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Not sure if we are allowed to post about things like this.  I mean this to be a respectful post.

 

I never play on Sanctuary, I have only ever played on Homecoming.  Then went to WoW last April until Oct.  

 

I am greatly saddened by this news.  Evidently they were hacked repeatedly.  That is all I know.  they chose to shut down because the ongoing damage and chaos was too great evidently.

 

I know there are elite gamers and 1337 trickstahs in our community who probably know way more about it than this thick old Brute.

 

Still want to get the word out.  /em holdtorch in solidarity.  

 

Also, if any of you 1337s can track down the gangsters and give them what for....thanks and props.

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Sorry to hear a fellow emulator has fallen. 

 

What on earth would attract hackers to a low-population (presumably), greatly-outdated game?  The rewards would seem minuscule compared to other targets.  Too bad a situation like that couldn't be turned on its ear with law enforcement using the game as a hacker honeypot.

 

Those that played Sanctuary: did they have any unique advancements that would benefit other emulators?  Might be a silver lining legacy to come from it, if the others could agree on a share arrangement for anything unique.

 

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Beyond the great sadness at fellow gamers being griefed I think it is important for us all to be aware.  To do what we can, even if it is just to stay informed.

 

First they came for someone in the neighborhood.  i did nothing.  Then for someone on my street.  i did nothing.  Then my next door neighbor.  I didnt know what to do.  Now they are here for me....

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They had some new AT frameworks they were working on that were mostly playable (they didn't all have ATOs yet but usually had fully functional powers and inherents) such as the Enforcer and Paladin which were out (there were more being made or in testing) as well as a few power sets like poison and earth blasts, earth manipulation, illusion armor and several others.

They'd also gotten some old ones whose origins I'm less clear about, like the patron master, working pretty well, and were in the process of reworking the freakshow one too.

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There are some theories about who was behind the hacking/ brute-force of their server. I'm not going to go into details here, but apparently the security around their server was pretty weak. The other servers have suffered similar attacks, but have additional security and redundancy to prevent a complete shutdown.

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Excelsior Server: Giovanni Valia, Operative Velez, Fortunata Valeri, LongFang Mercer

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From what I understand, they may eventually do a complete reboot and start over with a brand new server.  But honestly, if their server security was that bad, not sure that I would bother spending time playing on it if they do.

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I said what I had to say about this on the CoH Survivors Facebook page. I don't want to repeat it here since it is violent and expresses acts of violence in a past tense. Let me just say this was an action taken by complete and utter cowards. They can't lash out at people in real life for fear of real life consequences...so they do it online where they can be nice and safe from retaliation. Nothing but a bunch of (enter cuss word here).

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I've interacted with members of the dev team over at Sanctuary a few times and have nothing but positive things to say. They're good people dedicated to the community, and they're also a team that believes in giving back to the larger City of Heroes playerbase by making their creations public. A few of their unique creations are available for download for other servers, and it was by picking apart their powersets that I was able to start working on my own. A member of their team even responded to my private messages and walked me through creating a powerset step by step.  

 

Any time bad things happen to good people I think that's a tragedy. I don't know enough about database security to know what the industry standards are. But these folks just wanted to share something positive with the world and it sucks that someone had to ruin it.

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15 hours ago, Solarverse said:

I said what I had to say about this on the CoH Survivors Facebook page. I don't want to repeat it here since it is violent and expresses acts of violence in a past tense. Let me just say this was an action taken by complete and utter cowards. They can't lash out at people in real life for fear of real life consequences...so they do it online where they can be nice and safe from retaliation. Nothing but a bunch of (enter cuss word here).

 

For those of you who were looking for the comment, you wont find it anymore, it was reported and I was banned from the group over my comment. End of story.

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6 hours ago, Solarverse said:

 

For those of you who were looking for the comment, you wont find it anymore, it was reported and I was banned from the group over my comment. End of story.

I stepped on egg shells writing my first post here.  I was soooo careful because this issue brings up all the anger (and fear) of losing the game.  There is a part of our community going through that again.  Any time stuff this charged comes up I have to avoid rhetoric and stay hyper focused.

 

I am sorry about your facebook group status.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Solarverse said:

 


You are a better man than me if you could have kept that to yourself instead of doing what I did. From the sounds of it, you are a far better man than I. I wish I had your self control.

Thank you.  But no.  At heart I am a Rogue, at best.  Not even a Vigilante.  Definitely not a Hero.  I spent quite some time working on my anti social behavior, the reasons for it, the consequences, and better responses with a great group of people.  But my initial reaction, despite all that training, is.....not socially acceptable. 

