The cloud had a silver lining

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solarchat
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The cloud had a silver lining

Post by solarchat »

I consider all of us here to be friends and partners in keeping this wonderful and forum alive.
The denial of service attack that we experienced on Friday brought to light several issues that needed addressing and I learned a lot from it.
I feel like the forum’s speed has significantly increased after the addition of the various spambot apps.
I went deep into the code to eliminate the accessibility of several crawlers which should keep things a lot more efficient.
When you sign in and look at the bottom of the page, it always tells you how many users are online and which ones are bots. For those that don’t know, all the major search engines have bots and crawlers that scour the Internet constantly indexing words and images into their search engines. Some of them were legitimate on our forum but the vast majority of them were unknown scammers mostly from Eastern Europe and Russian IP addresses.
I disabled the ability for all of them to access our forum, except for Google, MSN, Bing, and a couple other well-known search engines. you have to let them access it in order for the forum to be searchable outside of this software.
I was really caught off guard as I had no idea how extensive denial of service attacks could be or how much damage they can do.
Thank goodness for phpbbservices.com and it’s owner Mark Hamil for personally maintaining our forum. Not Luke Skywalker, btw, just the same name.
if anyone is still having any speed issues, please let me know.

my direct-email is [email protected]
(natca is an acronym for National Air Traffic Controllers Association)


Stephen W. Ramsden
Atlanta, GA USA
Founder/Director Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project
http://www.solarastronomy.org
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Re: The cloud had a silver lining

Post by marktownley »

Thanks Stephen.


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Re: The cloud had a silver lining

Post by Montana »

Thanks Stephen :) It's great to hear you learned a lot from the experience, but it is a great pity you had to learn it :(

Alexandra


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Re: The cloud had a silver lining

Post by solarchat »

You may see this page when you are signing on for a while. This is part of Cloudflare which is a service that redirects the website back and forth a couple times to prevent bots from getting the actual IP of our forum. It has been 100% effective so far.
This page comes from us still being in the "under attack" mode on Cloudflare which I will leave up for a couple more days until the AI scourge finds some other site to destroy.
If you operate a website with a lot of traffic like ours (300,000-400,000 hits per day), I would STRONGLY recommend instituting some spambot countermeasures now before you get attacked. Cloudflare has a free version for noncommercial sites with less but still efficient blockers. Our paid version seems to be bulletproof so far.
Screenshot 2023-03-19 at 9.21.29 AM.png
Screenshot 2023-03-19 at 9.21.29 AM.png (110.26 KiB) Viewed 1038 times


Stephen W. Ramsden
Atlanta, GA USA
Founder/Director Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project
http://www.solarastronomy.org
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