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Andy Walker

New Security settings

Recommended Posts

In response to our well documented denial of service problems last week I made adjustments to the security settings on the Education Forum (see below)

Security Update

On the advice of IPB I have made some changes to security settings for the forum. They are outlined below - please feedback if they are causing you problems

Basically, the forum sets various 'cookies' each time a person visits a site, this helps us keep track of who the person is, lets them come back to the fourm without logging in again, etc. Generally, the 'bots' that attack sites cannot accept cookies, so what I have tried to do is set it up so that you cannot access the forum unless you can accept cookies. If you cannot it will take you to a simple page which takes up next to no bandwidth saying your browser must accept cookies www.some.org/some.html

If you have an old browser that doesn't accept cookies you may experience some problems.

Two members and have expressed the concern to me that the new settings make the forum very difficult to navigate. I believe others have reported the same problem to John. What I'd like to know if whether this is a general problem and whether the additional security is too high a price in terms of its effect on the end users experience of the forum.

If you are having difficulties plese check that your firewall is allowing your browser to accep cookies first then refresh the Education forum homepage and try again

Please post your views here and I will act on them accordingly at the end of the day

I will also mass mail this message to members in case they are unable to respond in this thread.

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I'm accessing the Forum both from home broadband and from the office Ethernet system. I use a Mac in both places, both using OSX with Safari.

I haven't even noticed that you've done anything :)

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I am someone who is having serious problems since the changes have been made. My own view is that it is to do with the permission mask changes. That will mean it will only have an impact on certain members. One of the problems I have is that I cannot access the varios sections via the home page. At the moment, the only way I can access the pages I want is via "Active Topics" and "Search". This is extremely frustrating. I have tried turning off ZoneAlarm and that makes no difference. I do not have this problem with any other forum I visit (even those who use the same software as we do).

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No problems to report this morning so far Andy! All navigates fine and, as was previously mentioned, I haven't noticed any differences. It may well indicate that I don't protect my machine as well as I ought to from attacks but with my limited technical knowledge I have installed (and regularly update) anti virus software, a firewall and popup blocker. I'll just keep surfing until........ :)

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No problems here. I use a Mac with OS 9.2.2 at home, and a PC with Win 98 at the office. My college has a strong firewall, but since I use a Mac at home I don't do anything about viruses.

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No problems here.  I use a Mac with OS 9.2.2 at home, and a PC with Win 98 at the office.  My college has a strong firewall, but since I use a Mac at home I don't do anything about viruses.

Don't get too complacent, Mike :)

My daughter is a professional graphic designer, running a 100% Mac-based business. She used to make fun of the way in which I (as a PC user) have to protect myself against viruses - until her business was hit by a Mac virus that was an absolute pig to get rid of, necessitating an expensive visit by a Mac consultant to fix the three Macs on her LAN. Mac viruses are rare, but when they arrive watch out!

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I don't know if I dare to write it but it seems like everything works fine. :)

I have tried turning off ZoneAlarm and that makes no difference. I do not have this problem with any other forum I visit (even those who use the same software as we do).

John, I had great problems with several other programs after I installed some updates from ZoneAlarm (this is a few months ago). The problems were so severe that I changed firewall and anti-virus program (to Symantec).

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So far this has caused me few problems and it is probably a price worth paying to prevent the site being hacked. As a Linux user I tend to be free from viruses but no doubt my day will come.

Derek McMillan

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I am using ZoneAlarm Pro and I have no problems accessing the Forum when ZoneAlarm is running - providing I remember to set Cookie Control OFF under the Privacy tab. I hesitate to disable ZoneAlarm Pro completely, as I was hacked three times before I installed the program (around 3-4 years ago). Fortunately, my ISP spotted the intrusions and disabled my account as soon as they spotted the intrusions, so no damage was done. I have not been hacked again since then.

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Dear Andy,

I have just posted this reply without any problem. Admittedly my browser accepts cookies, but I have connected through the school firewall and our connection is not very fast today. It seems to me that the security improvement is fine.

David FAURE

International School of Toulouse

France

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No problems in Holland using IE6, WinXP Service Pack 2 and a hardware (router) firewall. Windows own firewall has been switched off ;)

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My computer expert installed XP, Service Pack 2 and the latest edition of Internet Explorer yesterday. He also removed ZoneAlarm. As a result I can now access all sections of the forum via Mozilla. However, I am still having problems with Internet Explorer. However, as long as Mozilla works it does not matter.

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