Ubuntu forums hacked, Tux the penguin joins the NRA

Today in Open Source: Hacker steals user info from Ubuntu forums. Plus: Did ad blockers destroy The H? Canonical needs money for an Ubuntu phone

Ubuntu Forums Hacked, Tux Joins the NRA

Last weekend the Ubuntu forums were hacked. Canonical has posted a notice indicating that the forum's attackers garnered quite a bit of information about forum users. Apparently, the hacker got every user's username, password and email address from the forum database.

Strangely, there was a graphic posted there of a penguin with a gun. That's quite the odd image for a hacker to use for a discussion forum about a free Linux distribution. Did Tux the penguin join the NRA or what? Bizarre is the only word I can use to describe it.

(That's supposed to be Tux, the penguin mascot of Linux, waving an AK-like assault weapon in his flippers.)

It's hard to imagine what the hackers hoped to achieve by taking out a bunch of free forums for a free distro of a free operating system.

More at Naked Security

This does not bode well for people participating in that forum in the future, they are going to be nervous about such a thing happening again, and for good reason. The Canonical folks are working to restore forum service.

I'm very sorry to see this happen, it's so pointless and destructive. Those forums existed to help people learn and grow as Ubuntu users. It's a shame to see them down like this, for no reason other than that somebody wanted to act out in a mean spirited way.

I look forward to seeing the Ubuntu forums return to service, better than ever.

The H Closes Down

It's a sad day today, The H is closing down. Apparently the site has not been able to effectively monetize its traffic to stay afloat financially.

Although The H has produced many widely read stories, it has not been possible to effectively monetise that traffic to produce a working business model.

Because of this, after four and a half years as The H and six years online, The H is, sadly, closing its doors. We thank all our readers for their deep interest and engagement. Work is taking place to create an archive to ensure that the content of the site will remain publicly accessible.

More at The H

I'll hazard a few guesses as to why this has happened, though I do not know the specific details.

1. Ad blockers - The use of ad blockers has become prevalent among many people, particularly tech savvy users that would frequent a site like The H. I know from my own blogs that some Linux folks tend to use ad blockers.

That's fine as far as it goes, but what happens when the sites you love die a slow death financially and shut down like The H? Yes, blocking a site's ads really does matter. I encourage you to whitelist all of the sites you love and enjoy. Or they may not be there tomorrow.

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