 

Being behind a screen can take the filter off for most of us.  One of the reasons I post so much is to continue to work on my social skills, communication, and staying part of a community instead of someone dropping verbal bricks lol.  But my initial feeling is almost always to reach for a brick.  Many times I look down and there is a brick in my hand and I did not even think about picking it up.  So....I edit a lot 🙂 

 

Glad you are okay.  The best thing we can do is support each other.  I even feel some empathy for the idiots who hacked that server.  I have no knowledge of the technical circumstances. In my mind there is an equal chance it is some punk duping rares rather than some random troll griefing that caused the entire mess.  Can you imagine how awful that person must feel to know they have screwed people they gamed with over that badly?  

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35 minutes ago, Snarky said:

Thank you.  But no.  At heart I am a Rogue, at best.  Not even a Vigilante.  Definitely not a Hero.  I spent quite some time working on my anti social behavior, the reasons for it, the consequences, and better responses with a great group of people.  But my initial reaction, despite all that training, is.....not socially acceptable. 

 

Being behind a screen can take the filter off for most of us.  One of the reasons I post so much is to continue to work on my social skills, communication, and staying part of a community instead of someone dropping verbal bricks lol.  But my initial feeling is almost always to reach for a brick.  Many times I look down and there is a brick in my hand and I did not even think about picking it up.  So....I edit a lot 🙂 

 

Glad you are okay.  The best thing we can do is support each other.  I even feel some empathy for the idiots who hacked that server.  I have no knowledge of the technical circumstances. In my mind there is an equal chance it is some punk duping rares rather than some random troll griefing that caused the entire mess.  Can you imagine how awful that person must feel to know they have screwed people they gamed with over that badly?  

 

I hear you on the editing part. I find myself doing the same on heated topics, lol

As far as how bad they felt...I can only hope. Judging from the sounds of the article I read, I highly doubt they felt bad, it almost feels like that was their goal...considering they hammered the system relentlessly for 3 days straight.

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49 minutes ago, Solarverse said:

I wish I had your self control.

 

If you sincerely want it, it's not too late to begin to cultivate it - it takes persistence and time (sometimes a lifetime) but the journey itself is the destination, and it is well worth it.

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9 hours ago, retiarius said:

 

If you sincerely want it, it's not too late to begin to cultivate it - it takes persistence and time (sometimes a lifetime) but the journey itself is the destination, and it is well worth it.

The journey is the destination 🙂 Seriously though, it was hell to learn.  I ate 2 1/2 years of humble pie daily to get as much self control as I have.  And i barely got enough lol.  

 

It is kind of like lifting weights.  It is not about how much you lift.  It is about focus, control, and really taking a boatload of pain.  Then it is a good lift.  Not if you lift X amount.  Training up to the focus, control, and ability to take the pain leads to bigger numbers.  But it is the path, not the destination that is important.

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This is why, my friends joke I'm one of the angriest people they know.  Of course, it's because my cynicism gets justified on a nearly daily basis.   But, being able to play this game again is a nice antidote against cynicism.   So...::::drags huge wall along::::  Where you wanna put this by the servers?

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On 3/13/2021 at 10:13 PM, Techwright said:

What on earth would attract hackers to a low-population (presumably), greatly-outdated game?  The rewards would seem minuscule compared to other targets.

 

The vast majority of 'hacking' attempts are from bots. They don't know what they're targeting, they just look for servers that are running standard protocols like SSH (Secure Socket Shell) or RDP (Remote Desktop) and them spam them with logins trying to get in. I recently set up a tiny server to play Ark with a few friends, and this is what the SSH activity log looks like right now; all of these are failed logins from an unknown source:

 

image.png.142197176e925a35f7015c83f9938f18.png

 

This is for a tiny server that isn't advertised anywhere and has nothing of value, and with SSH running on a nonstandard port (meaning it's slightly harder to find; if SSH was running on the standard port for it, the window would never stop scrolling with login attempts). The bots don't know what it is, they are indiscriminate in their targets; worst case scenario they may be able to add it to a botnet to attack other servers with and mine crypto, best case scenario they run into something actually valuable they can ransom.

 

If you run a server on the Internet, you will see this traffic. It's just the reality of the modern internet; none of this is targeted. You have to expect intrusion attempts, and have a plan to deal with them. The longer you run a server, the more experience you get on how to protect it from these attacks, and eventually this becomes mostly harmless background noise, as long as you stay on top of security vulnerabilities.

