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September 07, 2006



Thanks and congrats for getting it back up. Sites are often hacked because of webmasters not keeping up with updates of forum software, so keep an eye out for updates. If Catholic Answers hosts their website themselves, make sure all PHP and database packages (like MySQL or whatever you're using) are all patched up, and your IIS server software is patched as soon as patches are available.

If things go unpatched for too long, it's pretty much only a matter of when you'll get hacked. I hate to see that happen and webmasters really have to stay up on these things and not put things off, these days. Sites using PHP and MySQL are particularly attractive cracking targets for some reason.


Over the past three weeks, an occasion came for myself and a friend to reflect upon the importance of Catholic Answers Forums. They're the most important feature of Catholic Answers.

They're not just a place to kill some time or to have fun, but rather are a meaningful and important component to the effort to defend Christ's Church. The people there are smart, not to mention good at presenting the information. When someone goes there with a question, they get it answered, no ifs ands or buts. When a non-Catholic joins to challenge the faith, his objections are torn down by even the average forums member, and the above average members just make the objections look silly. Even when someone raises an issue that nobody has ever heard before, 3 or 4 members go to work on it and have a definitive response within a day or two, sometimes even a few hours. The forum is filled with some of the best apologetic minds in the world all in one place, and I think it shocks a lot of non-Catholics who join expecting Catholics to be unable to defend their beliefs.

On top of that, the foums are also an important place of community. To lone Catholics out in the world who may have nobody to share their faith with, or who may be under constant attack, the forums are a place of friendship, support, and community.

You battle isn't against hackers, Jimmy, its against Principalities and Powers. Be on the lookout.

David Silvey

Glad the forums are back up.

I was surprised to see you were logged on to them last night, Jimmy. But (it appeared) that you were only private messaging someone. You haven't posted on the forums for 2 years!


Was this among the secret projects, Jimmy?

John E

Especially considering that there are many who hate the Catholic Church and the forums are so popular, it's good that security was beefed up and that a better effort will be made to keep it up-to-date. Someone got their kicks for a brief time, and perhaps someone will get their kicks again, but the truth keeps on coming, one way or another. Like Winston Churchill said in one of the shortest commencement speeches ever: "Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up." And if some day for some reason God no longer sees a good use for the forums, may it stay down and never come up again.

John E

Jimmy, not sure when this was posted, but I've been able to get to http://forums.catholic.com/>http://forums.catholic.com/ (plural forums) since yesterday evening some time.

Brent Robbins

I have gotten word from my sources there has been a war going on between Catholic Answers (CA) and Alpha and Omega Ministries (AOMIN). Supposedly CA forum moderators tracked the hacker to Phoenix, Arizona and specifically linked the IP to James White's computer.

My sources also tell me that after CA discovered the identity of the hacker, CA formed a retaliation squad of two Catholic covert agents, none other than Karl Keating and Jimmy Akin himself (which is why he has had so many blog days off lately). They flew down to Phoenix and did a counter-attack on AOMIN. Akin took out White's security system while Keating swiped White's T5 and Notepad. This was secret project #5...so secret CA will deny any involvement and frame it as if a local thug did it.

Pray the war stops and there be once again peace between apologists!

Jimmy Akin

Was this among the secret projects, Jimmy?

No. This was not one of the secret projects. This was fixing an already known project.

John E

Brent, I also heard the same story, except that Karl and Jimmy actually hired some albino monks to do the dirty work, since that's their specialty. My apologies to any albino monks who are reading this.


Make sure your web guys follow the same protocol that our troops in the sandbox do with their servers -- put a figurine of Baby Jesus on top of it!

'Cause everyone knows Jesus saves. :)

Kevin Jones

"Ihave gotten word from my sources there has been a war going on between Catholic Answers (CA) and Alpha and Omega Ministries (AOMIN)."

I was about to write something really dumb after taking this seriously, good show!

Dean Whinery

Obviously some issues remain. Frequent "This Pge Cannot be Displayed" messages. Glad CA Forums is at least partly back. Will rely on the Hope part of the trio, Faith, Hope and Charity.


