Problem posting

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Problem posting

Postby Rachael » 2 Dec 2018 13:43

Getting this error when trying to reply to a thread in the main forum:

SQL ERROR [ mysql4 ]

Incorrect string value: '\xF0\x9F\xA4\xA6\xE2\x80...' for column 'post_text' at row 1 [1366]

An SQL error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact the Board Administrator if this problem persists.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby admin » 2 Dec 2018 21:03

I've checked with Stuart and he says:


Does Rachael use an Apple? I thing it can generate strings which are
uniquely Apple and are not part of unicode (or the other way round). If
so the fix is not to use that character. It may be an emoji or something
peculiar.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby Rachael » 2 Dec 2018 21:08

That was exactly it - Apple + emoji. Thanks.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby brazil nut » 4 Dec 2018 11:36

I am more of a lurker here than a poster but I am a member nonetheless and I have been alerted to it being posted on another forum in SE23 that STF database and technology "presents an outright security risk for members". This of course worries me as a member and I should be grateful if Admin would respond to this serious issue raised. Am I and is my data at risk due to being a member of STF?

https://se23.life/t/spam-from-other-local-forums/11003/3
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Re: Problem posting

Postby Rachael » 4 Dec 2018 12:25

Good question. Although it’s not like the forum holds a lot of my personal data, certainly not data that would be of much use to anyone.

It’s good practice to use ‘spare’ email address and aliases for signing up to anything like a forum, and not the email address you use for any organisation that holds more sensitive or financial data. If there is a data breach you can easily kill that email address. It also makes it much easier to identify where someone misusing your email might have got it from.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby brazil nut » 4 Dec 2018 20:14

Thank you Rachael for these useful tips. In this instance I am keen to know whether there are any legs to the allegations of this forum posing a security risk to its members or whether this might be a further groundless attempt by the gentleman in question to undermine and discredit STF for personal satisfaction and gain. It is no secret that the man in question has expressed his grievances about being evicted from this forum and indeed it is no secret that the man in question is (rather aggressively in my view, but that is my view) attempting to build up his own competing SE26 life dot forum. It would certainly aid him no end in this quest to instil fear amongst existing STF users and drive them away from this forum to his own. I may be thinking rather too cynically and it could well be that he genuinely does care about the people of Sydenham and their susceptibility to data breaches, however if my memory serves me correctly I do seem to recall that similarly aggressive tactics were used when setting up the original dot life forum in SE23. It is all rather tiresome and feels at times very much like "dicks at dawn" (to pen a phrase I heard recently in connection with the present infighting at Lewisham Council). But nevertheless a serious allegation has been made and I would be very grateful if the admin of this site could let us know whether there is any substance to it.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby admin » 4 Dec 2018 22:13

I am investigating, Brazil nut, and am awaiting a response from the software guru of this site. I hope it will be soon, but I can't do anything till he responds as it's not in my area of expertise. I share your concerns and both in connection to the individual who runs the rival site and the software point.

Cheers!

admin
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Re: Problem posting

Postby stuart » 5 Dec 2018 10:31

brazil nut wrote:I am more of a lurker here than a poster but I am a member nonetheless and I have been alerted to it being posted on another forum in SE23 that STF database and technology "presents an outright security risk for members". This of course worries me as a member and I should be grateful if Admin would respond to this serious issue raised. Am I and is my data at risk due to being a member of STF?

https://se23.life/t/spam-from-other-local-forums/11003/3


No there is no risk. Quite the reverse. The scaremongering post on SE23.life was either done malevolently or in ignorance. You choose.

The issue is well known, well documented - and has afair - been raised here before. It happens when anyone attempts to inject an illegal character into the database - it is spat back out again which is exactly what it should do. In this case Apple used a non-unicode based emoji. Its a pain but there you are.

The forum software we use - is the most used and most stable forum software money can buy, Except it's free.

Stuart
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Re: Problem posting

Postby brazil nut » 5 Dec 2018 11:19

Thank you for confirming this Stuart. I am sorry that STF is being subjected to these repeated allegations which could undermine this well-respected and well-administered forum that has served its community well for many years. Long may STF continue and we can but hope that those peddling these allegations may now STFU!
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Re: Problem posting

Postby rod taylor » 5 Dec 2018 12:05

Who is Chris Beach? :roll:
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Re: Problem posting

Postby JRobinson » 5 Dec 2018 12:56

I have just logged out of both dot life fora, and deleted my bookmark/shortcuts - I'm just not that happy with the way he goes about stuff.

his loss, not mine.

