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drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/17/2012 02:43:21 MDT Print View

Here's another example from Roger's post history:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69213&skip_to_post=591980#591980

That entire thread occurred on the 13th, but that forum doesn't show any thread activity after the 5th.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/18/2012 14:52:05 MDT Print View

This thread was invisible too! Hopefully it's visible again. And now we have another spam campaign from a few hours ago.

It doesn't even take a hacker to lose content here. :p

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/18/2012 14:53:23 MDT Print View

And now there's a second spammer making the rounds. How many more threads will disappear this time?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/18/2012 15:03:32 MDT Print View

How is the new spammer still able to post after having the username changed to "SPAM"? I thought that change included banning the user, which should have stopped the ability to post.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 15:19:54 MDT Print View

Here's another invisible thread

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69377&skip_to_post=594116#594116

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:02:11 MDT Print View

Somebody is on duty in the moderator seat because while I was posting on a thread I got a notice from my email saying that their was a new post on a watched thread of mine from "nplantiff".

I followed the link from my email just to go ahead and red flag it for the mods to take care of because it referred to... "Relojes Casio , relojes Omega, venta de relojes , relojes de compra , armani relojes" ...and it just wasn't there but the thread that it referred me to was still there.

Is this a step forward for the BPL forums? If it is, HooRay! Score 1 for the humans against the "bots".

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 10/18/2012 16:05:17 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:06:04 MDT Print View

Yeah, someone is deleted the spam, but why is that same spammer still able to make new posts?

Worse, some or all of those threads that spam is being deleted from is becoming invisible. If you didn't have a link to that thread, you wouldn't find it in the forum listing.

So it's not a step forward. Now not only is the spammer able to post spam even after being identified as a spammer, but it's also resulting in a loss of legitimate content.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:12:11 MDT Print View

..."but the thread that it referred me to was still there".

There wasn't any lost content, I'm aware of, on the thread that was involved. ;-?

Party On,

Newton

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:44:12 MDT Print View

Lost doesn't mean gone, it just means you can't find it unless you know where it is. If it's not listed in the forum listing/directory like it should be, it's lost. If you didn't already have a link to it, you probably wouldn't ever know about it.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 16:52:37 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69415&skip_to_post=594139#594139

Here are pictures to help you understand what's going on.

In this picture, you see that there are posts from today at 15:06.



Yet when I go check the forum listing, it's not listed. That thread should show up between the Tarptent thread and the fabric breathability thread, yet it's not listed. It's invisible. It's still there, you just can't see it. It's lost.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 17:47:31 MDT Print View

Yeah, I believe I know what is happening. The database is being corrupted by the direct deletion of the spam posts. The indexing gets off. The index is NOT the database, it only holds pointers to locations where the data is stored. I believe this is what we are seeing.

Content is not lost within the database, and, the generation of a new index(often time consuming) will fix the problem. I am not sure who programmed the "Delete All Spammer Posts" button, but he should have forced a rebuild after it was used in the program after everything was deleted. I think that will fix the database/index mismatch. I might be incorrect, but I have done that myself with some data bases. DBIII, DBIV, and Access, and some others acted like that. Some are smart enough to know better and do it automagically with singular deletions and offer this after a multiple deletion, but as a seperate function. They offer low level deletions and rebuild funtions for these cases, too.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:01:04 MDT Print View

I used "index" earlier, but it seems some people don't understand that terminology. Hopefully the picture is easier for them to understand.

I believe in the past, when spam was deleted, the index remained. After the spam was deleted, it would appear that threads were bumped for no reason. While that wasn't ideal, it's a whole lot better than deleting threads from the index entirely, effectively making them invisible.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:01:59 MDT Print View

I too have noticed quite a few threads that I was following have disappeared. I assume it was probably because the spammer posted in that thread, and when the post was deleted, the entire thread was deleted.

Hopefully this problem becomes fixed soon, because BPL is borderline un-usable in the state it is in right now.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:20:05 MDT Print View

Hi all

I think James is partly right. I don't think the database is being corrupted per se, but it may well be that a thread will disappear for a few minutes after the deletion, while the index is being rebuilt. I have noticed this myself, but all the cases I have looked at resulted in the rest of the thread being fully visible a short time later. For instance, the fabric breathability thread was all there when I looked a few minutes ago.

You can run a database without the indices, but operation them becomes rather slow. Running with indices does mean that there may be maintenance time.

Cheers

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Thanks, Eugene! on 10/18/2012 18:21:49 MDT Print View

For going through and bringing back up the affected threads! A lot of work, but with poor Roger being the only moderator at this point, he needs all the help he can get!

There's gotta be a way to stop these mass spambot attacks. I haven't seen anything of this magnitude on the other forums I follow. Maybe they've just been lucky or maybe their software limits the attacks??? They get spam, but not 270 posts in a couple of hours! More like half a dozen at most.

I suspect that after three big attacks in less than a week, BPL will keep getting them unless a software fix can be put in to reduce the site's vulnerability. If something isn't done soon, the site will become useless, especially if the spambots figure out what time Roger goes to sleep!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thanks, Eugene! on 10/18/2012 18:31:55 MDT Print View

> There's gotta be a way to stop these mass spambot attacks.
Yes, but most good methods are highly illegal. The authorities look down on taking someone into a dark alley and discussing the matter with them with a rubber hose. Pity.

> I haven't seen anything of this magnitude on the other forums I follow. Maybe
> they've just been lucky
The SW they use was upgraded recently to handle automatic account creation. Oh, great!

If you can find a good way of stopping spambots and SW like Xrumer, the world will absolutly LOVE you. At present the spammers are a few microns on the right side of the law.

> especially if the spambots figure out what time Roger goes to sleep!
The All Seeing Eye never sleeps...
Yeah, we will work on that.

Cheers

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:34:06 MDT Print View

Okay, my picture didn't work. I wasn't pointing at the fabric breathability thread, I was pointing to the space above it where another thread should be listed, but is not.

Threads aren't reappearing automatically either. Look at threads I listed earlier. At least one of those still isn't visible, and that was from a couple days ago. One in particular is "Wilderness Survival MB- Low Impact Shelters". So is "Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum Tent Review" and "How many BPL members have you met?" and "Forbes rifle"...and linked to already in this thread as being invisible.

I have bumped a few threads to make them visible again, but I didn't with others so that they could be used as examples of invisible threads. I shouldn't need to provide examples though. If you go into most of the minor forums, you'll see that there's a big gap of time where there aren't any threads. Look at the time stamps of the remaining threads, and it's highly unusual for that gap to be so big.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Thanks, Eugene! on 10/18/2012 19:11:11 MDT Print View

@Roger:

"> There's gotta be a way to stop these mass spambot attacks.
Yes, but most good methods are highly illegal. The authorities look down on taking someone into a dark alley and discussing the matter with them with a rubber hose. Pity."



sarcasim

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Another attack! on 10/19/2012 14:17:35 MDT Print View

Attack #4 in a week; obviously the same spambot because advertising the same stuff. BPL may have to go to some system of verifying new unpaid members before allowing them to post. I've seen other sites do that when under persistent attack.

It's basically making the forums completely unusable. There's no point in staying on this forum while this is going on. I still suspect that this is the goal of the people behind these spambots!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/19/2012 14:54:45 MDT.

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
At this point it's clear... on 10/19/2012 14:47:52 MDT Print View

This has got to stop. Too many people are paying too much money for this little security.