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  1. #1
    Chip is offline Administrator
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    PLEASE READ: New attacks against DegreeInfo

    The group that has been launching denial-of-service attacks against DegreeInfo in the past couple of days is once again hitting us, and it seems clear that their intent and desire is to take DegreeInfo completely down.

    In addition to hitting our main server with a DOS attack, the same group is now sending spam messages (with forged headers indicating they are coming from us) in John Bear's name, claiming that, among other things, DegreeInfo is going into the porn business, and making various libelous statements toward John. (This is particularly interesting, in that John has no connection whatsoever with DegreeInfo, other than as a regular contributor and friend.)

    We have blocked the DOS attacks for now, and are working with our ISP and upstream bandwidth providers (both of whom completely understand the nature of the attacks and the fact that they are bogus) to reconfigure around the problem, but we will probably continue to have intermittent periods of unavailability.

    We are also adding mirrors and other redundancy to further fortify the site.

    Regular users may want to note the following URLs (none of which are yet active, but are in the process of being activated) which will eventually contain mirrors of the degreeinfo site:

    dltalk.com
    dl-talk.com
    degreeinfo.net
    mirror.degreeinfo.com

    It's pretty clear that the reason for these attacks is that DegreeInfo is becoming more effective in its mission: to help those seeking distance learning opportunities to find high-quality accredited schools. The launch of our new DegreeFinder database has been a big success, and we will, over the coming months, continue to upgrade and enhance the database with additional features, more schools, and other resources to maintain our position as the most complete and valuable resource for information on distance learning programs on the Net.

    In the meantime, we need your help in several ways.

    -- Financial support. If you can afford to either make a paypal contribution or order our "Succcess in Distance Learning" CD or Bears' Guide 15, that will help. The costs of additional servers, the bandwidth waste caused by the attacks, assistance from network security specialists, and so forth are so far being paid out of the minuscule revenues we're bringing in from advertising and book and tape sales revenues, with the shortfalls being made up out of the pockets of the DegreeInfo founders. Contributions can be made through PayPal (orders@degreeinfo.com) or made by check (payable to degreeinfo.com, LLC) and mailed to PO Box 7956, Berkeley, CA 94707.

    -- Technical support. If you are (or know of) a network security specialist that can offer assistance to our team, that would be appreciated. We've got some pretty high-end people helping out, but the more brains the better.

    -- Spread the word. The last time a major attack occurred, it generated some major press coverage for us that helped bring a large number of new participants, further enriching and enhancing our community. We're hopeful that the same can happen this time. If you know of friends, associates, co-workers, or others who would benefit from DegreeInfo's resources, please tell them about our site, encourage them to visit, learn about schools, read the forums, buy books and so forth.

    -- Good karma and thoughts. The reason we're getting hit is because we're becoming more effective in hitting our target audience, and the diploma mills behind the attacks are probably either feeling the pinch, or are worried that they will soon begin to feel the pinch. It won't hurt for our regular users to send good thoughts and energy our way.

    Thanks much for your continued support!


    Regards,

    Chip
    Nate
    Nathan
    Bill
    Bruce
    Russ

    DegreeInfo admin and moderation team.

  2. #2
    Bill Huffman is offline Registered User
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    Everyone needs to make sure that their virus software is up to date. I've been getting email bombed with viruses from someone with an account at singnet.com.sg which is in Singapore. The headers have been modified to hide the real source so one must look at the raw message headers to find the real source.

  3. #3
    roysavia is offline Registered User
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    I'm a big fan of degreeinfo and I'll definitely contribute to your cause.

