Avsim.com Hacked: Total Data Loss

By James Anderson •  Updated: 05/15/09 •  2 min read

Avsim, one of the most popular online flight simulator sites, has been deleted by malicious hackers. During the attack on the site, the intruders apparently destroyed data on both of the two servers that run Avsim. What’s worse – the founder of the site Tom Allensworth, said they had no external backup – so he has called it a complete loss.

According to Allensworth, they backed up their data daily but only between the two servers – they had no external backup means or plan. Make this a lesson to all of the other site owners out there, backup daily and backup externally – no matter how many servers you have.

“AVSIM is totally offline at this time and we expect to be so for some time to come. We are not able to predict when we will be back online, if we can come back at all.”

Allensworth said.

Had No External Backup

The flight sim community is in shock because the AvSim site included mods, skins, and terrains for flight simulators and all of it had been collected over 13 years. That’s just something you can’t set back up overnight.

It’s an unfortunate incident – one that could possibly have been rectified if they had an external backup. While it may have taken several days to restore two servers, beef up security, and restore from backups – at least they would have had their data still.

Of course, am I in no way excusing the fact that someone illegally broke into the servers and destroyed a business. If someone had not done this in the first place, the site would still be online today.

The point that I’m trying to get across is that incidents like this happen every day and the only real way to help protect against these types of catastrophic disasters is to be prepared as system administrators and that involves having a strategic disaster recovery plan that includes remote backups.

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