kbass

Website Problem - Update

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kbass   

Many people sent me messages over the past few weeks about problems with site, and I just want to give a little feedback. I have been in contact with Yardboy and he has done a great job getting us back up when the site goes down. Unfortunately, it not just a flip of the breaker to get us back up. So it normally takes a couple days to contact the site host and get the problem resolved.

Some have mentioned why don't we buy more bandwidth? Bandwidth with our users doesn't appear to be the problem. The problem seems to be from spammers again. We have tried to take measures to correct it, and I guess we will see how it works. Not sure why they love this site. :blink:

You have also probably noticed messaging is down. Currently, the site is in performance mode as a result of the crazy increase in traffic. I have sent Yardboy an email about disabling performance mode to allow messaging again. However, I'm not sure who enabled it...so I'm waiting for a response.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience and help. And as always...

Happy Reefing

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kbass   

I have turned messaging back on. If we start to have a problem, I will need to turn it off again. Let's see what happens. :)

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kbass   

I have continued to work on the site today. The following updates / monitoring was done:

1. I added well over a 100 spam IP blocks.

2. Turned off Performance Mode, allowing PMs and many other functions to work properly

3. Monitored site bandwidth issues and user account validations.

4. Deleted 8,000+ bad accounts in our database.

Hopefully, these changes will help us to stay online and reduce the issues we have been plagued with. Additional, we are working to get updates for the forum itself. We are currently running version 3.1.4. Hopefully, in the near future we will upgrade to 3.4.7. If we are really lucky, you will only see the improvements with no problems. ;)

As a side note, if you know someone that just signed up for an account in the past few days. Please let them know, they may need to register again. Hopefully, that will not be the case but I just went through 2,400+ accounts awaiting validation and it is very possible they got deleted by accident. :o

Very Respectfully and Happy Reefing,

Kevin

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kbass   

Thanks Everyone!

It looks like the changes are working so far. We have started getting the new update files. Once we have everything in place, we will do a backup of the current site and start the update. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly.

Right now the most popular forum is the BUY/SELL/TRADE. Although I really like this part of the site, it would be nice to see more helpful forums similar to some other sites. Does anyone have some good ideas??? Please help us make this site more useful.

I know Larry has done a lot of researching to find places to hold meetings in the Pensacola area. Unfortunately, my schedule has been a little crazy for a while now...but it looks like things are settling out now. Let's all get together soon and do a meet, greet and trade. :)

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kbass   

Unfortunately, we are approaching our bandwidth limit again. I have enabled performance mode to hopefully keep the site from going down. We don't expect it to work and expect the site to go down again sometime over the next couple of days. Please bear with us...we were given some extra bandwidth to get us back up, but we are extremely close to exceeding the given bandwidth.

Although we believe the problem should be corrected for the coming months, we took a big hit to our bandwidth at the beginning the of this month.

Performance Mode:

1. Stops Private Messages (PMs).

2. Take aways menu functions

3. Stops profile viewing / editing

Sorry for the inconvenience. I will return us to full functionality as soon as possible.

Respectfully,

Kevin

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Yardboy   

Great job Kevin. For the last several years it's been a real battle to keep spammers off this site. As you said I don't know why they like it. Maybe Invision isn't the software package for us. The last attacks have been something I just didn't know how to combat. And it seems the battle isn't over yet. Unfortunately this bandwidth usage doesn't come without a price. The cost for the last six months has been considerably higher than previously. The war that Richard and Kevin are fighting will save the site money in the long run.

Sorry for all the war metaphors but I guess watching TV about Cyberattacks made me realize it isn't just something happening to someone else, it's affecting us too. Give Richard and Kevin all the encouragement you can. If it wasn't for their efforts the site would have gone done even earlier than it may.

Oh, and Kevin, I didn't turn off Performance mode. If it wasn't you or Richard it may mean that someone has control that isn't supposed to. Only us 4 have admin rights. Marco, me and you two.

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kbass   

I turned performance mode off on 15 Jan to allow PMs again; however, I have it on right now in hopes we can make it to the end of the month. Based bandwidth usage today (819 Mb), I expect us to exceed our bandwidth tomorrow or possible Thursdays. So the if Marco doesn't give us 3 more gigabytes, the site will most likely go down for a couple days. This should not be a problem next month.

In addition to adding numerous IP blocks (which has helped a lot), I enabled Hotlink security from the Cpanel. This ensures external sites are not stealing our bandwidth. Based on average usage, we should be using 24 to 32 Gigabytes per month. And If we continue to stay on up of the blocks, this should be possible to maintain.

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kbass   

I'm hoping if we can limit the number of spam IPs, we will be okay for pictures. I think pictures are one of the best part of posts. We will continue to watch the site, and monitor our bandwidth.

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kbass   

Status Update...

We are still bleeding bandwidth, but it is much better. Since 1 Feb, we have used about 3.29 GB or roughly 800 MB per day. We are still getting hammered by SPAM, but I'm actively blocking them as they show themselves. Not only, am I watching the new user accounts (block and deleted approx. 15 accounts since the 1st), but I'm also blocking IPs that are showing up in our Cpanel. I'm hoping the blocks from the Cpanel will take care some of our biggest offenders.

In any case, I feel very confident that the site will stay up ALL month based on current bandwidth usage. 8-)

Thanks for everyone's patience!

Respectfully,

Kevin

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AWDJosh   

Kevin, can't the host just update and change everything so the site isn't a target anymore? I don't understand why this site is even attacked lol, MBRK doesn't have this problem hahaha

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kbass   

So, I work on this almost every night and I think I finally have this under control. I haven't been able to completely stop it, but I have significantly slowed it.

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kbass   

I have been screening each account pretty strictly by research each IP address in several SPAM search sites. If that address show up at all, I'm either blocking and/or deleting the account.

If anyone knows someone that I have deleted, please send me a PM and I will be on the look out for their account registration. Unfortunately, I've had to be pretty tight with the screening. But it is helping a lot. Thanks for your patience.

Respectfully,

Kevin

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kbass   

Time for an update.

We are doing great on our bandwidth this month, but it has taken a lot of work. We are sitting at about 15 GB...lowest it has be in about 2 years. With that said, we still have problems and need to update the site. We have been working the last few weeks to get the necessary files to do the upgrade, and I think we are ready to go. If we are lucky, the upgrade will go smoothly with no problems...but being the realist, we may run into issues. If issues occur it is possible the site could go down this weekend for a little bit.

I will try to do the upgrade at night.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting.

Respectfully,

Kevin

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