Right now I am getting '500 Internal Server Error' on both versions of the CA Forums URL.



"PHP has encountered an Access Violation at 7C8224B2"


Yah, can't log on here either. I was logged in checking things out about half an hour ago, but then the lights went out again! 8-(

Jimmy Akin

We're on it.

This one doesn't look like it'll be that hard to fix.

Jimmy Akin

Forums are back up again.

Jimmy Akin

Got this note from out main web guy:

"Forums are now available.

"Access may be intermittent as some configuration issues are tested."

Tim M.

Jimmy - one final security solution... get a small statue of St. Joseph and put it inside the case before you close up the computer :)


I just wanted to add to what Shane said. It was Catholic Answers which brought me half-way back to the Church and the forums which got me all the way back in. It was and is an extremely important site.

Thanks Jimmy and the gang for getting the forums back.


I've been on the forums all night reading old posts. And it remembered my log-in, which I think was quite recent. I definitely don't remember that masthead on the top. Let's go see if any new threads have been posted...

J.R. Stoodley

Is the site stable yet? I am thinking of signing up or whatever, but don't want to until everything is firmly under control.


You're running the CA forums on a Windows server? On IIS?!? Good Heavens, Jimmy. That is ridiculous. No wonder you get hacked left and right.


Today is the 23rd anniversary of a vision I had of Our Lord Jesus,and His dear Mother...I hope it's alright to post...
To make a long story short....I was on my way home from a pilgrimage on March 18, 1986 from the World Fair Grounds in New York. It was a very cold day for me just coming up from Florida, so I left the prayer group early. As I was driving back to Southampton in my Corvette, I was thinking about all the people, even Christians that want absolutely nothing to do with our Blessed Mother Mary, because it's too much of a Catholic thing. Even my Born Again Sister-in-law told me it could have been a clay pot instead of Mary,it's all the same.

I started to cry,then as I was sobbing,I caught myself in the mirror with all the tears running down my face. It seemed like Jesus said to my heart; "Oh,so you're so good, you couldn't even stay and finish the rosary because you were a little cold." That's when my tears dried up real fast, and I saw what a hypocrite, I really was. I was on my way home to Southampton, going east on Sunrise Hwy.

When I got to Patchogue about half way there,I saw in the distance,Jesus and Mary floating in the air about 100 to 200 feet in front of the car. Jesus was huge,He looked about 20 feet high and Mary looked normal,about five foot. The reason it looked so strange was that they were holding hands,and there difference in size was incredible ,so I thought to myself,what could this mean. Then I thought that Jesus must be telling me that Mary is not a Goddess. So I yelled out loud, "Lord," I tell everyone that Mary is your Mother, not a God or a Goddess!

Then they were life sized,right in front of me,hovering over the hood of the car, my mouth was open and frozen. As I gazed looking at them,I tried to think of what I was seeing, but my mind was also frozen, and I could not come up with even one thought. Then as I was starring at them, my mind broke loose and I thought I shouldn't be looking at God, so I brought my eyes to there mid-section, Jesus was dressed in all white, and Mary was in all light blue.

Then Jesus said to me..."Love My Mother, as I Love you," Love My Mother,as I Love you",and with that, Jesus floated right up to the windshield and became a white smoke like substance and started to spin all around. The smoke then came through the windshield and into my chest. I felt it hit my heart so hard that I fell on the steering wheel, and thought I was having a heart attack, then when I saw there wasn't any pain I sat up. As soon as I did this, Our Blessed Mother turned into blue smoke, and also came through the windshield, and went into my chest, and hit my heart so hard I felt it hit my rib cage. This time I was not afraid and came up saying, Thank you Lord!, thank you!. Then I saw the steering wheel and grabbed it, and was now about six miles closer to Southampton, going about sixty miles and hour, and was in Bellport . I knew something really special had just happened. JESUS, Our Lord and Our God, came into my heart in person, and brought His Holy Mother with Him. Well that's the end of the story, or should I say the beginning, because now, I'm trying to do God's will instead of my own.....May God Bless His whole world with Peace and LoveBob

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