the photo), I hope to decal this plane as S Sugar - a small token in regard and memory to a great man.

Isn't it remarkable that 70 years on, and you can easily wander into a shop and buy a Lanc model to build. How many models have been sold over the years??

So M, how did your Grandad fare? Do you have a personal memory of Grandad's service?
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nilla60
Moderator
Posts: 6348
Joined: May 13th, 2007, 12:09 am

Re: when the forum gets hit up...

Unread post by nilla60 » November 5th, 2015, 9:07 pm

The father of a guy I used to work with flew Lancs. Scary stuff indeed; flying in close formation in the dark, strict radio blackout circling to get height and there'd be sometimes a flash of an explosion when two planes collided. He had some key or tag that belonged to the plane he flew on; was supposed to be on the sortie but was too sick, they left without him and no-one came back so that's all that was left. We can barely begin to imagine.

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