Issues with forum access - July 2021

A section to chat about whatever takes your fancy about the team in general. For queries about the UBT Forum, please post a message here. Likewise, any suggestions for making the forum better...
Post Reply
UBT - Timbo
UBT Forum Admin
Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:00 am
Location: NW Midlands
Contact:

Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by UBT - Timbo »

Hi all

There's been some significant "spammer" attempts to flood the forum database with membership and access requests (which significantly affected page loading, sometimes resulting in database access errors).

So, late on, on 20th July, I disabled the forum, so I could see what was happening.

I've also taken a look through some of the log files which were getting quite large and many "old" logs have now been deleted. Which should help a little bit.

All being well, I'll re-enable forum access on 22nd July.

regards
Tim
UBT - Timbo
UBT Forum Admin
Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:00 am
Location: NW Midlands
Contact:

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by UBT - Timbo »

Hi all

Have now re-enabled access to the forum.

But will be monitoring for the next 24-48 hours, in case of further issues.

If you see any problems (such as database errors) please ping me an email.

And apologies for any inconvenience.

regards
Tim

PS: I do not think the forum issues are related to this report - but I might be wrong :o

"Major websites hit by global outage"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57929544

or this report:

"Akamai Edge DNS goes down, takes a chunk of the internet with it"

https://www.theregister.com/2021/07/22/ ... scheduled/
UBT - PennyQ
Active UBT Contributor 15+ yrs
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:00 am
Location: South Bucks

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by UBT - PennyQ »

Thanks for your efforts Tim. There might not be a lot actually happening on this forum, but it is still a useful thing to have!
Penny
The impossible we do today; miracles take a little longer

Image
UBT - Timbo
UBT Forum Admin
Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:00 am
Location: NW Midlands
Contact:

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by UBT - Timbo »

UBT - PennyQ wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:05 am Thanks for your efforts Tim. There might not be a lot actually happening on this forum, but it is still a useful thing to have!
Penny
Hi Penny

Yup - it's been a bit quiet in here of late...but that's life.

All I can do is to ensure that this "resource" stays available and if people want to add something, then they can.

regards
Tim
chriscambridge
Active UBT Contributor 1+ yr
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by chriscambridge »

You might find using the free version of Cloudflare would stop more bad actors than just blocking IPs.

Cloudflare not only looks at the actual traffic but also where it comes from. When in doubt Cloudflare will force a Captcha to stop automated access/Brute force attempts, (such as a login) as each Captcha has a unique Session which changes per try.

Additionally, as UBT site has Authentication normally you would/should use HTTPS to encrypt login traffic; this is something else which Cloudflare offers for free by default (if required).

eg NCODED has no HTTPS certificate (as we don't do any Auth), yet Cloudflare sets this up if needed: https://ncoded.com

Anyway Cloud flare is probably the Worlds most used service for stopping bad actors (including DOS attacks, etc) so its def worth taking a look.

https://www.cloudflare.com/en-gb/plans/
UBT - Timbo
UBT Forum Admin
Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:00 am
Location: NW Midlands
Contact:

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by UBT - Timbo »

Hi Chris

Thanks for the useful input.

There is possibly one (minor) issue in that the database for the forum is held on a different IP address, with the ubt.org.uk website acting as the front end as it just hosts the phpBB forum software.

So, I'll need to see which methods are at my disposal to sort this out, if it continues to be a problem. (It hasn't for now, so it might have been a "one off" event).

But getting a secure "https" URL has been on my list of "to do's" (though the annual cost has been a bit of an issue)...along with upgrading the phpBB version software, as I'm about 2 or more ( :-( ) minor revisions behind at present. :-(

regards
Tim
chriscambridge
Active UBT Contributor 1+ yr
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by chriscambridge »

Yeah I think perhaps you would have to do a clean install of phpBB and get everything back under a single IP. An option perhaps for the future then.
wbiz
Active UBT Contributor 1+ yr
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2021 7:03 pm
Location: Wirral, UK

Re: Issues with forum access - July 2021

Post by wbiz »

Just throw a letsencrypt certificate on, its free, simple to install and updates automatically. Its usually domain authenticated on your DNS so not IP dependent.
Image
Post Reply