Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

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boar_d_laze
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Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by boar_d_laze » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:05 pm

I'm at a loss as to whom to contact about this issue. The phpBB Knife Sharpening Fourm admin has abandoned the forum and it's being flooded with spam. According to to the admin profile, (s)he hasn't visited the forum since last April, and is not responding to PMs. Is there a way to get a new admin? Or, was it one of those things which seemed like a good idea at the time, and requiescat in pabiscum?

Thanks,
BDL

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by KevC » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:34 pm

To retake control you will need either FTP access or access to the database.

Without either of those you're stuck.

I had a similar situation several years ago. I ended up starting a whole new site and getting everyone to come with me.
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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Rotsblok » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:25 am

Also phpBB only supplies the forum "software" It cannot change or alter anything on those boards as they have no ties to either of the forums..

In other words phpBB just develops it. It's up to whoever that wants to use it..
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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Eelke » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:23 am

Look at it this way: if there were a way for any arbitrary person to seize control of a phpBB board, that would be a huge, gaping security hole.

You're only options are:
  1. Try harder to contact the original owner of the site and hope they are willing to transfer ownership to you.
  2. Start a new site.

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by boar_d_laze » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:55 pm

Eelke wrote:Look at it this way: if there were a way for any arbitrary person to seize control of a phpBB board, that would be a huge, gaping security hole.
"Assumes facts not in evidence," and in that sense not true. The request was not made to or for an "arbitrary person," but it's not worth going into. I'm not asking phpBB to change its rules. Now that I know what they are, I'll act within them without complaint.

You're only options are:
  1. Try harder to contact the original owner of the site and hope they are willing to transfer ownership to you.
There is no "try harder," at least not as far as I can discern. Apparently the only means to contact the admin is via PM, and as I said he doesn't respond.
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I'm not interested in running a site, my desire is limited to light participation.

Seeming bottom line: The apparently available solutions don't interest me. Too bad. Thanks for the explanations. I understand phpBB's position in this.

But..

A RAY OF HOPE appears on the horizon. I received a PM from someone who expressed willingness to host a replacement forum. I'll try and contact the few active members of the current forum and see if they're interested in moving. If so, I'll take up the kind offer. Unfortunately, I can't respond to the offerror directly by PM because I don't have enough posts for the privilege. Also, I'm loathe to post his name without permission because he contacted me via PM -- presumably for a reason. So, I hope he reads this and understand why I've chosen to reply in this way.

Thanks for all the responses so far, if anyone else has a solution I'd very much like to hear it.

Thanks again,
BDL

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Phil » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:25 pm

It's not so much phpBB's "policy", there's just nothing we can do. As per this post, the only forums phpBB.com are responsible for are this one and area51; any other forum running the phpBB software is completely outside of our control.
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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Roberdin » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:37 am

You may be able to find out the admin's contact details by reviewing the website's DNS record.

Try, for example, http://www.whois.net.
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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Pony99CA » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:51 am

boar_d_laze wrote:
Eelke wrote:Look at it this way: if there were a way for any arbitrary person to seize control of a phpBB board, that would be a huge, gaping security hole.
"Assumes facts not in evidence," and in that sense not true. The request was not made to or for an "arbitrary person," but it's not worth going into.
The request didn't specify anything. You asked "Is there a way to get a new admin?" without putting any parameters on the question, so Eelke generalized it.

To answer the question, the only way to get another Admin beyond the Founder is for the Founder to give somebody Admin status. If nobody else on the forum has Admin status and the Founder can't be reached, you're out of luck. If the Founder had granted somebody else Admin status, your problem may already be solved. And, if they have appropriate permissions, they could grant Admin status to others.

If you're looking for something outside of that, Eelke's comment about "arbitrary" people applies. Unless the forum has Admin registration or registration disabled, anybody could register, make a bunch of posts if necessary and grab Admin status. If you were hoping that a Moderator could somehow promote themselves, that's unlikely (although apparently you can grant anybody the Can manage roles permission, so you could ask if anybody is able to log in to the ACP).

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Eelke » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:01 am

boar_d_laze wrote: "Assumes facts not in evidence," and in that sense not true. The request was not made to or for an "arbitrary person," but it's not worth going into.
I guess we'll go into it anyway :) As has been explained, phpBB does not control any boards beyond the one here on this site. I only wouldn't consider someone "an arbitrary person" if they have administrative access to the platform on which the particular phpBB installation is running. At that point you can go into the database and make changes at that level, to give a user account of your choosing the required privileges to make changes to the installation (more precise, I think all that would be required is to give the user accounf founder status, at which point you can go in and make any other permission changes).

Maybe we in this topic incorrectly assumed you did not have such access. I would have expected your question to be phrased in a different manner (maybe asking more technical questions) if you did, and apparently so did others, but that might be entirely on our part.

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Pony99CA » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:36 am

Eelke wrote:I only wouldn't consider someone "an arbitrary person" if they have administrative access to the platform on which the particular phpBB installation is running. At that point you can go into the database and make changes at that level, to give a user account of your choosing the required privileges to make changes to the installation (more precise, I think all that would be required is to give the user account founder status, at which point you can go in and make any other permission changes).
Good point. In fact, if the person has FTP access, couldn't they use the Support Toolkit? (I assume that it doesn't require phpBB Admin access so that people can recover from hacked boards.)

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by KevC » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:39 am

Pony99CA wrote:Good point. In fact, if the person has FTP access, couldn't they use the Support Toolkit? (I assume that it doesn't require phpBB Admin access so that people can recover from hacked boards.)
That's exactly what I said in the first reply.
boar_d_laze wrote:A RAY OF HOPE appears on the horizon. I received a PM from someone who expressed willingness to host a replacement forum. I'll try and contact the few active members of the current forum and see if they're interested in moving.
Sounds a little like someone doing some opportunist spam to get you in.
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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by Pony99CA » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:18 am

Kevin Clark wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:Good point. In fact, if the person has FTP access, couldn't they use the Support Toolkit? (I assume that it doesn't require phpBB Admin access so that people can recover from hacked boards.)
That's exactly what I said in the first reply.
I wouldn't say "exactly". ;) You didn't mention the STK, so I missed that connection at the time. In hindsight, I see what you meant (although maybe others wouldn't), but I also linked the OP to the STK in case he has FTP access (or knows somebody who does).

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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by KevC » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:20 am

Pony99CA wrote:You didn't mention the STK, so I missed that connection at the time
Because it's redundant without FTP. You first have to establish what they have got before you can work out a solution.
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Re: Admin Abandoned phpBB Knife Sharpening Forum

Post by stevemaury » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:36 pm

If you have FTP access, you do not need the STK to do whatever you want to do.
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