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Forum - December 2005

What happened?!?

As some of you may know: on Monday, December 12 the server hosting the AnimeSuki forum was hacked. In the first attack all the forum scripts were removed. This would have been easy to fix. Unfortunately the server was not taken offline in time and a second attack occurred, resulting in more fundamental damage. Luckily, however, the server was taken offline before any subsequent attacks could be made.

Why was the forum down for so long?

Once hacked, a server cannot be trusted anymore so it must be cleared completely and reinstalled. After this the plan was, of course, to restore from backups maintained on a remote backup server. Unfortunately it appears those backups were corrupted in the attacks as well. Sadly the most recent usable backup dates back to January 2005. Ancient by Internet standards. As a result it has taken longer than expected to recover the server to its current state.

What has been done?

Although there is much we can't recover, over the past few days we've tried to bring the forum back to a state that should look familiar to you. Rather than start completely from scratch we have decided to use the January backup, it is better than nothing after all! In this process we have attempted to recover as many threads and posts as possible using whatever resources are available. It is a slow and on-going process that you will be able to help with (see below).

Please be assured we have taken these problem seriously and that, once the forum is back on its feet, we will have a new more robust backup policy in place to ensure that this cannot happen again.

What does this mean for me?

What this means to you as a user depends on how you used your account in 2005. All users will find that:
  • Threads and posts they made in 2005 are now lost.
  • Private messages sent or received in 2005 are now lost.
  • Reputation points given or received in 2005 are now lost.
  • Avatars and profile pictures are missing.
    The images were corrupted due to a vBulletin bug that can only be fixed before doing the backup, which means... no way to fix it now.
  • E-Mail addresses, passwords, signatures, and any other account details have been reset to January 2005.
Unfortunately we are unable to recover user accounts created after the backup date. We're very sorry about these problems, but at the moment it doesn't look like there is much we can do about it.

As you browse the forum you will notice that some of your posts or threads have been "recovered" (though not to their original state) from Internet archives and search engine caches. Where available these can be found in the Recovery Posts.

What do I need to do next...

I joined before January 2005 and I can remember my login details...

Users that joined before the last backup, who remember their user name and password from that time, will be able to log in as normal.

I joined before January 2005 but I do not remember my login details...

Users that joined before the last backup, but do not remember their password can use the forum's password recovery system. If you are unable to recover your password using this system, because your email address has changed and you no longer have access to it or because you changed your user name and don't remember the original, please contact one of the Administrators who will help you. Once your password is recovered you can login as normal.

I joined after January 2005...

Regrettably, all users that joined the forum after the last backup will need to re-register. If you find your user name has been taken, please register using another for the time being. Problems or conflicts with user names will be addressed by the Administrators on a case by case basis.

How can I help rebuild the forum?

If you find a thread that is missing a great deal of content, or you can't find the thread at all, you could help us by trying to restore it! Obviously some threads are not really worth restoring, however, there are a number of very useful and valuable threads and posts that we've not been able to recover that we really want back!

If you think you remember one but can't find it, consider checking the search engines that have public cached copies of pages, such as Google, Yahoo or GigaBlast. These will allow you to see the state of the forum "a little while ago" so you can check if there's anything that can be recovered. We assume that now the forum is live again, the cache will soon be unavailable as it is updated with "newer" versions. Anything you can find in the following days will be helpful.

Using the cached links...

  • Enter the full URL of a forum or a thread into the search engine and search.
  • If you get a direct hit with Google, you will see a "Google's cache" link, if you get a set of results look for the relevant thread and click the "Cached" link for Google and Yahoo or the "[archived copy]" link for GigaBlast.
  • Use the cached copy to make a recovery post.
  • If you get nothing, try searching using the threads title or keywords.
  • If you still get nothing the thread / post is probably lost forever...
If you have created a help thread that is now missing please check to see if you have a copy of it. A number of people who have helped maintain AnimeSuki's help threads over the year keep copies -- if you have one please help us by recreating it.

A Final Word from The Staff

To all our loyal forum visitors,

First we want to say thank you, everyone, for your contributions to the forum this year past. Though some of them are lost, they won't be forgotten*! Seriously though, we realize that losing so many valuable threads and posts probably seems really disheartening to you, believe us we feel the same!

Never-the-less, we've come back from almost complete loss before (maybe even worse than this?) and we'll sure do it again. We're pretty confident that within a few weeks, with your contributions, the forum will be back to its normal lively self ^_^.

With heartfelt thanks,
~ The Moderators and Administrators of the Animesuki Forum

* - Hopefully ^^;


If you want to comment on the state of the forum, or have questions, please post them in this thread.
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