Are PMs really private? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 13th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Are PMs really private?

Just curious whether the person to person messages are viewable by anyone other than the two parties?
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  #2  
Old February 13th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Of course they can be accessed by certain admin.
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  #3  
Old February 13th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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If you have a PM that you think needs mod attention, you can hit the little red triangle in the upper right above the message to send a copy of it to the site team. Please do this if you get unwanted solicitations via PM, spam or if you accidentally got a PM intended for me that has winning lotto numbers - I could use some new tires....
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  #4  
Old February 13th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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I think the question is:

Does the "Site Team" have access to our PM's? I don't see that section covered in the T&C.
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  #5  
Old February 13th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjfslaughter View Post
I think the question is:

Does the "Site Team" have access to our PM's? I don't see that section covered in the T&C.
In theory virtually every keystroke can be recorded in a database and some one with access to the database and the knowledge and time might be able to pull out that info. The site team does not have this access and there is no vbulletin (forum software) tool with that function. A member can report a PM they received however, sending a copy of it to the site team.

If you have some concern about this, I'd suggest you use some other means of communication. Keep in mind that whatever you write to another via e-mail can also be shared by that person and without your knowledge - so perhaps the take home message is, anything you put in writing anywhere could conceivably turn up again and without your consent.

Member privacy is a big deal - we take it seriously. Members private account info is not shared, rented or sold - ever.
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  #6  
Old February 13th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Just curious whether the person to person messages are viewable by anyone other than the two parties?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjfslaughter View Post
I think the question is:

Does the "Site Team" have access to our PM's? I don't see that section covered in the T&C.
Just to back Janets answer up, no the PM are strictly between you and who ever you include to send them to, we do not have any tool or special rights to just open your PM box and read them.
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  #7  
Old February 13th, 2012, 05:35 PM
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PMs within vBulletin are readable by anyone with read-only access to the MySQL database. vBulletin does not include a tool to read them directly, you have to do it manually. It's trivial to read them. You can do it through the commandline or through phpMyAdmin.

So to answer the original question, PMs are not private.
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  #8  
Old February 13th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
PMs within vBulletin are readable by anyone with read-only access to the MySQL database. vBulletin does not include a tool to read them directly, you have to do it manually. It's trivial to read them. You can do it through the commandline or through phpMyAdmin.

So to answer the original question, PMs are not private.
This.
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  #9  
Old February 13th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
PMs within vBulletin are readable by anyone with read-only access to the MySQL database. vBulletin does not include a tool to read them directly, you have to do it manually. It's trivial to read them. You can do it through the commandline or through phpMyAdmin.

So to answer the original question, PMs are not private.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest View Post
This.
You can believe as you choose but chris snells statement assumes access. As noted earlier this access is not available for a variety of reasons mostly having to do with server security.

If your intent is to simply get folks riled up over a non-issue, please stop. It's unneeded drama and frankly, just plain rude.
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  #10  
Old February 13th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
You can believe as you choose but chris snells statement assumes access. As noted earlier this access is not available for a variety of reasons mostly having to do with server security.

If your intent is to simply get folks riled up over a non-issue please stop. It's unneeded drama and frankly, just plain rude.
Uhh php needs access to the database to read them. It's a 'problem' with ALL vBulletin sites.

edit: Please don't try and BS people about this. I know how this stuff works. I do it everyday. It's not really an issue. Someone was just asking a legitimate question. You can't hash PM's. You could potentially encrypt them, but the 'issue' still stands. Someone has the key.
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  #11  
Old February 13th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
If your intent is to simply get folks riled up over a non-issue please stop. It's unneeded drama and frankly, just plain rude.
LOL. Just plain rude? Really? You're setting false expectations of security and I'm the rude one?

I'm not trying to rile anybody up. The correct and honest answer would have been to say, "Yes, PMs are readable by those with site admin privileges and anyone with MySQL access. Our policy is that the site team is not allowed access to these functions. However, since these messages are readable by anyone with the proper network access and MySQL passwords, we would like to remind you that there is no expectation of privacy for PMs. Please use them accordingly."
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  #12  
Old February 13th, 2012, 06:12 PM
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Go back and reread my post. Read it twice if you need to. It says it's possible but also addresses the actual practice, which is that site team members don't have this access.. You certainly have the choice to not use PMs.
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  #13  
Old February 13th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
Go back and reread my post. Read it twice if you need to. It says it's possible but also addresses the actual practice, which is that site team members don't have this access.. You certainly have the choice to not use PMs.
You are being deceptive and not answering the question plainly.

Quote:
Just curious whether the person to person messages are viewable by anyone other than the two parties?
The answer is, very plainly, yes. No one was implying it's common practice by any means. Or that you or anyone else on the 'team' are able to do it. The answer is simply that it is trivial for someone with even just FTP access to dump the table containing the PM's.

Security and people's knowledge of security is very important on the internet. Don't skirt around it.
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  #14  
Old February 13th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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You don't even need FTP access. Full admin rights to vBulletin are sufficient to run the SQL necessary to dump the table.
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  #15  
Old February 13th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest View Post
You are being deceptive and not answering the question plainly.
What? She did answer the question very plainly and correctly. What she says below is it, completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
In theory virtually every keystroke can be recorded in a database and some one with access to the database and the knowledge and time might be able to pull out that info. The site team does not have this access and there is no vbulletin (forum software) tool with that function.......
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  #16  
Old February 13th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
You don't even need FTP access. Full admin rights to vBulletin are sufficient to run the SQL necessary to dump the table.
screw you and your gui

------ Follow up post added February 13th, 2012 06:31 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
What? She did answer the question very plainly and correctly. What she says below is it, completely.
No, that is what I call a deceptive answer. It is in no way theory and incredibly trivial. I take this very seriously.
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  #17  
Old February 13th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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There is no privacy on the internet, period.
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  #18  
Old February 13th, 2012, 07:12 PM
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not a fan of what's happening...

------ Follow up post added February 13th, 2012 07:16 PM ------

unless i'm missing something Janet has made less than 10 posts on the forum, but her post count is 185. Is that done to make her appear more established on the site? Maybe i'm missing something though...

Can I just ignore the entire "Site Team"?
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  #19  
Old February 13th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quick128 View Post
not a fan of what's happening...
I just want to say this has nothing to do with the new administration. I don't agree with their response to such a simple question (AT ALL), but they didn't change anything.

It's the same story on most 'cloud' services or internet forums. The only thing that you can potentially feel good about are passwords. But even they are handled improperly quite often.

------ Follow up post added February 13th, 2012 07:18 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssbartley1 View Post
There is no privacy on the internet, period.
Eh that's nearly true
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  #20  
Old February 13th, 2012, 07:19 PM
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and Andy has actually made less than 40 posts, but also has an inflated post count.

------ Follow up post added February 13th, 2012 07:20 PM ------

not saying they made something new, but the beat around the bush answers are disturbing
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