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Database Problem ... Need Help

Discussion in 'Databases' started by captainron19, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. #1
    I am completely database illiterate. I needed a database built for my fire department website and I went with the site "Freelancer" to enlist someone to build it for me. They built it and it worked beautifully. Was able to have all members of department in there and allow sorting by name, start year, rank, station assigned to etc. They also created a password protected interface to access the control panel of the DB to enter and edit data

    After about a week all of the data disappeared. Of course I did not have it backed up so i had to re-enter all the data for 120 people ! I got smart and backed it up. About a week later all data was gone again. I reached out to the freelancer that built it and they restored data (of course they asked for payment to do additional work) but I informed him the database is not working up to my expectations as it is dumping the data.
    SEMrush
    About 2-3 weeks went by with everything being well and yesterday the data was all lost again.

    I reached out to the guy again and he requested root access in to my server (I have a VPS) and I obviously do not feel comfortable with providing access. I at first was worried this may be a little ploy of them dumping the data to get more work from me and get more money. I have changed the cpanel password after he logged in to design the DB but not sure if something shady is going on.

    Can anyone provide input on what my next course of action should be to find out why the DB is losing its data?
     
    captainron19, Nov 9, 2016 IP
    SEMrush
  2. PoPSiCLe

    PoPSiCLe Illustrious Member

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    #2
    Look at the server-logs. Unless they're tampering with them, access-logs, MYSQL-logs etc. should tell you what might be going on. But, and this is sort of a bit crucial, if you have no clue what you're doing, it might be advisable to get someone who do know what they're doing, to take a look. Perhaps someone not the original developer, since that might be stupid, if they're scamming you - I would perhaps go with someone local that can have a look.

    When you say the data is gone - is it just the data? Not the actual database? It's just empty? Nothing in any of the tables? Because that sounds like either someone did an "EMPTY <all tables>" on the database, or there was a reconstruction of the database, without the data (like a setup-file, or something like that, which recreates the database from scratch, or at least the tables). Depending on how the site is coded, it might also just be random SQL-injections messing up the database, but that is fairly easily preventable, if they used modern programming techniques. Also, this sounds like a very unlikely target (as I understand it, it's just an employee-database for a fire-station?), not something that would draw in hackers, really.
     
    PoPSiCLe, Nov 9, 2016 IP
  3. captainron19

    captainron19 Active Member

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    #3
    Just all of the data is gone.... names, rank, etc http://www.hamiltonfmba.com/personnel_pages/membership.php
     
    captainron19, Nov 9, 2016 IP
  4. PoPSiCLe

    PoPSiCLe Illustrious Member

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    #4
    Hm. Hard to say what happened, but something accessed the database and emptied it - it doesn't happen by itself. It might be a file on the server, or someone hacking the code, accessing the database - without seeing any code, or logs, it's almost impossible to tell. I would still recommend you hire someone local to check your files (code and logs), to see if they can find out what happened. Also, I would suggest making a backup of the database, if you haven't done so already, so you won't have to input everything manually if it happens again.
     
    PoPSiCLe, Nov 10, 2016 IP