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Teddy Rogers

Feedback and Ideas

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Teddy Rogers

I am looking for some feedback regarding Tuts 4 You and this board. If you have a complaint, suggestion or an improvement idea on something you would like to see added - even changed - please post about it here. Alternatively you can send me a PM (or email) if you feel more comfortable.

Sensible suggestions have been put forward in the past and those changes have been implemented. Don't be worried about letting me know your thoughts. Thank you...

Ted.

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Blah

hey teddy..

not really a board suggestion (u can chuck it if doesnt fall into ur siggestion thread) but how bout a monthly game night ..i remember when a few of us from snd board would play unreal tournament many years ago and kill each other lol :)

wouldnt mind digging up a copy of that oldie/goodie again on specific game nights

cheers all

B

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Teddy Rogers

Good times! I still play UT every once in while, last time was with my son.

Happy to participate in a game night/day if someone is able to organise an event and it falls at a suitable date and time...

Ted.

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Benten

Hello there,

Could you please add a shout box with live news, like the CIN1 site. That would be nice.

Respects,

Ben

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LCF-AT

Hi,

would be nice if you could add a personal upload / download section.Similar like you get if I write replys on this forum itself (choose files / add / delete) etc.Then I could upload some stuff I am working like sources etc for members I am talking with via PM and who can download it etc just to prevent using any extern file hosts each time also for small files you know.That would be cool.The upload size can also be just a small one like few MBs only.Lets say everyone (or just members with status X etc) gets a upload section and size of 5 or 10 MB max and if this is reached then the user can delete some old uploads to free some space again,similar like the PM messages stuff you know.

Example: Personal Upload Section (10 MB free space left).Now I just upload stuff and get the files listest similar like in attachment section + Link to uploaded files and now I do just post the link to one or some users in my PM replys etc.Something like this you know what I mean right.No extern host anymore / no links I need to delete later or whatever if we use any extern hosts.So what do you think about that Ted?

greetz

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fearless

Maybe some option to export PM's/conversation in the messenger (for archival purposes) so that the messenger can be cleared out (mainly for LCF-AT whose messagebox is always full :D)

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kao

I do miss the old times with people actually posting new and interesting stuff in here. Last few years have been really tough. I don't have a solution to that, just the feeling that it's the biggest problem that needs addressing.

As for smaller and easier to solve things:
1) It would be nice to have faster actions to stop troll-fights between techlord's fans and their opponents. Last thing we need here is the toxic atmosphere they bring;
2) It's time to stop "Difficulty 10/10" nonsense in crackmes that contain nothing more than a rebranded ConfuserEx. For example, create a rule that members with "Junior" title are not allowed to post crackmes, as they almost inevitably submit total garbage. Or maybe crackme section moderators could do more filtering (I'm not saying they are not doing a good job - they are!, just that the acceptance rules are too relaxed);

My 2 cents.
kao.
 

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Teddy Rogers
17 hours ago, LCF-AT said:

would be nice if you could add a personal upload / download section.

Done! This has been added for your user group.

I will see how this progresses. Obviously there is a possibility this could be abused by members however I currently trust persons in this group will use it appropriately.

16 hours ago, fearless said:

Maybe some option to export PM's/conversation in the messenger

Done! You can now download PM's individually or bulk in HTML. The output HTML template is a bit crude. If you have some suggestions I'll contact the developer and propose the ideas with some of my own.

Of the other suggestions proposed here I will reply to you all after I have thought them over and have appropriate time to reply accordingly. Thank you!

Ted.

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atom0s

Going to leave some suggestions for going into 2019. Will break this into a few posts to make it easier to read/respond to if people want to discuss it.

Challenge Section Issues

One of the main sections that sees traffic still on this forum is the challenge sections. However, that isn't to say there aren't issues with these sections and the rules that are attached to them. Over the last few years, these sections have undergone some changes, focusing on bettering them but it feels like while the changes were made, they weren't enforced or continued with. These sections have degraded a lot over the last few years for a few reasons, in my opinion. 

Lack of Real Solutions - One of the biggest issues we still see is a lack of solutions. This became a big enough issue that newer rules and reorganization was done last year to try and help with it, but I feel we are just slipping right back to where we started with that. People post more for their ego and less for the community. Solutions are supposed to include details or a tutorial in how the solution was figured out but instead, that is back to not happening or is extremely lacking in actual info. People just post "unpacked manually" type posts that explain nothing with a solution and that is being accepted which is not what the rules say is a valid solution.

