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Last Updated: September 27, 2012  856 views

How to fix Forum redirecting to url2short.info?

in: Tips and Tricks

Few hours back I discovered that my google traffic had been hijacked and redirected to some url2short.info website. I googled it and found out this is something which is happening on many vBulletin forums. After spending some hours on vBulletin help websites, I came to know that there was a server configuration and security issue combined with some specific attributes of current vBulletin version which gave the intruder direct access to the MySQL database. Let’s see how to fix forum redirecting to url2short.info website. If you are forum owner and facing this issue, I would strongly recommend to follow these steps to prevent mass-damage to your Forum.

  • First of all check your settings in cPanel for Remote MySQL, this setting should say “There are no additional MySQL access hosts configured”. If you have a specific database intentionally enabled, that too is okay. What should NEVER be there is the character % – this is a wildcard which allows ALL other servers to connect to the database.
  • If you see the wildcard enabled, DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY.
  • Then, make sure you change your passwords to strong passwords for both cPanel and MySQL to ensure that no one can change this setting back without your knowledge.
  • Then, pick any add-on, disable it, then re-enable it to clear the datastore.
  • Finally, download the file tool_reparse.php from http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=220967 and let it find discrepancies in your compiled templates and rebuild them.

The above mentioned steps should fix the issue of forum redirecting to url2short.info.

Also, please note that from time to time it is necessary to upgrade your vBulletin installation to the latest version, either to gain new features or to fix newly discovered bugs in PHP, MySQL or vBulletin itself.



3
  • 1

    Is it malicious, or is it just “annoying”? And is it bad for forum owners or for visitors as well? I’m running two virusscanners right now after I clicked on a Google result which direct me to an url2short site.

    Panicking user on April 20th, 2012
  • 2

    I don’t think it is malicious but it can reduce your traffic by 60 to 70 percent which should be serious concern for any forum owner.

    abhishek on April 20th, 2012
  • 3

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Panicking user on April 20th, 2012