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Author Topic: Explanation of forum downtime and changes from 10/14-16  (Read 8499 times)
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Vyse
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    « on: October 17, 2011, 10:59:35 PM »


    Now that the situation is resolved and we can look back at it with clear heads, we understand and can offer much more cohesive information than we could in the midst of the confusion.

    The recent slowdown and increase in errors were due to an increase in traffic and a flaw in BrawlVault's RSS. They were not the result of a DDoS attack, and there is nothing wrong with the forum's security. While a DDoS attack did occur, it was small and had no significant impact on forum performance.

    We've placed a single ad in the Forum Games board and will soon be placing one on BrawlVault as well. This will fund both a server upgrade and the improvement of BrawlVault, so if you use an ad blocker, please whitelist those areas. Both of these things will improve the 500 error situation. Picano has stated multiple times that BrawlVault is poorly written, and every time he does that he also asks for help or funding to make fixing it possible. Neither has been forthcoming, so we're finally taking matters in our own hands.

    Those are the important facts. For details, read on.

    On Friday, October 14th, a thread discussing the recent increase in 500 errors appeared.  Various causes and concerns were discussed, as were possible ways of alleviating the problem.

    In an incredible case of poor timing, this same day saw one of our hacks, Waluigi, featured on various gaming news sites, and the increase in traffic made the errors worse than ever.

    Also at this time, a user named SmashHackers, who between all of his alts has been banned from this board several times, launched an ill-conceived DDoS attack on us with a few of his friends. To make it perfectly clear: in the end, this attack had virtually no impact on us whatsoever.

    But we didn't know that at the time. All we knew was that we were getting DDoSed, not the scale, so we took appropriate precautions, increasing security and keeping a close eye on the forum error logs.

    Due to these precautions, we spotted an inordinate number (more than 200) of users, many of whom had no cause to DDoS us, sending dozens of strange requests to BrawlVault. At this point, we suspected the worst: a botnet. We're not going to say who we suspected as the source, because as it turns out, that wasn't the case.

    At this point, I'd like to reiterate something picano has said multiple times since he created BrawlVault himself: its programming is not good.

    As it turns out, BrawlVault was behind much of our recent trouble. The cause of the 500 errors is the incredible number of server queries made by the forum, BrawlVault in particular. Also, the more than 200 people who were making suspicious BrawlVault calls were victims not of a botnet but of mistakes in the BV RSS.

    High traffic volume is directly related to the 500 errors, as we've always said, but not for reasons of bandwidth limitation; rather, since most people are here just for BrawlVault (check the number of online guests vs. registered users and you'll see the truth of that), the queries become too much for the server to handle and a 500 error occurs.

    The two ways to solve this problem are to optimize the forum (especially the Vault) and to upgrade the server.

    To that end, a single ad has been placed in every Forum Games topic, at the bottom of the page, and soon there will be one on BrawlVault as well. The proceeds from these ads will fund the aforementioned solutions.

    Why those two places? The rationale for BrawlVault should be obvious. For Forum Games, we figured that since its users aren't contributing to the forum's purpose -- hacking Brawl -- and since the board gets so much traffic, they should contribute in other ways.
    « Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 03:47:33 AM by Miacis Ballard » Logged


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    « Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 12:04:42 AM »


    ive turned off my adblocker so that the ads will show, but for me specifically i still see your message about how i should turn it off..

    ads are annoying sometimes, but if its helping the quality of the server and improves brawlvault, then id be more than happy to deal with the ads.
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    « Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 01:02:09 AM »


    I see no problem with ads at all, i'll happily see them if it helps KC-MM stay up and running.
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    Miacis
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    « Reply #3 on: October 18, 2011, 02:09:00 AM »


    Vyse's recap summed it up pretty well ... A few little addendums :

    - The user "anonymoususer" who registered here to boast about the DDoS attack was most likely one of SmashHackers friends.

    - We've lost a few pieces of our ban list. So we might see some old faces in the days to come. Don't hesitate to report them if they cause any trouble, like usual.

    - The forum was fully backed up, was upgraded to v. 1.1.15 (yay!), lots of cleaning was done, from the recycle bin and from old locked topics.

    ive turned off my adblocker so that the ads will show, but for me specifically i still see your message about how i should turn it off...
    Give it some time. Just like you, it took me a bit before the ads showed up, when I removed AdBlock.
    Also, some ads seem to not appear at all. Meh.

    At least the mini-Vyse is cute.
    « Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 02:10:21 AM by Miacis Ballard » Logged

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    « Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 06:34:16 AM »


    We're short on money? I thought the $200 donation left us covered for some time.
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    « Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 07:18:39 AM »


    Nice to hear that the admins are working to fix up this problem.  Too bad that some of the errors still persist.
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    « Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 07:27:34 AM »


    So no apology for thinking SmashHackers was stealing IPs? I know some people still believe that to be true...
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    « Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 07:49:03 AM »


    It got kinda cut out in the recap:

    Anyways, everything is pretty much clear now. The site should be back to normal. We apologize for exagerating SmashHackers' role in that attack, as he obviously didn't hack into 200 accounts with wizardry. We have misjudged with all the confusion.
    But trying to launch a DDoS attack against us, even a weak one, is still illegal, and SmashHackers will recieve a severe sanction for that.


    Kinda hard to apologize more than that to someone who tried DDoSing us.
    « Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 08:25:47 AM by Miacis Ballard » Logged

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    « Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 07:55:34 AM »


    So no apology for thinking SmashHackers was stealing IPs? I know some people still believe that to be true...
    Ignoring the brief introduction, the first sentence of the post states what happened. If anyone still believes that after we've almost literally smacked them in the face with the truth, they have bigger problems and there's nothing more we can do.
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    « Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 07:56:32 AM »


    and now i like ads

    if it keeps KC-MM up i LOVE ads now
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    « Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 11:24:33 AM »


    wow so that is what really happened :0
    I'm still confused of why Smashhackers launched an *ill-conceived DDoS attack* to the page?

    anyways is good that the site is in a good state now and I hope that SmashHackers receive a sanction for that.
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    « Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 11:48:05 AM »


    i dont understand what happened cause im a noob at website stuff especially whatever DDoS means

    the whole time the site was working good on my computer?
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    « Reply #12 on: October 18, 2011, 02:41:37 PM »


    All i have to say is Well done To all of the Admin's XD
    Great job guys XD!
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    « Reply #13 on: October 18, 2011, 06:12:13 PM »


    All I wanted was someone to acknowledge that SmashHackers didn't steal IPs and was falsely accused. People had their panties in a bunch and needed clarification on that. Thanks Miacis. Though I see I started an argument in the process. Oh well.
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    « Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 07:30:34 PM »


    Wow, this site crashed when I most needed it. Talk about bad luck.

    I'm happy now that's up and running again. I haven't been in it for quite awhile, and I want to check out the new hacks made.
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