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Thread: Kinmunity has launched!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    333

    Post Kinmunity has launched!

    https://www.kinmunity.com

    Kinmunity is an online community and resource website for otherkin, therianthropes, vampires, and other individuals whom have non-human identities. It replaces the now-defunct Wulf Howl. The site is primarily centered around its library and forums, but also contains unique features such as; KinSpots (a map of nearby otherkin), live chat and user-to-user instant messaging and member-run blogs. Like its predecessor, it is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere and wealth of features. The site is frequently updated by its administrators in response to user feedback and is considered an online home to many. The site is powered by Xenforo, with customized plugins and features developed by myself.

    Kinmunity was founded to be a friendly and welcoming online community resource for otherkin, therianthropes, and vampires. The site aims to help guide those who have newly awakened, as well as provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere for otherkin in general. While being extremely tolerant of individuals who are new to the concept of otherkin and therianthropy, Kinmunity requires that its members possess a sound and logical sense of their identity.
    Shiro "Themian" Ulv (pgp key)

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm still rather curious as to what exactly happened with Wulf Howl and why it was shut down so suddenly. I know of a lot of therians/otherkin who felt pretty upset at it's sudden closing with no warning.

    Regardless it's nice to know there is a new incarnation of the forums. Hopefully the members from Wulf Howl will find it and rejoin the new forums.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    333

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    In November of 2014, I woke up to find that the virtual private server that Wulf Howl was hosted on was deleted without warning. I highly suspect my hosting provider was to blame, although they did not get back to me on the matter when I contacted them so I canít know for sure. My original plan was to restore the site from an encrypted backup that was generated two days before the site went down. I am extremely security minded and this led to my downfall, as I lost the key to decrypt the secured backups; itís a keyfile protected with a passphrase, and I lost the actual file. At this point I was left with the decision to either start from scratch or close Wulf Howl. I decided to go with the former, but to change the name since non wolf therians felt very alienated by the name "Wulf Howl".

    The experience was very frustrating for me, especially since Wulf Howl was my online home and the only community I felt truly happy in. I have taken measures to ensure this type of thing will never happen again in the future, including:

    • Automating my backup processes. An encrypted backup will be automatically generated daily sent sent to cloud storage.
    • Backing up my decryption keys. Both myself and Alynna have the backup decryption key stored in multiple locations both online and on physical media.
    • Increasing server-side security with a host-based and network-based intrusion detection system, and utilizing various other measures to detect and prevent breaches.
    • Testing backups weekly. Each week, I will decrypt the latest backup on my local machine to ensure file and data integrity, and that the keys are working.


    While I sincerely believe it was our hosting company that deleted our VPS, I am not taking any chances for the future - hence the increased security. Obviously, I no longer use Centarra.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5,268

    Default

    Well, crap. That sucks a lot. I have every confidence that you will build something as good or better, though. I have no idea if there is anything constructive we can do to help and offer support, but if there is, just let us know.

  5. #5

    Default

    So basically you had no control over what happened to Wulf Howl and it was the hosts/servers fault? That really sucks but it's good to know what happened. Hopefully this will be a good learning experience for keeping up with your backup files.
    Last edited by Somnia; June 29th, 2015 at 11:09 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    333

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    I am going to cross post the long version of what happened to Wulf Howl for all who are curious, and I highly recommend anyone who's interested join Kinmunity. I will also be giving away howlnet.org and therianthropy.info domains to anyone who plans to use it in good faith (contact me)

    The site was never shut down intentionally. Wulf Howl was hosted for free by a provider called Centarra, as a friend of mine (who is otherkin) owned the company. Several months ago, said friend is no-longer in charge of Centarra but my account continues to work. I assumed that I would be contacted and told to pay for hosting service, which would not have been a problem at all. Instead, MANY months after the company has changed hands, I attempt to access Wulf Howl and it is down. After I am unable to access the server it is hosted on via SSH, I login to Centarra's administration panel and find that the Virtual Private Server that Wulf Howl was hosted on, as well as the DNS records were removed from my account. I immediately opened a support ticket with Centarra, and I never received a response. I do not believe it was a 'malicious attack' on Wulf Howl, but rather the unprofessional action of a money-hungry company.

