DPF "State of The Forum" - April 2021

Cicada

Administrator
Staff member
DPF Administrator
Rating - 100%
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Hey there DPF'ers —

As many may know, the site was hacked early on 4/1/2021; this isn't the first time it has happened; in ~2015(?) the site was the target of Syrian hacktivists, which — fun story — earned me a visit by the FBI for questioning. In that instance the hackers merely defaced the site and it was restored fairly quickly. In this most recent hack, it seems like we may have lost about a few months' worth of posts in certain forums, and I do not have any current backups of the forum database. The backups provided by our host didn't seem to do any good. My apologies for the inconvenience, but as of now, I don't know when or if the posts will be restored — but we will rebuild!

You might notice the forum looks and feels different — I did spend some significant time and some extra money to update the forum software to the newest version, and the license will last through 2022. Many functions and modifications from the previous "version" of DPF will need to be restored, or alternatives will need to be found, so bear with me during the rebuild.

(Report any issues in this thread: https://www.disneypinforum.com/threads/dpf-3-0-issues-thread.75157/#post-1071741 or report them to the mod team, and I will try to fix any issues from the upgrade as soon as possible.)

I’d like to thank the remaining members that are still active here, as many trading activities have moved to social media platforms over the years. The posts you’ve all made here contain useful information for people new (or even veterans) to the hobby, and your knowledge no doubt contributes greatly to the community. I encourage everyone to continue sharing their knowledge.

This forum started in 2009 (wow; that long ago?) as a fun personal project — with DizPins going away, we saw the need for another message board for that community to migrate to — many forums popped up during that time, but I’d like to think our community simmered to the top as the best at the time, due to the efforts of our members and their suggestions in making the place their new “home”.

So while we’re essentially starting from (not quite) scratch, it gives us an opportunity to rebuild our home — only better. So I’d like to solicit everyone’s opinion(s) on the state of the forum in the last few years (use this thread as a soapbox if need be) — sort of a virtual (public) comment box. Some ideas:

  • what are your suggestions for making the forum better? (More mods? The addition of some specific forums? etc..)
  • Any features you’d like to see added?
  • What features did you like/dislike in previous iterations of DPF?
  • What does DPF need? Can we grow it or increase activity?
I will take it all into consideration when focusing on areas of the site during the rebuild. I would still like to have a reasonable subscription to enable some additional features (yet to be determined, but maybe we'll figure it out in this thread), that would go a long way toward helping server costs.

Finally, a VERY special thank you to @dancecats and @starry_solo for keeping the day to day here in line; I no longer collect or trade any pins (and have not in many years), so i really only hear and take care of the technical issues nowadays.

Donations:

If you'd like to donate and help us get some more additions to the forum, we will gladly continue to accept donations for supporting the forum :) — We do very much still need help with the ongoing server costs, as those are to the tune of $100-200 monthly depending on activity, and sometimes it can be difficult to maintain the cost(s).

You can use this url for direct paypal donations: PayPal.Me

You can also support me and the forum by updating your
Amazon homepage link to point to my affiliate link, or by purchasing by using any Amazon links people post around DPF. Using my links cost you nothing extra, and helps support the forum!
 

rik1138

Active DPF Member
Rating - 100%
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Interesting that the main discussion sub-forum seems to have lost exactly all the posts made during the pandemic... March 18th of last year is the last post...
I guess the marketplace threads did a little better, but most of the rest of the forum seems to have lost a little more than a years worth of posts.
Unless recovery attempts are still ongoing?
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
Rating - 100%
30   0   0
Hi! We are changing our Amazon bookmarks to your link now! Thanks for all the hard work! We've sure missed the forum! Sis and I really understand how much time and work go in to the forum stuff you've just had to do and we appreciate it! Guess we have to start re-posting now so that we can rebuild the forum!
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
Rating - 100%
30   0   0
Just something small to see if it could be set . . . anyway to have the Recent Posts show a few more than 3? I think it used to show 12 and it was really nice. But, no sweat either way! :)
 

GroguFan

previously known as BingandNelsonFan
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Yay! Sis and I have been watching every day in hopes the forum would get back up and running. And yes, we've changed our Amazon links to the one above. Now it's time to start posting again. :) Thanks so much for all of your hard work. I've spent the last four months doing this same sort of updating to two other forums, and it's a lot of time and concentration. Yours is very appreciated!