Lack of Discussions - Another huge issue is that there is no encouragement to talk and discuss the challenge. Instead, it is actually quite the opposite. Newer members that have questions or request for a tutorial on how a solution was obtained are generally responded to with insults or some other ego-driven response belittling the person asking for help. So many new members land up leaving this forum because there is no real community anymore. Questions are met with ego-driven responses, requests for tutorials/solutions are met with "figure it out yourself" type responses, any type of attempt to learn is seen as leeching anymore. There are a few public and semi-public forums that focus on reverse engineering similar to this site that have grown a lot in the last few years because of how toxic this site has become.

Challenge Types/Restrictions - While this isn't something that is at the fault of the staff, there is an issue with the constant reposting of ConfuserEx challenges that make up the majority of whats posted lately. I think we should start enforcing some type of system or rule that limits posting a new challenge that is nothing more than a minor-altered version of ConfuserEx. These are most commonly posted by new members with little to no posts. So also perhaps adding a post limit before being allowed to create a challenge. Along with that, ensuring in some manner that the user has read the rules. (I'm sure there is a forum plugin to force people to read the rules page or at least force it to load and they have to click OK or similar.) In nearly all the reposts of ConfuserEx, it's generally the same thing where people alter the name, edit 1-2 hardcoded values that do nothing, and in return the challenge is still fully unpackable by automated tools. 

Challenge Rankings - As kao pointed out, having the submitter of the challenge be the one that rates the difficulty is a bit of a skewed value. Most of these new posters always rate their protection 10/10 when they edit two lines in ConfuserEx and upload a sample. Most of these people posting these things are not even able to unpack it themselves, let alone unpack even basic things like UPX. There is really no reason to have the person posting the challenge be required to include a rank. Instead, this should be optional and a suggestion. The people solving the challenge should give a rating instead.

Along with this, I think we should, as a community, create a guideline on how to rank a challenge. Be it a 1 to 10 type system or something else, I think there should be some kind of guideline as to what the value means so that others can look at a challenge, see a number and understand that it could be something they are interested in.

A challenge that I personally feel is 2/10 may be an 8/10 to someone else that's new, or similar. Instead, perhaps ranking the numbers in terms of what's involved and if automation works/is available for parts of it. For example:

1/10 = An automated solution exists that works for this challenge. (ie. Running upx's unpack switch from the command line, de4dot works entirely, the ConfuserEx tools work, etc.)
2/10 = Automated solutions work but some minor manual work is required.
3/10 = Automated solutions may/may not work. Manual work is required, seen as basic/entry level understanding.
4/10 = Automated solutions may/may not work. Manual work is required, seen as higher than basic but still easy.
...
10/10 = Automated solutions do not exist. Manual work is required. Includes VMs and other difficult processing.

and so on. This is something that could help let users gauge things easier. This could also be used to allow the poster of the challenge to better gauge their challenge.

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atom0s

Moderators

I think it would be a good idea to create a small moderation team to assist with dealing with the trash/troll/drama topics and posts that have been happening a lot lately. One of the biggest issues lately has been the influx of drama posts spilling over from exetools with a certain group of people. Along with certain people, there are others registering here using exetools members names to create false-drama as a means to try to get that person banned on other forums. An example of that is the user p4r4d0x on here. It is not the same person as the one from exetools and is instead one of the drama causers from TechLords group. Their intention is to get him banned from this site.

Soft Moderation - As a means to establish a group of trusted moderators, a soft-modding system can be used. This would allow moderators to delete posts but not fully delete them. Instead, they are hidden from public view or moved to a hidden forum. Or, they are removed from public view and queued for review by other staff. This can help prevent power abuse, bias and other issues that members will want to claim when a moderator has removed something of theirs. This also makes it easy to restore posts that a moderator removed in error or due to personal bias. This system allows for trialing a moderator for a period of time to see if they are consistent, up to par for the job, active enough, and able to deal with things in an unbias manner. 

Punishments - Something that has become clear is that there is a lack of punishments for certain things. We are pretty strict already with crack requests in PMs, those users generally get banned immediately, however someone that consistently has been posting troll-baiting threads, insults, and other drama like the exetools stuff just have had their threads removed and are still free to post more. Perhaps we should start looking into more permanent punishments for those that come here with ill-intentions and offer nothing to the site but problems. 

 

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atom0s

Forum Ideas / Suggestions

Some ideas that could potentially bring some life back into the forum and get things more active.

