Over the past week we’ve had a few issues with the site not working as it should for a number of reasons. This has resulted in error messages, downtime, difficulty logging in and posting and profiles not working properly. We would like to offer all users and viewers our apologies for the inconvenience caused.
First of all, it would appear there have been some scripts running in the background, using up all the server’s resources and resulting in the dreaded “Resource limit reached”. This site is on shared hosting, which means a lot of other sites are also hosted on the same server and server resources also have to be shared.
Last Tuesday, one of our user’s accounts was hacked by someone using a proxy to hide behind. As noted on The Mysterious Case of the Gremlin who Posted, someone used that account to post something rather odd. The logs show some rather strange activity taking place on the site at the time, resulting first in the dreaded resource limit error noted above and then the site was down for a few hours. We are still investigating but, suffice to say, we are fully aware that unauthorised access to computer material is a criminal offence under s.1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
As a result of the unauthorised penetration into the back-end of the site, a few emergency procedures had to be put in place to prevent further incursion and protect the integrity of the site and its users. There were some side effects associated with these emergency procedures which had an impact on the ability to use this site. More sustainable security measures have now been put in place, replacing the emergency procedures which caused a bit of trouble.
Most of the issues noted above have been resolved, although we may still experience resource issues from time to time, due to hosting on a low capacity shared server.
There are some people out there who would like to see this site closed down for their own reasons, so it does not come as a surprise to see attempts at foul play.