It’s been 4 days now…but, as most people already know, Furaffinity (often just known as FA) was hacked on 5/17. Right now, the site is on “Read Only” mode while they tinker with security, but, here is what we know so far.
- FA is notorious for getting hacked and having server issues:
—It has been very common among discussions about FA’s hacking that Fa is often the target of hackers and just having server problems in general because of its size. This has made people very wary about adding new content to their accounts, and more and more people have debated where they should really conduct their business. Website history has shown severe server problems in the years: 2005, 2008, and 2009 // this due to outage’s, bad hardware, bad coding, and security holes. The site was hacked in 2007, 2010, and now in 2016. These do not even include the DDoS attack in 2014. Plus, with how often the site stops working or is shut down monthly for maintenance…these problems do not seem to surprise the Furry Community anymore.
^^ The USB drives containing FA source code. ^^
- No one knows who the hackers were:
—In any of the hacking incidents on FA, no one ever came to know who the hackers were or why they were even hacking the site to begin with. This time, it was a source code leak that was then distributed at Furry Conventions on a specific USB drive. Admin Dragoneer said that the only thing they knew was that this source code had been obtained via recent “ImageTragick” exploit. Apparently it is a common server-side image processing software. He said that one of the USB drives that had been distributed had been confiscated and was being analyzed. The news reports that after the analyzing began, a second attack happened at FA and now, 4-days later, we know that 2 of the USB drives were found and confiscated at the “Biggest Little Fur Con”, and, anyone having any information on who the hackers might be have been asked to report to Dragoneer directly.
- 6 days data was lost:
—The initial damage that most people noticed was that anything uploaded after May 11th was lost. This is because the last back-up for the website was May 11th. FA Admin teams said they would love to do daily back-ups as most people recommended…but they said it caused severe slow-down of the site, and it was something they had been working on doing for some time, but still did not have the means to do. Without the back-up though, several galleries had been completely wiped…so, 6 days of uploads does not seem so bad.
- A severe problem for artists/commissioners:
—One of the bigger problems of the attack aside from missing uploads was the deletion of watchers from the site. Several artists use FA as their means of income, and notes and journals were even affected by this attack. Customer information went missing because of that, and commission details were lost. While the site was down…customer and artist were not always able to communicate, and even after the site came back up…some watchers were lost, and some people could not be found right away. It has caused a serious issue with artists and has made them debate whether they should start conducting their business elsewhere.
- Passwords and E-mails are at risk:
—Initially it was said that nothing other than galleries and watchers had been compromised on FA. But now it has been said that while the site is in “read only” mode that e-mails, passwords, and other personal information has been compromised. Because of this, after the site goes back online in full, all members will be asked to change their passwords and etc to ensure that they are fully protected.
- A huge migration to Furry Network:
—While FA was down, I myself noticed that there was a huge number of people migrating to a site (in beta right now) known as “Furry Network”. It was made public right before the attack on FA even though it had been via “invite only” before (users needed a code to create an account). Now people have been moving their business of there as well as going back to other art sites such as DeviantArt, Weasyl, and other sites…even working through their FB pages. It’s unsure how many people quit using FA because of the recent attack.
—In conclusion…there is not much to say. A lot of people are considering this a hate crime. Because of more recent attacks on Furry Facebook groups and more aggression seemingly towards the Furry Fandom, people see this as a hate-crime and think that FA will always be a target. Same as there has been a massive migration to Furry Network, people now worry that Furry Network will now be subject to the same type of attacks and that we, as a fandom, are caught in a vicious cycle. Anyways…for those interested in reading about this for themselves, info can be found in the FA forums and the FA wiki page HERE:
Wiki Page: http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/History_of_Fur_Affinity
I hope you all are having a great weekend thus far, thank you all for tuning in, and, I will see you all in the next one 😉