Ranks - While this is a more of a gimmick type thing, a lot of people do focus on their status of a forum. Even if that status is nothing more than superficial text/colors. Active members that are liked a lot, thanked a lot and contribute to the site could have extra "glitter" added to their post information to the left where our name/avatar/post count etc. is. Something that shows the reputation in a more significant manner, newer ranks based on reputation and post counts, etc. could help give people incentive to share things.

Badges/Awards - Another gimmick type thing, some extra flair to the users information to the left again, badges can be used to show various things such as post/reputation milestones. There are tons of different things that can earn a badge such as a post that has hit a certain amount of likes, a download that has been downloaded at least a certain number of times, etc. There are so many different things that can have a badge attached to it to give users ways to earn all kinds of things by helping out.

Usergroup Images - Instead of just text, perhaps some images to add some more bling.

Monthly MVP's / User Spotlights - To encourage people to be active and help/support others, post things and so on, we could have community voted MVP's each month, or user spotlights as a way to say thanks to a member for doing things that help the community. Someone that posts a lot of tutorials, explains things well to others, completes challenges with good answers/tutorials, etc.

 

Most of these things are nothing more than just gimmicks but a lot of people like to see themselves earning something, even if it means nothing, while being part of a site. A great example of these kinds of systems in place are on sites like HackForums, UnknownCheats, and similar game hacking forums. These do not need to carry any type of weight or anything other than just being something earned for helping the site.

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Progman

I think atom0s worded those posts perfectly.

I feel the Administrator punished me by making content moderation approval, 2 warnings, etc when I was defending the forum in my own way from trolls.  Instead of seeing through what was going on this account got trashed this account but yes I did make one pretty gossip-y post but it was in general discussion and theoretically okay until it turned into a nonsense.  Just trying to confirm some rumors.  Probably a bad idea in hindsight.  It caused a chain reaction of endless trolling and non-stop defense of it as well as an angry admin when I tried to point out some obvious impersonation shadiness.

Anyway, the problem is if the admin does not want to take a genuine interest in the site, nor put a moderation team together to do this, and instead seemingly cluelessly going about maintaining what is envisioned as a status quo.  And further looking at the big reddit drama and trying to hyper-moderate dramatic attention to the site, which is not blameworthy but if that's the only time there is site administration, come on by now everyone knows what I am saying.  I feel these forums have been around for a long time, and its hard to near impossible to have energy constantly to take the focus and interest needed to discern what is going on from the top level down to the details.  And that is why to have a proper forum system, the admin needs people who can dabble in these micro-issues and the minutia.  When the admins go there, its draconian, heavy-handed and nonsensical as the admin looks at things from a very remote and high level and won't take proper care to discern it.

I think this site will thrive with a good moderation team.  Reluctant admins and no moderation seems to be the norm nowadays and its causing the communities to slowly whither.  As well, some break away forums are in the works due to the fallout here.  But its time to catch this before it worsens.  There is a reason this thread is here and this is the most obvious thing.

Edited by Progman (see edit history)

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Teddy Rogers
On 1/6/2019 at 10:35 PM, Benten said:

Could you please add a shout box with live news, like the CIN1 site. That would be nice.

There is a Chatbox for people to use, if they can access it, by going to Browse -> Chatbox...

Ted.

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Teddy Rogers
On 1/7/2019 at 7:33 AM, TheProxy RE said:

It would be nice if its possible to create reversing Wiki

I can see some merits to this however I think there are already sites that have implemented similar things like this, UnKnoWnCheaTs, Woodmann being a couple of them. Wikipedia also contains some useful information. This is something I will have to think about implementing further and set aside as a future project...

Ted.

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Teddy Rogers
On 1/7/2019 at 6:29 PM, kao said:

I do miss the old times with people actually posting new and interesting stuff in here. Last few years have been really tough.

I have my own take on why this is, there are a number of different reasons. I only have to look at my own interests in RCE over the last few years to partly understand the reason. A full answer to this requires a topic of its own that I will save replying to in full for another day.

On 1/7/2019 at 6:29 PM, kao said:

1) It would be nice to have faster actions to stop troll-fights between techlord's fans and their opponents.

A number of members now have to have their posts reviewed and approved before it is visible to everyone. I am hoping this will help to reduce things like this from going on in the future.

On 1/7/2019 at 6:29 PM, kao said:

2) It's time to stop "Difficulty 10/10" nonsense in crackmes that contain nothing more than a rebranded ConfuserEx.