    Chip,
    A question. Could these attacks be coming from groups that may be associated with some of the "not so wonderful schools" that we have discussed here on degreeinfo?
    Roy Savia



  4. #4
    Gus Sainz is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by roysavia
    A question. Could these attacks be coming from groups that may be associated with some of the "not so wonderful schools" that we have discussed here on degreeinfo?
    Personally, I think the attacks are being perpetrated by the regional accreditors in an attempt to silence the likes of RJT. :D
    Gus Sainz
    DegreeDiscussion.com

  5. #5
    Chip is offline Administrator
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    Originally posted by roysavia
    Could these attacks be coming from groups that may be associated with some of the "not so wonderful schools" that we have discussed here on degreeinfo?
    That's an excellent hypothesis, and while we don't have definitive proof at the moment, that's certainly the most obvious angle.

    It's unlikely that one or more holders of less-than-wonderful degrees would go to the trouble to mount such an attack... but someone who stands to lose a lot of money (i.e., one or more fraudulent schools) would clearly have a vested interest in closing us down.

    Stay tuned... we'll update you as we know more....

    And thanks very much to those of you who have already contributed or offered your support! It really means a lot to us.

    Regards,

    Chip White
    for the DegreeInfo team

  6. #6
    c.novick is offline Registered User
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    Chip or Members,

    Do you think this is retaliation for when Dr. Bear went on C-Span?

  7. #7
    Jeff Hampton is offline Registered User
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    Do you think this is retaliation for when Dr. Bear went on C-Span?
    If not, it is an astonishing coincidence.

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  9. #8
    c.novick is offline Registered User
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    CNN for Dr. Bear

    Thanks Jeff,

    I thought It was me...... I think now it would be cool if Dr. bear went on CNN!

    More work for Chip.... (ugh)

  10. #9
    MarkIsrael@aol.com is offline Registered User
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    spyware

    It may be coincidence, but my computer got attacked by "autoinstalling spyware": programs called MemoryMeter.exe and tvtmd.exe that kept re-installing themselves and popping ads in my browser. I'm not completely cured yet, but the following message was a great help:
    http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...n55t%404ax.com

  11. #10
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    Programs like Ad-aware or Spybot should get rid of the spyware.

  12. #11
    MarkIsrael@aol.com is offline Registered User
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    I tried Ad-aware first. It scanned my entire hard disk (taking several hours to do so) and let me (apparently) remove all the spyware. But as soon as I reconnected to the network, the spyware came back.

    HijackThis does its scan in a few seconds, and finds things that Ad-aware has trouble finding. Thanks anyway.

  13. #12
    MarkIsrael@aol.com is offline Registered User
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    Re: spyware

    Here's another good tool to block spyware:
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

  14. #13
    uncle janko is offline member
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    Guys: the check is in the mail (really!).

  15. #14
    MarkIsrael@aol.com is offline Registered User
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    link from degree.net

    Chip wrote:

    > (This is particularly interesting, in that John has no
    > connection whatsoever with DegreeInfo, other than as a
    > regular contributor and friend.)


    I originally thought otherwise. So did Paulie. And so, I'm sure, did many other people.

    Why? Because I searched the Web for "Bears' Guide" and found http://www.degree.net. There's not much on http://www.degree.net to indicate it's owned by Ten Speed Press rather than by Dr Bear. Then at http://www.degree.net, there's a link that says simply "Discussion Board" -- which I assumed to be a same-site link, but which actually links to http://www.degreeinfo.com/.

    Perhaps something should be done to clarify this?

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  17. #15
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    Mark,

    Those two programs are brought to you by these fine folk, Total Velocity. I declined filling their form.

    As for getting rid of those programs? Piece of cake. Crystal clear.

  18. #16
    roysavia is offline Registered User
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    Re: PLEASE READ: New attacks against DegreeInfo

    Originally posted by Chip


    In addition to hitting our main server with a DOS attack, the same group is now sending spam messages (with forged headers indicating they are coming from us) in John Bear's name, claiming that, among other things, DegreeInfo is going into the porn business, and making various libelous statements toward John.
    Impossible. This cannot be done. You would need to seek Liberian accreditation before going into the porn business.:D :D
    Roy Savia



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