As a moderator here, who is also an application developer, I sit on the Design and Usability for Members Board for Geekzone. It's within this role that I announce an emergency change that will affect all members.
It was announced in this week's news that Huawei was banned from Australia under concerns that they were spying for the Chinese government. It wasn't until we reflected on our own technology here that we found some alarming trends.
It seems Microsoft is also doing the same for the American government. After reviewing the IIS logs we were seeing all sorts of requests going to the States, and we've decided to be extra cautious.
Shortly, Geekzone will change to a version which is far more secure than currently offered. The current Microsoft set of technologies will be replaced with a more robust and secure ColdFusion platform, with the database, which is currently SQL Server, being replaced for flat files. XML was going to be used, but this is also insecure. CSV is better but is not as secure as plain text.
At lunch time today, the chairperson of the Sensible Technology Used by People for IDentification here at Geekzone will outline other security changes here which include:
- Replacing all instances of the letter 'e' with the far more secure and much less appreciated letter 'q'.
- Allowing people to post a letter to Geekzone's PO Box which will be scanned and included in threads as replies. This will help anyone concerned about electronic interception.
- Allow users to share logins to save on expensive usernames. We'll begin grouping members into 50 or so collective logins from Monday.
- Dial up only access - broadband is fast but also vulnerable to attacks - the final big change is only allowing access to Geekzone from dialup as this is far more secure, because as soon as you are finished browsing the forums you can physically unplug your modem and store is safely away in your underwear draw.
If you wish to learn more about the Microsoft vulnerabilities, search their Knowledge Base, issue ID: Apr1-LF00-15
UPDATE: Happy April Fools everyone!
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Moderating the masses
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