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Yep.  Some people deal with it by geoblocking Eastern Europe and Asia (where the majority of bots are from), which cuts down the risk substantially but not eliminates it.

 

1 minute ago, Snarky said:

So they just got run over by street traffic....not even "someone did it?" they just drowned beneath the weight?

 

Entirely possible, and even likely.

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12 minutes ago, Faultline said:

add it to a botnet to attack other servers with and mine crypto

 

Now a days, this is very likely because they're burning through their cards (scalped GPUs) and causing prices to soar due to lack of availability.

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12 minutes ago, Snarky said:

So they just got run over by street traffic....not even "someone did it?" they just drowned beneath the weight?

 

It is the most likely explanation, yes. City of Heroes runs on Windows Server, and there are some very easy blunders you can make when you don't have years of experience managing Windows Servers. For example, an unexperienced server administrator will use Remote Desktop to connect to the server and manage it using just a username and password; this is a terrible idea, even if you have a fantastic username and password, as Remote Desktop has a history of new security vulnerabilities appearing every few months. They only need to get lucky once.

 

Honestly, the best defense against cyber attacks is to assume that you will get hacked at some point, no matter what you do, and have a plan to deal with it. Usually this means having a very robust backup system in place, so even if your server is fully encrypted by ransomware or nuked completely for the lols, you can reinstall on a new server, restore from backups and just lose a few hours at worst. This is useful not just against hackers, but also hardware failures, earthquakes, the datacenter being set on fire, and anything else that can affect your server. Regular backups, stored in a different location ("off site"), using completely different security credentials in case the main set is compromised, and tested regularly to make sure they work when needed. If you run a server and you don't have a very robust backup strategy, you are risking losing everything out of nowhere every single day.

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3 minutes ago, Faultline said:

If you run a server and you don't have a very robust backup strategy, you are risking losing everything out of nowhere every single day.

 

If only every sysadmin in existence followed this train of thought. Glad you're here, Faultline.

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I am once again reminded that dogs are better people than a sizeable chunk of my own species.

I mean, dogs aren't exactly great conversationalists, and I'm sure if I was squirrel, I'd have a very dim view of dogs, too.

 

But man. Kinda stinks that everyone who runs a server just has to assume there will be literally nonstop hacking attemps 24/7/365 by automated code.

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40 minutes ago, Faultline said:

 

It is the most likely explanation, yes. City of Heroes runs on Windows Server, and there are some very easy blunders you can make when you don't have years of experience managing Windows Servers. For example, an unexperienced server administrator will use Remote Desktop to connect to the server and manage it using just a username and password; this is a terrible idea, even if you have a fantastic username and password, as Remote Desktop has a history of new security vulnerabilities appearing every few months. They only need to get lucky once.

 

Honestly, the best defense against cyber attacks is to assume that you will get hacked at some point, no matter what you do, and have a plan to deal with it. Usually this means having a very robust backup system in place, so even if your server is fully encrypted by ransomware or nuked completely for the lols, you can reinstall on a new server, restore from backups and just lose a few hours at worst. This is useful not just against hackers, but also hardware failures, earthquakes, the datacenter being set on fire, and anything else that can affect your server. Regular backups, stored in a different location ("off site"), using completely different security credentials in case the main set is compromised, and tested regularly to make sure they work when needed. If you run a server and you don't have a very robust backup strategy, you are risking losing everything out of nowhere every single day.

Bless you, Faultline for both of your posts here.  I hate to say it, but some of what you said in your first note are things I've never heard from my IT server and IT security teams after 6 years of working with them.  (I'm the low guy on the totem pole: "Techwright" as in Desktop Support, hardware repair, and imaging)   I could wish to be better informed to better help, however small, because I'm part of an IT division for a network of hospitals, and they've been ramping up security ever since the Wannacry hit British hospitals. 

 

I freaked out when I read your Remote Desktop comments because a decade ago I worked for a prominent bank, and was the hands and eyes of the rest of the IT department scattered around the world.  It was standard practice to check the status of our site servers, by having the Desktop Support guy use Remote Desktop to log into them.   I can only imagine how many bullets we dodged, and don't get me started on the condition of the branch network closets when I came onboard.  Ugh.

 

19 minutes ago, MTeague said:

I am once again reminded that dogs are better people than a sizeable chunk of my own species.

I mean, dogs aren't exactly great conversationalists, and I'm sure if I was squirrel, I'd have a very dim view of dogs, too.

 

You must have never owned a beagle.  We owned several in my youth and my neighbors were constantly letting us know how effective our beagles conversation skills were.  😁

 

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