Our apologies for the inconveniences, sluggish performance and connection errors of late. As well as trying to redesign the site so it is fully “mobile friendly” to comply with Google’ new rules, we have also been working on extracting the Forums from the old vBulletin system.
In the midst of all that, the site has been under contant attack from some very skilled hackers. In the latest round, they had somehow gained shell access and were running dozens of scripts from the GT-Rider VPS server. This was consuming much of the server’s resources and crippling the site’s performance.
The source of the shell hacking appears to be Indonesia, according to the server logs. We can never be 100% sure, but a particular IP Address from that region was associated with a lot of inappropriate activity.
That activity intensified last night as we were trying to switch to the new version of WordPress and provide access to the converted forums. Hostgator Tech Support determined the cause of the server issues and were working on resolving those for us.
That process was very disappointing and we were left with no option but to switch hosting companies. The site was relocated to Arvixe.com on a high-spec VPS server: 3Gb RAM, 8 CPU Cores & 100Gb of disk space!
When the switchover from vBulletin forums to bbPress was made on 15th July, we were hit several hours later by a “Brute Force Login” attack. That was sustained for a number of hours and the traffic eventually overwhelmed the server’s ability to repond.
The source of those attacks cannot be determined, the logins were coming from hundreds of different IP Address scattered around the world.
The following day (16th July) was long and site access was disrupted several times. Arvixe.com Tech Support were forced to “suspend” the GT-Rider.com domain several times in order to get anything done at all on the VPS. They installed the very fast “Litespeed” Web Server software in place of Apache to cope with the high traffic load.
At the same time, we implemented the Cloudflare firewall system which is designed to:
At this point the new VPS server seem to be coping with traffic flows and everything appears to be working correctly.
Again, we apologise for the disruptions and inconvenience to GT-R members. When we commenced the process of upgrading software, we had not bargained on also having to deal with;
From this point onwards, we hope that the bad guys will have a much harder time making a dent in the site’s performance.
Nice work in the ongoing slog
Unfortunately our hosting company Hostgator – ranked at #3 for Best VPS Hosting in a recent PCMag review of VPS server providers – have continued to disappoint us. Technical Support service is appalling – a week for a response to a Support Ticket is the norm of late.
After waiting 24 hours after lodging an urgent message with their Live Help system, we’ve again received no response. We’ve reached the conclusion that it would be faster to CHANGE hosting than wait for help!
Now initiating full site migration to Arvixe – ranking #1 in that PCMag review…
Very glad to see the site back up and running. Many thanks for all the hard work this took.
We are up & running again; & securely we believe despite the malicious hacking attempts over the last couple of weeks.
A big thank you for everyone’s patience & understanding; plus all the feedback we have received.
For GTR banner sponsors we would like to show our appreciation by giving each of you another 6 weeks free for your banner
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Great work David… I know the energy that you have put in keeping GTR on top of the pack. Thank you for providing this great platform to us. As for the would be squatters, we can only hope that they are discouraged by the protection and redirect their energy to something more productive for the community.
Great new site – well worth the wait.
As Jurgen says, it is sad that some peoples pc skills can’t be used for something more constructive and helpful.
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