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#1 Budfred

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 10:32 PM

The Announcements don't allow people to Reply, so please post any responses to the topic about closing the Forum here.


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#2 therock247uk

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 05:54 PM

Sad to see it go. :( if you need donations i could probably help.


Edited by therock247uk, 18 December 2021 - 05:57 PM.


#3 Budfred

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Posted 19 December 2021 - 08:19 AM

Thank you for that. 

 

While donations are appreciated, it would take a lot to keep us going and part of what I question is what purpose that would serve.  We really don't serve the community like we used to at all.  That said, here are some of the numbers.  We currently have less than $50 in our account.  To make it through January, I believe we need $150+ and then we have the hosting bill coming due again in September which is (if I remember) just under $200.  Our steady donor gives enough to manage that payment, but not the other payments and the little monthly payments for backup services.  If it seemed like SWI was serving a bigger purpose, I could cover what we needed and I know Rocket Grannie has said she would as well.  However, I am not sure if that is worthwhile given that only constant vigilance keeps us from simply becoming a repository for forum SPAM messages.  If our remaining friends and Members wish us to continue and are willing to donate the needed funds, I am willing to maintain vigilance - I am just not sure it is a good use of anyone's money.


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#4 nasdaq

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Posted 19 December 2021 - 08:46 AM

Hi,
 
Let's be frank this closure is not a surprise and I was expecting it.
 
The numbers of new topics on Malware Forums has decreased constantly in the past years.
 
I also help at Bleepingcomputer, Malwaretips and Malwarebytes.
They/we do not get the high volume we were accustomed to see. 
 
I think that a notice should be posted to all future viewers  to inform them as to when the Forum will be closed.
 
We all did well and should be proud of it.
 
I'm sorry to see the end of an era.
 
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#5 Budfred

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Posted 19 December 2021 - 03:29 PM

This forum is owned and operated by the members.  We are all volunteers and I think we have done very well over the years.  I agree with you, nasdaq, that all the forums are seeing less traffic and that we did well over the years when people really needed us. 

 

We haven't set a final date since I wanted to give people a chance to respond before we do so.  Unless something changes dramatically (like someone stepping forward to pay all of our bills) we will probably be closing in January when those bills are due.  We don't have the money to cover even one of them at the moment, so we simply won't have the resources to go on.  I may decide to spend what is left in our account and throw a bit of my money in to hold onto the domain names for another year, just to keep the crooks from getting it.  However, I won't keep that up since I am on a fixed income and can't really afford it. 

 

As soon as people have had time to comment, we will set the final date - it will probably be just a couple of weeks.


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#6 nasdaq

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Posted 20 December 2021 - 08:46 AM

Hi What about posting a request for a one time Donation. Informing the viewers that to sustain this service we are in need of additional funds. Without it this Forum will have to end an era of servies.
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#7 Budfred

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Posted 22 December 2021 - 10:00 PM

Thanks nasdaq for the idea.  I believe anyone who is still involved is probably following this topic and the announcement that preceded it, so they would know that now is the time to donate if they are invested in saving the forum.  We do have one donor who automatically contributes each month and that is what has kept us going since the last time I posted about this issue.  I think he has been extremely generous.  At this point, we need something like $350 each year to keep the forum open and since we are not really active, it is a questionable investment for anyone to make.

 

When the first notice of payment due comes in, I will post here and we will begin the process of shutting down unless someone chooses to come to the rescue.


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#8 Android 8888

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Posted 24 December 2021 - 07:55 AM

It is with sadness that I look at this news, although I also guessed that this could happen at any time given its prolonged inactivity.

 

While the closure of SWI forum is unpleasant news, you will have to think about whether the money you can invest to avoid this is really worth it, since there are practically no users asking for help lately and the forum is practically inactive.

 

However I must admit that this was and is my second home where I started my learning about malware and above all I made contact with extraordinary people who opened my mind and gave me the opportunity to enter and get to know this wonderful area, so I will be able to contribute within my financial means with 25 dollars, if that can help to avoid the immediate closure of the forum.

