2011-05-16 07:31:08Hacking attempt on Sks
John Cook

Got up this morning, checked my email, discovered someone from Beijing, China (going by their IP) is trying to hack SKS. Unfortunately, while traveling, my powers in blocking them are limited. If I can get to a computer with an FTP program, I'll block their IP. I have no idea if they breached my defences though :-(

Moral of the story - make my list of banned IPs data driven rather than hard coded into a PHP script. Makes it easier to add an IP via the web.

2011-05-16 09:34:18
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Is it a user I can ban for you?

2011-05-16 12:54:19
Glenn Tamblyn


Not good.


But equally, This is a back-handed sort of recognition. Someone thinks we are worth hacking.

2011-05-16 13:37:05
Julian Brimelow

Any updates?  This sucks, any idea what they were after?

2011-05-16 15:29:05
Rob Painting

How are they going to hack the climate?

2011-05-16 17:18:07
Paul D


I thought there was a problem.

I had difficulty trying to access SKS at the weekend, although later I had problems accessing the internet in general.

2011-05-16 18:51:46


Perhaps security should be given some more thought - just think about the antiscience spin access to the internal forum at SkS would create!

I would first of all advise not to log in to SkS internal forum on unsecure networks (wireless) - there might be other mesures as well - good password security is important, also physical protection of individual computers (what if your computer is stolen).

Login from unknown IP addresses could perhaps be restricted in some way - a security question could be asked if you log in from a new IP-address.

2011-05-16 20:04:55
Paul D


I'm 'wired' I stubbornly refuse to go wireless.

Is there a way of changing SKS passwords?

From my own experience, hackers usually get in using weaknesses in the code on the server (PHP). I had a Wordpress site hacked at the weekend, which took a day to sort out. They do tend to target the free off the shelf packages like Wordpress and Joomla, because they are used widely so the pay back is higher for them.

2011-05-16 22:14:12


We should have a thorough discussion on security issues once John is back on-line.

Incidentally, this is not the first time SkS has been hacked: I recall there was an event a couple of years ago. Some precautions were taken thereafter, but I'm not familiar with the details. I think dana was involved?

2011-05-17 00:32:58
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Neal, I think Doug Bostrom was the one to help JC solidify his PHP and overall security at that time.

2011-05-17 01:53:48
Dana Nuccitelli

I think dana was involved?

Nah, I know diddly squat about security.  Might have been Doug, as Daniel suggests.