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Thread: Recent Site Issues

  1. #1
    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Exclamation Recent Site Issues

    I'm sure you have all noticed there have been lots of issues with trying to access and use CPF lately. The cause of these issues is a "denial of service" attack from several service providers in China on the site. I've been told by a colleague in China that there will be less of a problem after Sept. 1st because the teenagers in China will be going back to school. Seriously. That's what I was told. Uh... ok.

    Meanwhile, I've been going through IP addresses of these specific providers and blocking them from accessing the CPF server. It's tedious, it's monotonous, it's a pain right in the ass.

    Thank you all for your patience and understanding. To a certain degree, we are going to have to just wait this out. I'll keep working on it though.

    For something fun to do... scroll to the bottom of the Forum Index page and look at the "who's online". You can see that last week when we first got hit, we had over 17,000 connections to CPF at one time. I've been able to keep it down to about a quarter of that now.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    What can they possibly gain by crippling this site? Or is that what the Chinese government is teaching in school these days?
    Thanks for YOUR patience in resolving this. And all this time I thought you liked shoes more than flashlights
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Thank you Greta for keeping it alive.
    Those mofo's needs some serious a55woopin
    Pardon my french...

  4. #4
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    I see that the ratio of "guests" to members who are logged in, has been about 150:1 the couple times I checked today - just crazy numbers.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    I see that the ratio of "guests" to members who are logged in, has been about 150:1 the couple times I checked today - just crazy numbers.
    You don’t think there’s a sudden surge of interest in the flashlight industry ?
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    35 members and 3,076 guests when I'm posting this. I don't think I've ever seen so few members on...
    But February made me shiver
    with every paper I delivered.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Used to be at least 100 at any given time Scout with about a 10:1 ratio of visitors.
    John 3:16

  8. #8
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    "Down for maintenance.
    The CPF server is being overrun by bots and malicious
    brute force SSH attacks by China Telecom.
    I'm trying to work out the solution while also
    trying to keep them at bay.
    Please visit our
    CPF Facebook Group
    to hang out and for updates.
    Thank you!"

    Poor Greta, she's been battling those bots for days, I hope she's wearing some armour.


    Peter's shopping list:- HDS / Oveready 170N Exec/LE and an Oveready V4 Nichia Drop In. Otherwise I'm content. Want want want, that's me.

  9. #9
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    archimedes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    .... Poor Greta, she's been battling those bots for days, I hope she's wearing some armour ....
    ... and carrying a vorpal bunny
    ... is the archimedes peak

  10. #10
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    I knew you'd get it.
    P
    Peter's shopping list:- HDS / Oveready 170N Exec/LE and an Oveready V4 Nichia Drop In. Otherwise I'm content. Want want want, that's me.

  11. #11
    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    The reason there are so few members listed on line is because I reduced the "idle" time on the site from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. What this does is it breaks the connection to the server quicker so it boots the Guests off quicker. I'll readjust it again once we get this straightened out.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Thank you Greta!

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Unfortunately the site is nearly unusable. I tried to post on this thread yesterday but couldn't and it took me repeated attempts just to get back here today. Almost none of the areas that I frequent on CPF have new posts or activity and it's difficult for me to believe that the calendar switching to 9/1/19 will be the end of these problems. Even though the kids in China aren't back to school yet, plenty of other forums are medium and large forums are working beautifully. I just feel sorry for Greta and that the stated reasons for the problem sound completely illogical on the surface.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    CPF app(le) works normal. I've just been real busy lately.
    A lot lot lot of users only use their big computers to be here.
    John 3:16

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    For me the forum is also nearly not usable. "https" is mostly not working, I get errors regarding site security problems on IE, Edge and FF. Changing it to http let at least mostly make if possible to read the threads...
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Dear Greta,

    If you use a firewall, why don't you blacklist any brute-force IP automatically and forever?

    Next: are these guest connections so important that registered users should be rejected from service? Why not to keep guests:registered as 1:10 at all times?

    Kind regards, Vadim.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    WOW cpf is now faster than ever,thank you for whatever you did.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Looks like it is back to normal for now at 53Users/589Guests. Unlike this ….. Most users ever online was 17,369, 08-18-2019 at 06:34 PM.

    @Greta , thanks for all you do for us flashlight nuts.
    Last edited by greatscoot; 08-27-2019 at 03:01 PM.
    "It's not rocket surgery"

  19. #19

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Wow, tapatalk is flying!
    Thx Greta.


    Sent from Tapatalk

  20. #20

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    If your site is under a DDOS attack from 10,000 different IP addresses, then it's nearly impossible to enter in all of those addresses manually. And if you did happen to manually enter in all of those addresses, what do you do after the attack has stopped? Do you take those addresses out of the blacklist? There could potentially be some legit traffic from those addresses (like if they're part of a NAT pool with hundreds of hosts behind it), so if you don't go back and take those out, then you're just choking off desired visitors and potential revenue.

    I don't know if this was a targeted attack or just some script kiddies causing havoc on the internet, but sometimes making your IP totally unresponsive will make the script they're running pass over you because it thinks there's nothing (or no longer) there, and will not attack it. (No point in spending resources and attacking something that isn't there). That could buy you some time until you implement a more permanent solution like a firewall with DDOS protection or talk with you ISP to see what can be implemented to mitigate these attacks.

