June 2 2005

This is just plain stupidity folks

Some of you may be familiar with the ezboard message board system. For those of you who are not, it is a free service for hosting a message board on your website. It is a network of about 9,000 boards now.

Let me get my personal opinion out of the way…some free things on the net rock (I wub you WordPress), some don’t. Ezboard is a good example of the sucky type.

That being said, the ezboard system was hacked the other day and, it appears, just about every message board got destroyed, along with their backups. Some of the boards are now back up, some had backups dating from May 9th that could be used, but a lot of posts and other items are gone forever.

I am so sorry some folks lost stories they were posting, fun posts they had made or deep conversations they were in. However, I feel NO pity for ezboard. Folks, one of the most basic rules of computing is…YOU DO NOT KEEP YOUR BACKUPS IN THE SAME PLACE AS YOUR ORIGINALS! This applies to your home computers also, but it most assuradly applies to a large network of message boards!

The CEO of ezboard has been trying to cover his behind with a letter he sent out. Let’s laugh together shall we?

1/ The attacker erased all historical post data on all boards and a significant amount of back-up data – the reason we have been able to restore some boards at this time is that we have back up data from the May 9th incremental back-up (we perform back-ups every day, but the attacker deleted many of them). As a result, some board data will be restored, with entries between May 9th and the attack missing. We *may* be able to restore this more recent data from data that we can retrieve from RAM on the servers. The probability of this being successful is not known right now.

If you had non-network connected, or off-site backups, this would not have even been a hiccup you idiot.

7/ New security measures have been put into place to reduce the potential for future attacks,

And what are you doing about backups? Or is it going to be same-ole, same-ole?

What we are doing:

1/ Repairing systems to allow posting on all boards,
2/ Restoring data where possible,
3/ Actions have been taken to close the method the attacker used to gain access to the systems.

And still no mention of a new backup protocal.

Robert Labatt
ezboard, Inc.

Feel free to send him scornful emails.

You know, I do feel bad for the employees who are working to fix this, but honestly folks, the things I am saying about backups are SO basic it is silly. There is a reason for off-site backups. I hate to bring it up, but 9/11 was a perfect example. The financial companies whose offices were destroyed were running again in no time due to….you guessed it….OFF SITE BACKUPS!

If anything good comes out of this, hopefully people will start dumping ezboard (which really is a lackluster system) for other, far superior free message boards out there.

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