Perhaps there's a way to send out a mass mailing announcing the fact that the forum is back up and running, and explaining all the above to encourage everyone to come back and get posting. :)
 
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coblj003

DPF Charter Member
DPF Correspondent
Rating - 100%
44   0   1
Thank you Cicada for all that you do. I know that things are bare-bones and everything but a couple of initial notes...
*References and feedback is missing
*Chat is missing but with the advent of groupme/discord not necessarily needed to cut down on forum costs.
*Latest Conversations in their inbox may be missing but may be backed up on the members email/tapatalk notifications.
 
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*Firefly*

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
41   0   0
Glad the site is back, weird what was lost and what wasn't, and I can't say I've heard of many hacks where they deleted data vs. stealing it. Interesting too that the entire mail days thread is gone considering how old it was compared to what survived in that section.

Any idea if user ratings were saved and can be restored?
 

slbrabham

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
89   0   0
question to anyone

Has anyone tried to create a thread in the For Trade or For Se section in the Marketplace? It says I don’t have privileges. I wanted to play around with it and couldn’t.
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
Rating - 100%
30   0   0
question to anyone

Has anyone tried to create a thread in the For Trade or For Se section in the Marketplace? It says I don’t have privileges. I wanted to play around with it and couldn’t.

I want to start up the open trading mystery series threads, but there is an issue with permissions in the Marketplace section. It isn't only you! :)
 

noone

Active DPF Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Hmm, Anything goes section is missing all of 2019, 2020 and 2021 posts. :eeyore: but glad to see that the disney emoji's survived :) Off to look at the rest of the forum.

PS - what is reaction score and points about?
PPS - thrilled all my pm's survived :tigger:

UPS - may i assume we all need to change our passwords after the hack?
 
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Cicada

Administrator
Staff member
DPF Administrator
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Interesting that the main discussion sub-forum seems to have lost exactly all the posts made during the pandemic... March 18th of last year is the last post...
I guess the marketplace threads did a little better, but most of the rest of the forum seems to have lost a little more than a years worth of posts.
Unless recovery attempts are still ongoing?
I’m attempting to get some sort of recovery, but it seems like my daily backup jobs stopped running (for some reason or another) — in 2019 :( and I was unaware of it.

there are database backups from the host, but as mentioned, this did not seem to have accomplished anything :(
 

Pinfun

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
Interesting that the main discussion sub-forum seems to have lost exactly all the posts made during the pandemic... March 18th of last year is the last post...
I guess the marketplace threads did a little better, but most of the rest of the forum seems to have lost a little more than a years worth of posts.
Unless recovery attempts are still ongoing?
Well that just means the last year was just a bad dream and the pandemic is over, right?
 

Cicada

Administrator
Staff member
DPF Administrator
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Glad the site is back, weird what was lost and what wasn't, and I can't say I've heard of many hacks where they deleted data vs. stealing it. Interesting too that the entire mail days thread is gone considering how old it was compared to what survived in that section.

Any idea if user ratings were saved and can be restored?
A lot of the modifications from the previous version will need to be restored or replaced with newer versions, and some aren’t available. I’ll need to take a look at what we had, and worst case, when user feedback comes back, I can try to manually pore through any old backups from our host to see if I can retrieve the feedback data, or — if you remember your feedback score, I should be able to manually change it (honor system!)

and yes — very curious that they only seemed to delete posts randomly. My guess is it was a kid who found an exploit/vulnerability for the version of forum software (or perhaps in one of the forum modifications/add-ons) we were previously running, and just went through randomly deleting stuff manually.

the person attempted to hold the forum hostage for a $1000 ransom and basically had access to some inactive moderator accounts, but it doesn’t seem they had much more access than that.

I mention “manually” because it seems they had access to the accounts for at least 4-6 hours before our smod/admin @starry_solo or @dancecats banned all the other mod accounts, and may have given up on trying to cause more damage when there was no response from the mods/admins in their “ransom post” in the private Moderators forum.
 
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