 

Regarding the points listed by Budfred, I would focus on options 3 or 4 to keep the roots of this community active.

 

After all, SWI was one of the first forums where it all started....

 

Regardless of what decision is made I wish you a Merry Christmas to all of you guys and stay safe.

 

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#9 BigBooch

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 07:01 AM

I think the Dark Lord (Mike) would say it's had a good run, has done some incredible things, is secure in its legacy, has been masterfully carried forward by the latest crop of administrators, forum deities, trusted advisors, and helpers, but now it is time to bid adieu to the community it has served so well . . .  Much Thanks For All You've Done For So Many


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#10 Budfred

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 08:18 AM

Thanks for that endorsement.

 

To update a bit - I got the invoice from Invision and, even though they said it would be $80, it turns out that it is $40, so we get a little more time before we have to shut things down.  We have enough to pay that and the GoDaddy domain bill apparently isn't due until February, so that is probably when we shut it down.  It appears that one of our colleagues may host a Read Only version of the forum once we reach that point, in order to satisfy the historical purpose of the Forum.  It is unfortunate that mike is not still around to be involved in this, but hopefully he can see that his creation lasted even longer than he would have thought and that it had a major impact on the anti-malware world.

 

More details about the closing will be posted as they become available. 


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#11 Indrid_Cold

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 11:40 AM

Burn the obituary. For the foreseeable future I will happily pick up the slack for any bills that become due.


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#12 Budfred

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 02:08 PM

I appreciate the thought Indrid_Cold.  I wonder what the purpose would be though.  The forum is basically in a coma on life support, so we are talking about pulling the plug rather than just keeping it alive without purpose.  I am willing to do that if that is what people want and they are willing to pay for it, I just have trouble seeing what the point is. 

 

As I have noted, we have had maybe one legitimate request for help in the last 6 months and there are other forums that are limping along providing that help even if we aren't here.  We have no active Trainees at this point and we haven't produced a newsletter in years - partly because there are so many others out there already. 

 

What do you see as a reason to keep the forum going in spite of these factors.  If we could find a useful purpose, I would be quite willing to keep it going indefinitely.  I need help finding what that purpose would be.


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#13 snemelk

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:23 PM

Wow, so many memories here! I spent tons of hours on SWI and other computer security forums.

"The place where it all started!" - I can say so, and many other community members as well. Some would even call it their home... That's why it would be sad to see SpywareInfo go (vanish). On the other hand, it hasn't been a real "help forum" for quite some time now - almost no new threads, no discussions...

As others pointed out, it's just like it is - the times have changed - antivirus companies catched up, Windows is hardened, people tend to use social media rather than resort to forums...

Pieter Arntz (aka https://www.spywarei.../283-metallica/) some time ago wrote article about those old times and what's changed since then: The Adware Families That Changed the Antivirus Industry - https://www.bleeping...virus-industry/

 

My personal opinion is to preserve a static version of the forum, if possible.

I guess hosting would be cheaper in such a case (and maybe some other computer security website could provide hosting for us)?

My other idea is to create a form of a start site (either static or dynamic, with news), with some referral links (like recommended computer security books on Amazon, recommended antivirus/antimalware programs, U2F keys, etc.) - depending on the volume of traffic we still receive, it could help us cover some costs...


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#14 Budfred

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 03:30 PM

Thanks for those comments.

 

I have been planning to post an update for a while and now seems like a good time.  The situation has changed a bit.  It turns out that the majority of the charges for GoDaddy are for the .info and .org domains - the .com domain is only about $20.  The people using the .info and .org domains have expressed willingness to let them go, so that is what we will do. 

 

Invision had to be paid, but they are only charging half of the $80 they want this year, so we can afford the $40.  That will leave us with enough funds to pay for backups through to September when HostWinds bills for hosting. 