    But many thanks to Greta and her team for working on this. I can totally relate, and it is absolutely no fun. Especially when you have executives breathing down your neck or paid members and advertisers not getting what they rightfully paid for.

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    Dear Greta,

    If you use a firewall, why don't you blacklist any brute-force IP automatically and forever?

    Next: are these guest connections so important that registered users should be rejected from service? Why not to keep guests:registered as 1:10 at all times?

    Kind regards, Vadim.
    Last edited by badtziscool; 08-26-2019 at 08:41 AM.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* marco.weiss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    I noticed the instability in the forum but never imagined it could be the result of the attack of Chinese children.
    They could be building crappy Chinese lanterns ... I don't know what's worse!


    Greta, thanks for letting us know what happened. Thanks also for your efforts in making this wonderful forum usable.

  22. #22
    Cyclops942's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by badtziscool View Post
    If your site is under a DDOS attack from 10,000 different IP addresses, then it's nearly impossible to enter in all of those addresses manually. And if you did happen to manually enter in all of those addresses, what do you do after the attack has stopped? Do you take those addresses out of the blacklist? There could potentially be some legit traffic from those addresses (like if they're part of a NAT pool with hundreds of hosts behind it), so if you don't go back and take those out, then you're just choking off desired visitors and potential revenue.

    I don't know if this was a targeted attack or just some script kiddies causing havoc on the internet, but sometimes making your IP totally unresponsive will make the script they're running pass over you because it thinks there's nothing (or no longer) there, and will not attack it. (No point in spending resources and attacking something that isn't there). That could buy you some time until you implement a more permanent solution like a firewall with DDOS protection or talk with you ISP to see what can be implemented to mitigate these attacks.

    But many thanks to Greta and her team for working on this. I can totally relate, and it is absolutely no fun. Especially when you have executives breathing down your neck or paid members and advertisers not getting what they rightfully paid for.
    This is exactly right! I was in a similar situation with a MUCH smaller forum, and I took the route of banning huge ranges of IP addresses, blocking off any I could find originating in the country of origin for the attack. Immediately, the huge influx of traffic died down, and life got back to normal (the attack in question was spammers trying to register for accounts, not a full-on DDOS attack) for the other moderators and me, with only a few "bad apples" that needed to be rejected.

    And then time passed, and the users of the IP addresses changed, and I started getting inundated with "why did you block my IP address, when I've never even VISITED this site before" emails. Eventually, I had to go manually UN-ban all those addresses that I had manually banned.

    So Greta, from someone who has a TINY FRACTION of understanding for what you go through for this board, thank you for all you do, and for putting up with us, including when we offer suggestions that make so much sense to us, whether they apply to CPF or not.
    Owner of the first full-on beamshot of The Beast II! (See avatar)

  23. #23
    Administrator Greta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Thanks to those who have offered "input". I understand you are simply trying to help by offering your knowledge and experiences. I'll admit though that I get a little bit miffed with assumptions and implications that I don't know what I'm doing. I've been at this for over 15 years now (with CPF) and I can honestly say this ain't my first rodeo. It's easy to sit there in your armchair and offer opinions. Not so easy to actually be on this side having to work through it. Give it a try sometime... then take a seat please.

    As an update: The server is holding steady right now and I'm going to leave it be for a couple of days. Then I will go back and make (un-make?) some adjustments. There is really no win/win here and that is unfortunate. The best I can do is what is best for the regular members who support this site.

    (P.S. - Kris... this post is not aimed at you )

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* PapaLumen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Forum is flying today. Thanks for your efforts Greta.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Got Lumens?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Greta View Post
    The reason there are so few members listed on line is because I reduced the "idle" time on the site from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. What this does is it breaks the connection to the server quicker so it boots the Guests off quicker. I'll readjust it again once we get this straightened out.
    Just a reminder to members. When writing long posts hitting preview post ~5min will help prevent losing your post composition.
    In the past I have lost writings due to the internet. I usually copy what I've written before hitting preview/post buttons.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by WarriorOfLight View Post
    For me the forum is also nearly not usable. "https" is mostly not working, I get errors regarding site security problems on IE, Edge and FF. Changing it to http let at least mostly make if possible to read the threads...
    All of this issues are gone Thanks a lot!
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    seems to work ok now ? really those that are doing this are complete jerks.. what will they gain from this ???

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    CPF is back!!! Thank you Greta!!! =D
    But February made me shiver
    with every paper I delivered.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    John 3:16

  30. #30
    kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recent Site Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops942 View Post
    This is exactly right! I was in a similar situation with a MUCH smaller forum, and I took the route of banning huge ranges of IP addresses, blocking off any I could find originating in the country of origin for the attack. Immediately, the huge influx of traffic died down, and life got back to normal (the attack in question was spammers trying to register for accounts, not a full-on DDOS attack) for the other moderators and me, with only a few "bad apples" that needed to be rejected.

    And then time passed, and the users of the IP addresses changed, and I started getting inundated with "why did you block my IP address, when I've never even VISITED this site before" emails. Eventually, I had to go manually UN-ban all those addresses that I had manually banned.
    I went through a similar problem on a small forum that I help moderate and got to the point that I was having to delete threads and ban about 40 users a day before the owner finally did something that stopped all of it, but still seems to let new users join. Whew, hope I never have to deal with that again.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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