This has been a bone of contention with other members too. I'll have to take in all the suggestions and issues raised and try to come up with workable solutions. One of the problems is reviewing the submissions, currently it is often taken on good faith that the difficulty and content is accurate. I also don't want to restrict too heavily which user groups can submit crackme's as new members have come and made okay entries in the past. You guys fortunately don't see just how many actually do end up getting trashed. Possibly I will have to split the sections up to filter out ConfuserEx trash or stop them altogether. I am open to further suggestions and ideas on this, if you have some keep firing them at me...

Ted.

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LCF-AT

Hi guys,

I see many new idea. :) Maybe I have also another idea.What about a search function directly in all topics itself too?Lets say anyone does search something and also knows the topic X to find it there (specially large site topics) and wanna just search in this one topic only without to search the whole T4Y site.Would be a good thing to add such a function.

Next idea I have is about posts the user itself did or anyone else.I would like to have some kind of post marker button (similar like the like button) to mark any posts for myself,maybe such posts which are interesting or important for me (again specially for people who cant remember so good) and posts I dont wanna miss and want to keep in my note list.Similar like attachemnts so there I have a nice overview about all files I did uploaded.Would be cool to have such a list for marked posts too.Of course its again some personal stuff but I like that idea.

greetz

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NOP
5 hours ago, LCF-AT said:

What about a search function directly in all topics itself too?Lets say anyone does search something and also knows the topic X to find it there (specially large site topics) and wanna just search in this one topic only without to search the whole T4Y site.Would be a good thing to add such a function.

This is already built into the forum software

click search up the top and you have search options...

  • Everywhere
  • Topics
  • This Forum
  • This Topic
  • More options...

😁

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kao

I see that Teddy has already implemented certain changes in "Crackmes" section. :) 

One small request to consider - since all solutions will be moderated and hidden by default, it would be nice to see something like "Post by XYZ is awaiting moderation" or at least "X posts are awaiting moderation". Reason for the request - it's no fun to reinvent the wheel and solve a crackme that's already been solved. So, if I see that someone-I-know-as-a-good-reverser has already posted a solution that is awaiting moderation, I'll probably spend my time on something else. 

Other thing - what will happen to comments like "Crackme is not working on Windows 7" and similar? Will they go through moderation queue as well? 

Edited by kao (see edit history)
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CodeExplorer

Regarding "Download All Threads as HTML" from messenger:
Some  char appears near the end.
Messages order is a bit odd...
It should be included also To (the person who received the message) not only From (message sender).
 

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Teddy Rogers

@atom0s I have set the challenge forums to have all posts reviewed. Anything posted that contains a quick answer to the challenge without an explanation on how they solved it will remain hidden from view. General discussions on the challenge will be approved and can continue. With the changes already made over the last view days there are already a number of posts hidden from view. Once someone has submitted a solution with an explanation they will be awarded the best answer.

I am open to suggestions on best ways to filter in or out ConfuserEx type challenges. Whether this entails anything from creating a dedicated area or banning them completely. Let me know your thoughts.

I have edited the challenge template and removed the need for the challenger to set the difficulty level. It is up to the person adding the solution to determine the difficulty with their solution. I have added a guide on what the difficulty rating scale should be, refer to my post here: https://forum.tuts4you.com/topic/37869-rules-guidelines-template/?tab=comments#comment-198253.

Regarding the trolling posts and punishments, I will not touch on this again as I have already answered in one the above replies. In general, if you come across any posts or replies that you feel are inappropriate, insulting, ego-driven or belittling please report the post.

Currently, I do not see a need for further moderators however I am willing to think over on it further. If you have any suggestions on who may be interested and good candidates please let me know...

Ted.

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Teddy Rogers

@Progman if you come across a topic or post that you feel needs to be moderated you should report it. Posting replies only encourages a further response and feeds trolls and you inadvertently become part of the problem by compounding the issue. If you need further clarification on this PM me...

Ted.

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Teddy Rogers

@LCF-AT I note @NOP has already answered the search query. Regarding bookmarks, there is a plugin/application that allows for this. I will take a look at though I think it may be better to create bookmarks from within your browser?

Ted.

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Teddy Rogers

@kao there will be no easy way to distinguish whether a reply awaiting to be moderated is a general reply post or an answer awaiting review and moderation. Every post and reply will need to be moderated. There is no way to distinguish between a general reply and and a solution/answer other than by reviewing and moderating.

If two valid solutions are posted the first member who posted their solution will be awarded the best answer...

Ted.

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Teddy Rogers

@CodeExplorer I will forward your comments to the developer...

Ted.

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