A very sad moment for the flight sim community and one of the largest flight simulation sites – Avsim, which has been effectively destroyed by malicious hackers. The site was launched in 1996 and covered all aspects of flight simulation, focusing mainly on Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.
The shocking attack took down the site’s two servers, that had the library, email and web site, and the forum. Unfortunately, there was no external backup system established. The site had a very heavy participation with forums. The entire user generated content and tweets, etc. are all gone. This incident just goes to highlight the importance and critical need to take regular external back-ups for your data.
Tom Allensworth, the site’s founder said:
“Some have asked whether or not we had back ups. Yes, we dutifully backed up our servers every day. Unfortunately, we backed up the servers between our two servers. The hacker took out both servers, destroying our ability to use one or the other back up to remedy the situation.”
The flight sim community remains shocked, like everyone who has heard about this. A temporary forum has been set by Tom Allensworth till the time they get to know how the future of the site will shape up to be.
“The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from… 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.”
One of the users on website said that “there’s a special place in hell for hackers who pull stunts like this”. Some others believe that they will we see the rise of Avsim like a phoenix from the ashes, into something bigger and better than ever before. Let’s hope they rebound.
Lesson to learn: Let us religiously start taking regular backups of our important personal data. To know about a free online back up tool, read this post.