Author Topic: The hack of the TBG website  (Read 642 times)

Ari Altman

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The hack of the TBG website
« on: May 29, 2018, 01:21:12 PM »
An important note from TBG to our loyal readers:

The main Tech Buyer's Guru website (which collects no user information) was hacked and taken over briefly during the Memorial Day weekend. We have since restored functionality, but do keep in mind that it costs a lot to run a website in this day and age, so please use our affiliate links whenever you shop at Amazon! That's the only thing that will keep this site running!

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 10:06:52 AM »
Sad news: The Tech Buyer's Guru website was hit by the widespread Drupalgeddon2 hack, which has forced us to take the site offline. Please help support TBG by using this Amazon affiliate link!

J35Bowman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 06:56:16 PM »
Yet another reason to hate cryptocurrency.

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 07:47:52 PM »
Yet another reason to hate cryptocurrency.

Yes, indeed.  If people need proof that cryptocurrency mining is at the root of significant illegal activity, this is it.

Sort of ironic that cryptocurrency, which led to drastically reduced PC sales in the first quarter of the year, may lead to the demise of this PC- focused website. At minimum, it's going to lead to thousands of dollars in expenses and lost revenue.

Abowman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 08:57:21 AM »
Ridiculous what people will do to try and mine. Cryptocurrency mining seems to just be out of control.

Side note, does TBG take donations i.e. paypal or other? Or is using Amazon links the best way to support you?

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 10:31:24 AM »
Ridiculous what people will do to try and mine. Cryptocurrency mining seems to just be out of control.

Side note, does TBG take donations i.e. paypal or other? Or is using Amazon links the best way to support you?

Yeah, unfortunately, the hack took complete control of the server that TBG is hosted on, bringing down multiple unrelated sites until TBG was disabled. Servers are a great target for crypto hackers given the enormous computing power they have.

TBG typically doesn't take donations in exchange for its publications, but did accept donations last year to support the holiday prize drawing. TBG has a Paypal account at theguru@techbuyersguru.com. If you felt compelled to donate, it will go to good use.

As an FYI, the developer expenses for cleaning and rebuilding the site will be at least $1,500, and could be much more. They may in fact approach how much it cost to launch the site in the first place.  :(

The worst part of all of this is that EVERY site that used Drupal for its content management system was likely infected, as the hacks took place before wide news coverage of the hack. I am personally shocked that Drupal did not send out notices to websites that used its software, and rather chose to announce the vulnerability in a press release, which was first picked up by HACKERS! A month later, Drupal published this dismissive primer on what to do about your hacked Drupal site, with the primary suggestion being that you scrap the site.

This was all totally irresponsible. 9% of all websites in the world use Drupal, amounting to over 1 million sites. And the patch is not simple - a developer has to get involved, it's not like patching Windows with the latest Tuesday update....

Alas, this is what you get with open source software. If TBG makes it to the year 2020, it will be on licensed, supported software.

dmg

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 09:39:29 PM »
Just want to thank you for the great site, and the best one for a DIY PC gaming build. I did the $3500 build using the links you provided. I ended up buying on the Saturday prior to the attack, but glad I got them when I did.. I noticed the video card went up around $150  the next day I bought mine! Good timing.
I haven't gamed in so long, only the old school games. Look forward to the setup. Not sure what else I need for my pc, like a sound card?   But hope to get peripherals and monitor next as well as a console.

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 10:03:11 PM »
Just want to thank you for the great site, and the best one for a DIY PC gaming build. I did the $3500 build using the links you provided. I ended up buying on the Saturday prior to the attack, but glad I got them when I did.. I noticed the video card went up around $150  the next day I bought mine! Good timing.
I haven't gamed in so long, only the old school games. Look forward to the setup. Not sure what else I need for my pc, like a sound card?   But hope to get peripherals and monitor next as well as a console.

Welcome to the TBG Forum, dmg!

Thanks for checking out the $3,500 guide and purchasing your build through the links! Things have been a bit rough here for the past few days, but we're getting it back up and running as we speak (type).

You know, the GTX 1080 Ti is fluctuating in price day by day. It can go from $750 to $1,000 in the blink of an eye. That's pretty odd for sure, but it's a sign that the market is attempting to reset itself after they cryptocurrency mining craze, and it's taking some time.

You won't need a sound card, as that's built right into the motherboard, but you may want some updated peripherals. Check out the peripherals buyer's guide. If you need a new headset or speakers, you can check out the buyer's guide for that too.

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 11:24:18 PM »
Ridiculous what people will do to try and mine. Cryptocurrency mining seems to just be out of control.

Side note, does TBG take donations i.e. paypal or other? Or is using Amazon links the best way to support you?

OK, I'm in a much better mood now, thanks to a seriously-skilled developer who took the site from zero to full speed in all of a few hours.

You know what that means? No need for donations - we dodged a bullet this time!

Reyort

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 01:09:54 PM »
When I click the links on my mobile device, it takes me right back to the home page.

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 01:18:05 PM »
When I click the links on my mobile device, it takes me right back to the home page.

Thanks for the feedback. Are you referring to article links or Amazon links? The hack actually redirected all traffic to the homepage for a day. It could be that your mobile device has cache from that day. Try clearing cache if it persists.

This has definitely been a learning experience, and from now on TBG will need to have developers on retainer to immediately address issues.

Reyort

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 06:32:35 PM »
Clearing the cache worked.

On a different note, I updated my network with parts from your networking guide.  It was a cinch.

Thanks again for all you do.

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 09:12:22 PM »
Clearing the cache worked.

On a different note, I updated my network with parts from your networking guide.  It was a cinch.

Thanks again for all you do.

Awesome, great to hear, Reyort! What products did you go with?

Reyort

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 11:24:37 AM »
I went with the cm700 and the TP AC1900.  Took all of 10 minutes to set up.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 02:43:57 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The hack of the TBG website
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 08:07:50 AM »
I went with the cm700 and the TP AC1900.  Took all of 10 minutes to set up.

Good choices, Reyort!

By the way, I wanted to share with readers the latest article showing just how serious the Drupalgeddon2 web hack was that hit TBG. ArsTechnica reports that two months after the vulnerability was revealed, over 115,000 sites remain wide open to attack, of the 1/2 million initially exposed due to the hack. Some of the hacked sites included USC, Harvard, and various local courts. And the hack actually can do damage to users' computers by forcing them to mine cryptocurrency (along with the servers they're hosted on), or infecting them with malware. Because TBG was taken off the web within hours of the hack becoming active, we think risk to readers was kept to a minimum.

Folks, this was a very costly issue for websites all over the world, and it's another reminder that good content doesn't come for free, so do all you can to support your favorite sites!

Ironically, many of the comments to the article suggest that the only safe way to browse the web is with adblockers, which is exactly why so many sites can't afford to produce content or update their security anymore! Expect the WWW to continue shrinking as websites are eventually completely replaced by walled-garden social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 08:11:55 AM by Ari Altman »