This is a note to my web hosting customers in Portland and elsewhere, but since it applies universally, I’m posting the info here…
OS Commerce and PHPbb are free, or “open source” software programs available with all PDXTC web hosting packages. Upon installation from your web hosting control panel, you have access to the latest version, and any known security vulnerabilities are patched upon installation.
However, after you install it, it is your responsibility to keep it updated, to prevent hijacking. Just like all Microsoft software, hackers are working hard at getting in “back doors”, and the software must be updated by the end user (you or your webmaster) on a regular basis, but unlike Windows, there is no way to automatically update it yourself.
I know this happens, because I just got hijacked last week! A couple of years ago, I installed an OS Commerce test store on an extra domain I own. after playing with it for a while, I forgot it was even there, and got back to work.
Jumping ahead to last week, I got a phone call and three emails telling me I was running a Paypal scam on my domain name, cyber49.com. Realizing what had happenned, I quickly fixed it, but it was still embarrassing. But I’m willing to share my embarrassment here, if it will help protect you…
In addition to OS Commerce, there are many other free programs offerred, and it’s the end user’s responsiblity to keep that software patched. You also agree to do so by accepting the license agreement when you install it.
To keep all open source applications up to date, you must go to the community website, and subscribe to their “updates” mailing list.
Here are direct links to the two most popular (and most exploited) programs offerred free with every PDXTC web hosting account. They are both easy and free to use, and I highly recommend them, but like anything on the internet, you have to learn as you go.
OS Commerce is one of the most powerful and customizable shopping carts available on the internet today. It’s versatility in layout and design are fantastic, and you’ve undoubtedly shopped online in an OS Commerce store.
PHPbb is a bulletin board package. Right from your PDXTC hosting control panel, you can install it and easily get it going, creating an online forum / bulletin board about any subject you like.