A time of change is at hand [Archive] - Nodal Ninja Forum

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Bill Bailey
09-06-2013, 06:40 AM
No I'm not talking about Earth's pole shift, Planet X, Comet ISON, or Nibiru, I'm talking more importantly about the Nodal Ninja forum.

When you use the forum I would assume most to think I can post and read threads so all must be good. On the back side of things we are under daily attack from spammers, spam bots, hackers etc. Just yesterday alone I had to manually dump 40 new registrants into the spam can. Our previous forum (Simple Machine's) was worse as hackers were actually able to get into the system and delete images.

This forum (VBulletin) hasn't actual been hacked yet but does experience a daily barrage of spammers wanting in. We are running VB-v4 and in desperate need to upgrade due to known security flaws. Even our former IT guy cringed and delayed the process of moving v4-v5. Because this is fairly major upgrade this would be time to also consider moving to newer forum platform. VBulletin has over a 1000 variables and options on the back end and takes a constant daily effort to administer and keep spammers out.

In our consideration to upgrade or move to newer platform this is a good time for users to share with us what they would like to see in the way of added features and also what features you don't like in our current setup.

all feedback welcome

thx
Bill

Vincèn
09-06-2013, 06:57 AM
First I would consider upgrading the current forum to latest version as spam filter are often updated with new releases of forum softwares :) and then perhaps install some more updated mods in it to get spam task eased ;)
Also add of "dumb" questions in signup process ban a lot of spammers and you change these questions every month or something like that ! works pretty well on two forums I administer.

Bill Bailey
09-06-2013, 07:23 AM
First I would consider upgrading the current forum to latest version as spam filter are often updated with new releases of forum softwares :) and then perhaps install some more updated mods in it to get spam task eased ;)
Also add of "dumb" questions in signup process ban a lot of spammers and you change these questions every month or something like that ! works pretty well on two forums I administer.
All sounds easy BUT. There was reason why old IT guy was hesitant to upgrade to v5 - we suspect he didn't have the needed skill set to feel secure enough with error free transition. We would hire out to have a real pro IT guy do the upgrade but this still leaves us with admin panel of 1000+ options - most of which we have difficulty in understanding.
And not sure on v5 but question feature doesn't work with v4. We have tighter than question signup now but this isn't a concern as we realize spammers will always by the nemesis for any forum. What would be good is to have bulk delete or auto delete feature. We manually confirm 80% of new users IP address, email address and user name against spam lists.

Vincèn
09-06-2013, 08:17 AM
All sounds easy BUT. There was reason why old IT guy was hesitant to upgrade to v5 - we suspect he didn't have the needed skill set to feel secure enough with error free transition. We would hire out to have a real pro IT guy do the upgrade but this still leaves us with admin panel of 1000+ options - most of which we have difficulty in understanding.
well normally there exists tools to ease migrations from one version to an other for forum management softwares ;) Best is to work first on a copy and try migration and once successful with all tweaks apply it again on live forum :)


And not sure on v5 but question feature doesn't work with v4. We have tighter than question signup now but this isn't a concern as we realize spammers will always by the nemesis for any forum. What would be good is to have bulk delete or auto delete feature. We manually confirm 80% of new users IP address, email address and user name against spam lists.
well http://www.simplemachines.org/ is one I use since years without big issues, it contains very efficient spam tools, and it has tools for migrating from VBulletin to SMF ! I guess you should play with each forum software candidate first to get a best idea how it works and if it's ok for you to do your choice !

Bill Bailey
09-06-2013, 09:04 AM
well normally there exists tools to ease migrations from one version to an other for forum management softwares ;) Best is to work first on a copy and try migration and once successful with all tweaks apply it again on live forum :)
You make it sound so easy :-) It concerned our former IT Guy and the last thing I want to do is jeopardize any content.

well http://www.simplemachines.org/ is one I use since years without big issues, it contains very efficient spam tools, and it has tools for migrating from VBulletin to SMF ! I guess you should play with each forum software candidate first to get a best idea how it works and if it's ok for you to do your choice !

Be warned!!! When we were using SM we were "hacked" - twice with images deleted on one attack. You are smaller forum but you still need to remain vigilant.

Vincèn
09-06-2013, 09:09 AM
Be warned!!! When we were using SM we were "hacked" - twice with images deleted on one attack. You are smaller forum but you still need to remain vigilant.
the question of "hack" is to keep in all matters forum software updated all the time, as whatever forum software you'll use, it'll have one time or an other some security issues but if you keep it updated all the time all the more when an update or security warning is released, it's ok :) Second, if you have a regular backup made everyday for example, it's not big deal to reinstall if something goes wrong ! For all my online sites, whatever dynamic or static, I have a daily backup running done offsite so if server or just software concerned is hacked, I can reinstall quickly and apply needed patches to avoid security issue to occur again once reinstalled !

hindenhaag
09-06-2013, 10:07 AM
Hi Bill and Vincen,

Nice to let us know what happens "backstage" of a forums site. Seams to be a lot of work and surveillance to keep it running without trouble. Now I understand why the forum was down for some hours.

Thx for all the work you have to do "backstage" Bill.

Heinz

Bill Bailey
09-06-2013, 10:15 AM
the question of "hack" is to keep in all matters forum software updated all the time, as whatever forum software you'll use, it'll have one time or an other some security issues but if you keep it updated all the time all the more when an update or security warning is released, it's ok :) Second, if you have a regular backup made everyday for example, it's not big deal to reinstall if something goes wrong ! For all my online sites, whatever dynamic or static, I have a daily backup running done offsite so if server or just software concerned is hacked, I can reinstall quickly and apply needed patches to avoid security issue to occur again once reinstalled !
Hey Vincèn - the important think is that "you" feel comfortable. Based on our experiences we never regained that fuzzy warm feeling, even with daily backups. Plus we lacked features we found in VB.
Remember - you are much more techie than me. You can probably do a re-install and apply all needed security patches from your smart phone with one hand tied behind your back while skiing down a double diamond run in the French Alps during a snow blizzard :-)

Vincèn
09-06-2013, 11:08 AM
Remember - you are much more techie than me. You can probably do a re-install and apply all needed security patches from your smart phone with one hand tied behind your back while skiing down a double diamond run in the French Alps during a snow blizzard :-)
Sure and answer the phone also in same time :th_wink: I would be happy to help you with my techie knowledge ;) Why not try first the easiest solution ? that is to upgrade current forum to version 5 ?

Bill Bailey
09-06-2013, 11:43 AM
Sure and answer the phone also in same time :th_wink: I would be happy to help you with my techie knowledge ;) Why not try first the easiest solution ? that is to upgrade current forum to version 5 ?
and with racing helmet on :-)
I'll consider options - thx