Forum Security

  griffo 13:34 05 Sep 2006

I am a member of a small 'private' forum (to do with a hobby, nothing shady!) but it contains certain sensitive information. We have a 'slight' suspicion that it may be being accessed somehow by unauthorised people.

Is it possible to 'hack' into private forums and are there measures that can be taken to reduce the risks?

  €dstowe 13:45 05 Sep 2006

I wouldn't trust anything to be private on the Internet.

Whatever it is someone, somewhere, will find a way to hack into it.

If the US military can have their systems broken into (as per the case a few weeks ago) what chance do you think you have with a forum?

I still use a motorcycle courier for transporting sensitive documents from my studio to wherever they need to go, even though it would be much more simple by email.

A legal case I was an expert witness in a few weeks ago had all the documents delivered and collected by courier even though ordinary messages were by email.

So, the answer to "are there measures that can be taken to reduce the risks?" is don't use the Internet if you want security.

  woodchip 13:46 05 Sep 2006

If they can Hack Microsoft and Banks, What chance of stopping them do you think you have.

  Kate B 14:29 05 Sep 2006

Generally private forums are hacked by people who guess passwords. Which provider are you using? If it's proboards, the support board is very good there.

Double-check all your passwords, make sure they're unguessable and change them if necessary. Email the new one to members one at a time and see if you've got a leak. I'm an admin on a small private board and we thought we'd been hacked - we hadn't. We had a leak that we plugged by elimination.

  griffo 14:40 05 Sep 2006

Thanks to each of you. I realise that nothing is foolproof, I think the best we can do is take reasonable precautions. If you have any other suggestions apart from passwords (which we will take another look at), they will be most welcome.


  €dstowe 15:35 05 Sep 2006

Whatever you do, don't put anything in code.

If, by any chance you are hacked and the hacker finds coded material there, he'll (she'll) tell all friends about it and they will consider it an intellectual exercise to try and crack the code - you will then have a bigger problem than not doing anything at all.

  griffo 16:07 05 Sep 2006

Sound advice £dstowe, thanks.

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