STF - is where I'll find the information I need on this locality as and when I need to.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby stuart » 5 Dec 2018 14:10

Incidentally this may be a covenient moment to share the protocols good IT people follow when they suspect any security breach. It's also good practice for anyone else.

1. Check whether the issue is known [Mr Google is your best friend]
2. If yes, is the security issue real?
3. If not already reported then notify those responsible in COMPLETE confidence
4. If there is not a satisfactory response then notify those responsible you will go public
5. If there is no fix after the specified time - WARN THE PUBLIC!

This enables and encourages any security issue to be mitigated quickly and without alerting bad people. Or needlessly scaring good people if it isn't a problem.

Stuart
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Re: Problem posting

Postby JGD » 5 Dec 2018 14:56

rod taylor wrote:Who is Chris Beach? :roll:


Also known as the Correspondent from RTW.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby rod taylor » 5 Dec 2018 15:04

JGD wrote:
rod taylor wrote:Who is Chris Beach? :roll:


Also known as the Correspondent from RTW.


I'm not sure why Mr Beach ever posted on the STF. It's a clear conflict of interests. Any conflict (and conflict was inevitable) could legitimately be seen as an attempt to undermine his biggest rival forum. Mr Beach should just have stayed away to avoid this.

edit. Sorry - don't mean to start this whole thing up again. Nobody reply to this ok!
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Re: Problem posting

Postby stuart » 5 Dec 2018 15:19

I see our friend on SE23.life is continuing to be abusive and spreading disinformation. But the what's new in his attempts to control or take down this forum?

He is reported as saying:
The reason STF’s forum software is unable to handle emojis (and the current Unicode characterset) is because its database is MySQL version 4 (as revealed in the error message Rachael received). This database software was released in 2004 and hasn’t received any security updates for years. In fact the subsequent MySQL release (version 5.1) stopped receiving security updates in 2013, which means anyone running MySQL 5.1 or earlier (especially MySQL 4.X) is not keeping their user’s data safe.

That would be a stupendous deriliction of duty on my part. Even he can't believe I could be that stupid. It is, in fact the very latest version available from the repositories. For those into CLI:

root@v1:~# mysql -V
mysql Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.0.37-MariaDB, for debian-linux-gnu (x86_64) using readline 5.2

Yep it isn't even MySQL but a later fork MariaDB to which most heavy users have switched. I won't reply on his forum because ... well he just makes up stuff to try and stuff other people.

Stuart
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Re: Problem posting

Postby michael » 5 Dec 2018 15:56

I'm sure Chris will be reading your comments (and mine) and responding appropriately - by which I mean apologising for claiming that this forum offers "outright security risk for members" based on the little evidence he had to hand at the time.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby stuart » 5 Dec 2018 16:09

michael wrote:I'm sure Chris will be reading your comments (and mine) and responding appropriately - by which I mean apologising for claiming that this forum offers "outright security risk for members" based on the little evidence he had to hand at the time.

I'm not hollding my breath. And I'm not into Forum Wars.

Simply instead of rubbishing each other the time would be better spent improving both. Much to be done here and I hear his own are not impervious to criticism. Or maybe that's the problem?

Stuart
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Re: Problem posting

Postby rod taylor » 5 Dec 2018 16:13

stuart wrote:Simply instead of rubbishing each other the time would be better spent improving both.


That's not how it works. In a competitive (online) world, and certainly in the competitive industries that Mr Beach has worked in, you drive the competition away, whilst talking endlessly about wanting to work together.

Make no mistake: that is what is happening here, even whilst it is being denied.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby Rachael » 5 Dec 2018 16:15

I’m very sorry my original question has reignited this fracas. It was never my intention.
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Re: Problem posting

Postby michael » 5 Dec 2018 16:31

Rachael wrote:I’m very sorry my original question has reignited this fracas. It was never my intention.

I don't think you have anything to apologise for.
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