 

So the way it stands, we appear to be able to remain open until September and we can probably go as long as people would like past that if those who have offered to pay are still willing to do so.  We still don't have a clear purpose in my mind, but I am open to keeping the site open as long as people want it. 

 

A couple of additional points: 

We have had an offer to host an archive version of the site and can do that if people prefer.  We would simply edit some of the more personal things and turn over the copy to the new host.  It would remain for historical purposes - not as an active forum.

 

The site originated as a news site that mike maintained in the early days of malware fighting.  We could do that again if people were invested in writing articles, editing and so on.  We did that for a while and it was a lot of work.  Also, a lot of other sites have that covered pretty well these days, so I am not sure we would be adding anything.  What do others here think?  Is it worthwhile to give that a shot?


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#15 nasdaq

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 08:27 AM

Hi,
 
I would stay open as long as we can.
 
 
Take this time to edit the personal things.
 
Will you be checking all the links in the topics you will keep?
I'm referring to the links where it's a redirect to a page here at SpywareForum.
 
A seach for this forum domain may be helpfult in finding all of them.
 
If you need help let me know.

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#16 Budfred

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 03:46 PM

Thanks nasdaq - at this point it looks like we will be open at least until September and that will be plenty of time to edit whatever needs it.  I'll let you know if there is anything you and others might do to help with that. 


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#17 Budfred

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Posted 29 January 2022 - 08:15 AM

One question for those of us who are still hanging around here - I can simply let the two domains - .info and .org - lapse.  However, GoDaddy is claiming that we could possibly get a couple of hundred dollars if we auction them off.  I haven't jumped on that because I worry that they could be grabbed by criminals who use them to promote malware, but I thought it would be good to ask people here rather than just assuming.  They are obscure enough that they might not be worthwhile for criminals, but I just don't know.  What do the rest of you think?  If we got a couple of hundred dollars for them, it would pay for the forum for year and leave a little for the next year.


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#18 nasdaq

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 08:44 AM

Hi,
 
The only one gaining from this would be GoDaddy.
 
I the hands of criminals it would only tarnish the reputation of this Forum.
 
I do not agree.
 
Henri

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#19 Budfred

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 01:11 PM

Thanks nasdaq - I mostly agree.

 

I forgot to mention that if we don't auction them off and don't pay for another year, they will expire and GoDaddy will sell them anyway.  Unless someone we know in the malware fighting community decides to grab them, we still run the risk of criminals exploiting them.   Either way - it will hurt our reputation.  If anyone here (that we know) wants to buy them, I could transfer ownership and you would only need to pay the renewal rate which is something like $50 for the 2 domains.


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#20 Budfred

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Posted 13 February 2022 - 08:25 AM

Does anyone else have an opinion about what to do with the .info and .org domains?  I just got notice from GoDaddy that they will be lost if I don't renew soon and I don't intend to renew since that would be almost $50.  This means that we will lose them and they will auction them off.  So the question remains, as noted above, do we auction them while we still own them or do we let GoDaddy do that and let them benefit from the sale?  Another option would be if anyone in the malware fighting community wants to buy them, I could directly transfer them and you would just pay the renewal cost instead of having to do the auction.  If we don't do something soon, they will simply default to GoDaddy, so please let me know what you prefer.


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#21 Budfred

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Posted 21 February 2022 - 09:25 PM

Since no one else responded and GoDaddy is going to sell the domains anyway - I put them up for sale.  If they bring in the $250 or so that GoDaddy says they are worth, SWI will be paid for another year.  If anyone who is a friend of SWI reading this would be willing to take them, please do so.  It may still be possible for me to simply transfer ownership and the new owner would just need to pay the renewal fees.  Please let me know if any of your are interested.


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#22 Budfred

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Posted 05 March 2022 - 08:20 AM

I just got notice from GoDaddy that they are not trying to sell the .org and .info domains anymore since they both expired.  If any malware fighters reading this want them, I imagine GoDaddy would still be willing to sell them to you, but SWI would not get the money.


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