Well We Are Back

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Well We Are Back

Its been a crazy past couple days. First I’d like to apologize for the site and fan forums being down. The issue started with our site being hit hard by a DDoS attack and instead of just shutting things down till the attacker(s) moved on to another target we decided to fight back by giving the server more resources and then eventually blocking all traffic from certain countries. In the end, they had the last laugh by hacking into our server and using our server to start attacking other servers.

Our host stepped in to help us cleanup and harden the security of the site (we had some abandoned FTP accounts with weak passwords). Unfortunately one of the FTP accounts and its data was associated with our WordPress and vBulletin installations. When we realized the error we asked our host to restore from a backup. Thats when we were informed that their backup system hasn’t been working and actually crashed the week before losing all saved backups. But hey, they were very sorry.

Luckily, our MySQL databases for the site and fan forums were not deleted. A quick installation of WordPress and pointing it to the existing database (same thing for the forums using vBulletin) and we were back in business on the backend. We hired our theme designer to reinstall and configure the theme, plug-ins and widgets. For the most part we are about 99% restored. Some plug-ins aren’t working correctly but nothing that should affect use of the site.

While we don’t collect sensitive personal information like credit card numbers, mailing addresses, etc,. I want to assure you that the database containing the information we do have (mainly e-mail addresses) wasn’t compromised. We hired a third party contractor to conduct a security audit and the intrusion was limited to uploading trojans to attack other sites.

Anyway, after a long, frustrating and f-bomb filled couple of days and nights, its nice to be back. Thanks for your patience and most of all, your support.

19 thoughts on “Well We Are Back

  1. Thanks for all the hard work getting the site back up. I was going through a bit of SR withdrawal. >P I guess it just goes to show that no address is truly safe from these assholes.

  2. Welcome back boys!!! Nothing like a bunch of insecure, anti-social, loosers that sit at home all day instead of going out and actually being a normal person to ruin a great website for a couple days, guess it goes to show you that some people really have no life. I’m glad your site is back and up and running Great job Jerry, Walt, Brian, and Mike. You guys rock.

  3. It’s good to be back. I’d say the high point of the week was deciding which countries to block. I’m kinda flattered that someone thinks we’re worthy of a DDoS attack.

  4. Wow. That sucks. Can’t believe people have nothing better to do than f@#$ with others. They should try sitting down and enjoying a cigar.

    Welcome back

  5. Welcome back Gentleman, glad this thing is back ”working again”! O, and a comment for Charlie, good review, enjoyed, do it again. For your last comment to end your review ”Smoke That Cigar”

  6. Congrats on getting the site back up so quick!! That is not easy to do, let alone the time that you guys did it in. You guys are pros! You could give lessons to BoA on how to run a website! lol

    Hopefully those punks that brought down the site get theirs in the end (I subscribe to Karma so either way, in whatever form, they will get theirs). I knew something funny was going on when I started seeing DNS error popping up when trying to access the site.

    With the host backup issue, I would hope there is some kind of stipulation as a part of your service contract with your host that there needs to be XX% uptime. If they don’t meet that then you can *hopefully* get compensated on your bills. Totally not having a backup…that is a big big big no-no in the IT world. With all the dough you guys are having to fork over to get things back up, checked, and audited… hopefully you guys don’t have to eat that cost. Last thing I would want for you guys is to get stuck with bills for someone else’s bad moves.

    Hopefully, after things come out of the wash, SR will be in a better spot than before. There seems to almost always be a bright spot in every crisis even though it might not be readily apparent.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  7. Guess I should get a review ready for Saturday, huh.

    You guys and gals are the best! Great to see people are willing to hang in there when the site has a fart stuck or the farts are stickin it to the site.

  8. What the hell… Attacking and hacking a cigar site?! I guess you know your site has “Made it” when people even bother to do such a thing. Glad the site is back up, that was relatively quick recovery considering.

  9. Mannnn!!! Being in IT, and having been through very similar circumstances a couple of times too (including, “oops, sorry, your backups are gone”) I know how hard this has been for you!! Congrats on surviving it! I hope you lit one great cigar afterwards….and sacrificed one specificaly to ‘Karma” for payback!!!

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