Lots of news yesterday while I was offline since the last post I did. Sit back and enjoy your coffee. This make take a while to read 🙂

  • Col Sanders will have a new domain for the Chicken Coop and is supposed to announce it today along with other exciting plans he has for the Chicken Coop. I’ll keep everyone posted on this breaking news.
  • Planet Tradewars and Hard Coded merged. Silver Dragon made the announcement late last night. Read it here.Thanks to Silver Dragon for mentioning me in his announcement 🙂
  • Jackal officially wins the Taliban Hunt game with the death of Bin Laden. Though he did give his corpmates Wing and Lara credit for fig production. Bin Laden was in a 100K fig IDC and was due to be deleted today 🙂 Nice work, Jackal. Jackal also noted Lara is Wing’s fianc� and this game was only her 2nd TW game. Welcome Lara.

    I’ll make another hunt game when I’m able to get a hold of Macahan and give a few days notice of the rebang. I’m shooting for Dec 3 at 7pm CT.

  • On a more serious note, there has been a security issue with TWX Proxy. A well known sysop has reported possible hacking via the use of TWX. Follows is what Silver Dragon had to say regarding the security of TWX:

    “ok I feel I must announce this growing problem in our community. This is no way to put down TWX or discourage its use, in fact I am gonna help it. Several times I have had my users tell me someone has hacked through into twx and was able to either A-watch what they were doing and the most recent B-alter the standard twx scripts. This is caused by the server twx creates on the users desk top. It is my goal to stop this scum bag from ruining all tradewars games. I have a good idea who it is and man when I get enough to prove it youre dead man. I am going right to the police with this shit. He knows who he is. But for the rest of you honorable traders out there, there is an easy way to protect yourself from this type of attack. Go to www.zonelabs.com  and download zone alarm personal fire wall! It is free for personal use and is one of the best out there. This will stop all inbound traffic to your computer halting the hacker and protecting yourself. Please spread the word for this hacking problem is growing. I have had complaints from Elite and newbies. If you already have a firewall please make sure the port twx uses is closed while youre using it. Any questions on this please email me. Also all sysops if you have heard of this problem please contact me so we can narrow down some suspects. Thank you for your time help me stop this low life scum!

    Silver Dragon
    (SYSOP Hardcoded TWGS)”

    This is Xide’s response on what you can do to make TWX more secure:

    “I designed TWX with this sort of thing in mind.  If your worried about anyone hacking into it, you should take the following precautions:

    1. Ensure you have the ‘Enable External Connections’ option DISABLED.  Later versions should display a warning message if you have this turned on.  If you absolutely have to use it, make sure you change the listening port to make it harder for others to pick up on it.

    2. Make sure you have no trojans installed on your machine.  Trojans are a popular way for hackers to tunnel connections through to gain control – its possible for them to use these to redirect connections into TWX as if they were connected locally.  I suspect this is the method this person has been using.  Good virus scanners will also guard against most trojans.

    3. Install a firewall.  Firewalls are great – they block people from connecting to your machine unless you specifically open a ‘hole’ for them.

    4. UPGRADE YOUR TWX PROXY!  Versions older than 1.07b may have
    security holes in them.  The network code was rewritten from scratch in 1.07b and a lot was changed.  Earlier versions don’t give warning of the external connections being enabled, and may even have it turned on by default!

    As for scripts or programs which modify the base TWX scripts to do nasty things to you, all I can suggest is that you be careful about running programs/scripts you get from other people.  I know alot of people are coding extra ‘features’ into their scripts, and this worries me.  The simple solution is just not to run anything from anyone you don’t trust – especially if the script is encrypted.

    -Xide”

  • Now with all the talk of security and scripts, I wanted to point out Kitty Moon has also been discussing how easy it is to exploit someone’s computer via a nasty script. I won’t sum up what Kitty Moon has been talking about as not to give anyone any direct ideas, but to put it simply, ZOC is capable of calling an external program and that includes FDISK or format.exe. In other words, your computer gets wiped if those programs are run.

    At the very least, the extra ‘features’ in the scripts can make you CBY, give away your location to your enemies via game message, subspace, hail, or fedcom, or make you p-torp yourself for example. And that’s just for starters.

    So be wary of scripts you take from someone else – especially if they are encrypted and especially if the script(s) were unsolicited – that is – you did not ask for them but got them anyways.

    For trustworthy ZOC scripts to download, check out the Reverend’s Script Site. The Reverend is the God of ZOC :). He is so good with ZOC, he has found a lot of ZOC bugs that eventually got him on the ZOC author’s ICQ list and is usually up to date on ZOC news such as the next upgrade release.

    Oh, and my own ZOC scripts ain’t so bad either, if I say so myself 🙂

Mondays Are Blah [11/26 @ 3:45pm CT] – But at least there are some news for today as follows:

  • BOTRU is over. Stardock BBS won it led by Kumarbi and Dr. Who.  Public at Large was 2nd. Col Sanders will be sending the winners their prizes shortly.
  • RISK teams are generated. Click here to check it out and for more info.
  • Big D announces Game Depot. But personally, I think Micro’s site is a whole lot better, don’t you think? In fact I just added Micro’s site on my links page. Thank you, Big D, for reminding me I neglected to add Micro on my links page 🙂
  • Public At Large Bangs game to thank SD regulars playing there. Res Judicata posted the following info: Today at 5pm PST HARD ASS opens.
    All planet specs are LISTED ON THE CJ Screen.
    Yes separate Text files for each planet !!!
    Ship Edits you will see when game opens.
    6 per corp
    6 planets per sector
    1200 turn
    10% EVIL Settings
    30k colo regen rate
    50% port production
    55% port density so 2750 ports
    Ferrengal is EDITED Beware Shields Ore Figs and CASH !!

    Log on fast and play TRI CON for bonus start cash too!

    telnet://65.4.6.78
    web site http://www.publicatlarge.com/tradewars/

  • My thoughts on Eleq’s farewell post ? I’ve thought about and have been thinking all day and have little words to put down. All I can say is this: At least he now can enjoy being with his family without wondering if the server is running all right. He can now be able to take a trip without worry of a server crash. I have not seen a more dedicated sysop than he was and I wish him all the best  and look forward to his return, if and when he gets the desire to do so.