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Tim Horn:
As most of you have seen and experienced first hand, we've been experiencing tremendous difficulties in the Forums as of late. The root cause of the errant pop-ups, Forums layout abnormalities and login problems appears to be malicious PHP and javascript code being uploaded to our server. Though we are taking precautions to secure the breaches, hackers are still getting past our defenses -- and we have reason to believe the malicious code is continually being uploaded in the form of fake image files.

Our initial effort to combat this involved blocking all message-based images from being uploaded to our server (the use of inline HTML-based images is still authorized). We now need to strip the Forums of all uploaded avatars -- with more than 1500 uploaded avatars in the system, we simply can't go through each image file to ferret out malicious code.

All uploaded avatars will be stripped as of 10:30 this morning.

That said, you will still have the option of personalizing your avatar. There are a few options.

1) Click on "Profile" above.

2) Click on "Forum Profile Information" under "Modify Profile" in the left-side menu box.

3) Either use the "Personalized Picture" option of the "I have my own pic" option. "I will upload my own picture" will no longer be an option.

4) If you choose "I have my own pic," you'll need to provide a URL to an image file of choice posted elsewhere. To do this, post your current (or new) avatar to a photo sharing site -- such as Picasa, Flickr, Photbucket, etc. -- and isolate the URL for that particular photo. Simply copy and paste the URL for the image you'd like to use in the space provided.

It's unfortunate it has come to this -- but hackers are clearly set on ruining the forums for the rest of us.

I ask for your patience and cooperation as we do everything possible to put an end to this problem once and for all.

I appreciate that the switch to inline, URL-based avatars will be a headache for many. Thus, I'm asking for everyone's cooperation and hope that we can all help each other out -- in this thread and via private messaging -- with avatar images.

Thanks everyone,


Tim Horn:
Before posting a new avatar picture to a photo sharing site, be sure to resize your desired image so that it's 100 X 100 pixels (the default for inline images; SMF might not recognize alternative image dimensions on other websites).

If you don't know how to resize images using photo software program(s) on your computer, use an online image cropping service (e.g.,

Simply upload the image you'd like to use and resize to 100 pixels.

On the results page, you'll be provided with a URL containing the cropped image. Copy and paste the provided URL into a new window, then download the image and republish it your favorite photo sharing site. Use the URL for the image on the photo sharing site to update your AIDSmeds Forums profile.


I don't use any of the photo sharing sites (Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, etc).   Does anyone know if there there advantages of one over another or are they all about the same?


they all do about the same but you have to create an account.

I find that Photobucket is easier to use.

if you just need a tool to set up your avatar, use the link that Tim provided in his thread.


--- Quote from: Alain on May 01, 2010, 02:59:30 PM ---they all do about the same but you have to create an account.

I find that Photobucket is easier to use.

if you just need a tool to set up your avatar, use the link that Tim provided in his thread.

--- End quote ---

But that tool is just to re-size, right? Would I still have to join one of the photo sharing sites?

Thanks, Alain ;)


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