Those visiting the forum over the past day probably noticed something odd; all the posts were gone. I discovered this Sunday morning. Oddly, the database had doubled in size sometime on Saturday and all the topics were gone. I don't quite know what happened. It was either a software glitch or someone has found a vulnerability in Snitz forums (likely SQL injection) and used it do "DELETE * FROM TOPICS" as a joke.
I'm going to check the Snitz site for any security issues that may be unpatched. Additionally I will be going through the logfiles to try and determine exactly what/when this happened.
I think it's good practice to change your password. The passwords are encrypted and only a hash stored in the database so there is no danger of your password being exposed, but it is good practice anyway to change it after something like this.
I don't know what caused the problem. As far as I can tell, it was a software glitch on the forum. Something got stuck in an infinite loop which hosed the database (and made hundreds of thousands of posts).
What are the chances of that happening? I don't think it has happened since I've been on this forum. Could be a corrupt code segment or corrupt memory or someone produced an EMP. That last one is very likely. I remember when I was doing a high power (very dangerous) experiment and my computer hard drives reset, the mouse went berserk, strange sounds from the speakers and eventually my computer reset.
When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.
I wouldn't discount EMP. In my shop, the Bluetooth adapter on the PC would reset every time I started TIG welding. It was a real pain in the butt. I replaced the adapter (which was only used to stream music) with a Blackberry Bluetooth Audio Gateway and the problem went away. But the monitor still acts funny anytime the welder is in use.
The chances of the DB becoming corrupt are pretty small. This is the first time it has ever happened spontaneously. The losses from a total DB failure would be minimal. The forum DB is separate from the site's main DB and both are backed up every day to tape.