By Chuck Woodbury
If you tried to read this newsletter last Saturday morning, December 8, you may have found an error message. Oops! We blew a fuse! Well, not exactly, but a combination of factors, including a sudden burst of traffic, sent our servers into a tailspin and, without our permission (shame on them!) they shut down. We’d spank ’em if we could, but we don’t even know where they are).
Because the outage came at our peak time of the day (and week), we lost about half our Saturday morning readers, maybe you, too.
This has happened before, but because it came on a Saturday morning this time when our traffic spurts, it hurt us. And it came just as we were finally working out most of the bugs associated with our newly designed website. We worked very hard the week before to be sure everything was working properly, so it was both frustrating and a big letdown for us when we got bumped from cyberspace.
It’s times like this I just want to grab my computer, pick it up and smash it against a wall! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!
Anyway, I felt my essay in that issue was important, and I am hugely disappointed that so many RV Travel readers missed it. If you want to read the essay and the issue itself just click here and you’ll go right to it. Hopefully, our server will behave better in the future!
Thanks for reading RVtravel.com and for reading this message. Your loyal readership is hugely appreciated!
I don’t know about everyone else, but since the “upgrade” to the new site, the newsletter doesn’t work for me, at all. I get several re-directs and, eventually, “Not Found The requested URL /tn.jsp was not found on this server.”
It’s got something to do with, I think, the https://r20.rs6.net domain, but it’s to the point where I have been unable to read the last few newsletters without actually typing “https://www.rvtravel.com” into my browser.
This ought to get fixed, ASAP. (please?)
(posted on the newsletter comments as well)
Did you see this when trying to get to RVTravel today?
“This Connection is Insecure! – Get me outta here”
Was RV Travel hacked? Was the site insecure?
No and No.
Regardless of the message you saw, RVTravel operates at all times under an SSL certificate that supports all of the latest standards in security. When the site is up and running, you can see the little green LOCK in the address bar. That means that you have a secure connection to the website. There were several moments when our site was offline, and at that point there was some confusion at our hosting company as to what to show visitors and several of you saw that disturbing message. Normally, you’d be right to be suspicious of a site where that message came up. But in this case, it wasn’t a security failure, so much as a temporary glitch.
So, what the heck happened anyway? Chuck covered what happened last week in his article. But in a nutshell, we’re a really popular website with a lot of loyal readers… and some bad actors out there decided to poke our server to see what they could find. They found our security guards (firewalls, etc.) They poked more, we responded more until the cycle caused the site to become unstable.
“You need to get yourself an IT guy and fix that!”
I agree with you… and I’m the IT guy!
We kicked out the bad guys and shut the door behind them, again. Next, we’ll tweak our settings to ban these types of attacks sooner. We’ve already done some of that, and we’ll do more.
We’re going to double down on security and optimization, and we’ll bring a service online that allows us to put copies of our website on various machines around the country. This will ensure that if there’s a group of bad guys this weekend, it won’t take down the entire server. And even if it does, the copies around the country will continue to work while we kick the bad guys out.
We take both your patronage and the security of our website seriously. There’s nothing like falling flat on your face in front of thousands of good folks to buff up your sense of humility. We thought we had this well in hand, and we were wrong. I can’t say that we won’t be attacked again. There’s nothing anyone can do about that; hackers are proliferate. But I can say that we will do everything we can to stop these bad actors from taking the site down again.
Have a happy holiday!
This may help. I discovered that if you don’t put www. in the web url you will not find it. you have to put http://www.rvtravel.com if you only put rvtravel.com you will get a site not found. also certificate for the site is not valid. (Dream Host). Suggest that a link be displayed. so that Webmaster can be reached to notify about problems with the website and the forum
I also got the same error message today as I got last Saturday. Last Saturday I sent Chuck a message. Today I waited an hour or so and I could get onto RVTravel.com Hope they get their server problems fixed.
I received the same message this morning on this weeks newsletter, but chalked it up to my new IPad. I dug out my old one and no warning came up. Weird.
Chuck it is not your computer it is the servers and configuration. Also your site is not secure. here are some of the problems
Your connection is not secure
The owner of rvtravel.com has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.
Report errors like this to help Mozilla identify and block malicious sites. There are several other problems and I have screen captures of them. I will send them to you if you give me a email address where to send them.
M H Bell
I knew it was headed down. Started slowly having to make multiple attempts to get to each page. Gradually got worse untill it finally quit. Gotta love modern technology. Keep up the great work all you guys do! It is very much appreciated. If you talk to Sokol, let him know that Battle Born may attempt to reach him about a battery donation. I had written them about his work and Diane, their marketing coodinator, got back to me for his contact info. I hope it pans out.