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Hackers 'destroy' flight sim site

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    Hackers 'destroy' flight sim site

    How is this possible?


    Flight simulator site Avsim has been "destroyed" by malicious hackers.

    The site, which launched in 1996, covered all aspects of flight simulation, although its main focus was on Microsoft's Flight Simulator.

    The attack took down the site's two servers and the owners had not established an external backup system.

    The site's founder, Tom Allensworth, said that the site would be down for the foreseeable future and was unsure if would ever go back up.

    "The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from," Mr Allensworth said in a statement.

    "AVSIM is totally offline at this time and we expect to be so for some time to come. We are not able to predict when we will be back online, if we can come back at all. "


    The attack has shocked the flight sim community, with hundreds of blogs, posts and tweets. One user on the simflight.com website said that "there's a special place in hell for hackers who pull stunts like this".

    Speaking to the BBC, Derek Davis, editor of PC Pilot magazine, said: "It looks like 13 years of hard work on Tom's part could have been wiped out.

    "Avsim is an important site, because it services the whole community as a source of community developed terrains, skins, and mods - its contribution has been immeasurable," he said.

    Mr Allensworth has set up a temporary forum for Avsim users while the future of the site is decided.

    On it, he explained the site's backing-up process, although he did not explain why the firm had no external media storage.

    "Some have asked whether or not we had back-ups. Yes, we dutifully backed up our servers every day. Unfortunately, we backed up the servers between our two servers.

    "The hacker took out both servers, destroying our ability to use one or the other back-up to remedy the situation."

    Mr Davis said he thought the site still had a future: "I'm sure Avsim will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and will be bigger and better than before."


    Exploit a known security hole in a poorly patched web server to gain root access to the box it runs on. Wipe the box with it's own OS commands.

    Sounds like the guy was hosting it himself so it was probably poorly maintained in terms of security patching and configuration. Not having backups on removable media is asking for trouble but you can unserstamd why a non techie would think it was a good idea.

    The actual hack was Vandalism, pure and simple.
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.


      That is very sad news - must be pretty devastating to the site owner and users. Hopefully he'll learn a few lessons from the experience though.

      Whoever is responsble for the attack is a complete tosser.
      Where are we going? And what’s with this hand basket?


        More info from the owner: http://linux.myalbemarle.org/forums/....php?f=32&t=10

        I've also heard that they recently had a falling-out with a Technical Admin - the guy nicked their member list and spammed everybody, so they gave him the boot. Of course this could just be coincidence...