    With regards to the backup, I wrote a shell script in late 2011 which dumps the MySQL database to a file, and sends it along with all the files involved with the site to a secure backup service called TarSnap as well as sends me an email with the log of the backup. The key stored on Wulf Howl's server was valid for encrypting the backups and authenticating to TarSnap and was NOT valid for decryption, deletion, or otherwise reading any backup. I will admit fault here, since I never needed to restore from a backup, when it was all said and done, I had NO IDEA what I had done with the decryption key. This was a spectacular failure on my part, and I sincerely apologize to the community for the data loss. I have been going through all my USB keys and online accounts, and should I find the old database, I will upload an archive version of Wulf Howl accessible to former members.

    The experience was very frustrating for me, especially since Wulf Howl was my online home and the only community I felt truly happy in. I have taken measures to ensure this type of thing will never happen again in the future, including:

    Automating my backup processes. An encrypted backup will be automatically generated daily sent sent to cloud storage.
    Backing up my decryption keys. Both myself and Alynna have the backup decryption key stored in multiple locations both online and on physical media.
    Increasing server-side security with a host-based and network-based intrusion detection system, and utilizing various other measures to detect and prevent breaches.
    Testing backups weekly. Each week, I will decrypt the latest backup on my local machine to ensure file and data integrity, and that the keys are working.

    While I sincerely believe it was our hosting company that deleted our VPS, I am not taking any chances for the future - hence the increased security. Obviously, I no longer use Centarra.


    In response to allegations by various individuals:

    1. I do not stalk and harass others. As all site operators do, I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Individuals that have personally baited and harassed me are definitely included in this. It is a new year and I am trying to start off fresh, so all bans have not carried over to Kinmunity.
    2. The downtime was beyond my control, although I DO take full responsibility for losing access to the backup key and it will not happen again.

    Regarding the speculation that I started the site over intentionally in order to have new staff, please understand that a restart of the site would not have been necessary for me to restructure the staff team. As most theories of malice proposed in this thread are, that is a bit ridiculous.

    If anyone else has any more questions about this matter, please remember that it's better to hear it from the horse's mouth rather than listen to the flies. I can ALWAYS be reached via email.

    The social networking profiles of mine went down for an unrelated reason that I would rather not discuss publicly, and it is the same reason my domain registration information is partially hidden. I would be happy to explain to anyone interested via email.

    While my conduct outside of Wulf Howl was at times very childish, I am working to improve myself. I cannot ask you all to forgive me - I can only change my actions and hope you see such. Thank you for allowing me to explain, and please email me if you have specific questions.

    REGARDING THE DOMAINS:
    - I will be keeping wulfhowl.com registered. There is an individual who has the domain on back order and has stated that the intends to redirect it to a shock site. This will not be happening. Wulf Howl's domain and sub domains will redirect to Kinmunity until further notice. In addition, I use shiro@wulfhowl.com as my email address for many services.

    - I will be allowing the HowlNet.org domain to expire. If anyone has a good faith use for it, I will give it away (contact me!)

    - I will be giving therianthropy.info away to anyone who has a good-faith usage for it (contact me!)
    Last edited by Naia; January 3rd, 2015 at 11:44 PM.
    Shiro "Themian" Ulv (pgp key)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,000

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    Good luck with the new forum. Hopefully it doesn't fall to the fate of may new places and end up with a small memberbase that eventually falls into not posting and the forum dies. I have a few issues with your "I don't do this" list, screen shots say otherwise...but this isn't the place for that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Westminster, CO
    Posts
    266

    Default

    I will check it out. I will say, being a non-canine therian, that I can't really see what the problem was with the old name. A solid majority of therians are wolves, but I've never found them to be other than inclusive.

    Barth (Who is now in Colorado)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Belgium
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    Blog Entries
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    Default

    I'm confused.

    I thought you were leaving the Werelist?

    EDIT
    - I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. My mistake. I won't bother you again.
    Last edited by Lupus Ferox; March 4th, 2015 at 04:54 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Westminster, CO
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Actually, it was another forum I am resting from. And after having spent 6 months homeless in Ohio, and then a rather hard winter here in Denver, I haven't been posting or reading much of anything. No offense taken, btw.

    Barth

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