Hi, folks, Suppose you were a near dictator in a large corrupt country and you wanted to annex smaller countries like Crimea and the Ukraine. When large countries annex small countries in Europe after military conflicts, it may remind many people of World War II and the Germans. To keep your opponents from putting up effective resistance and to keep your own country behind you, you might be tempted to organize online trolls to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among those who might oppose you. Recently there has been several news reports in respected news outlets about a "troll factory" in Russia: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/m...n-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/putin-kremlin-inside-russian-troll-house http://www.rferl.org/content/how-to-guide-russian-trolling-trolls/26919999.html http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/02/world/europe/ap-eu-russia-troll-lawsuit.html?_r=0 I never imagined that as a webmaster I would have to face anything like state-sponsored trolling. But recently, I've been wondering if our fellow XF admin, @RichardGaspa has been the victim of trolling by Russian professional trolls and possibly hackers. His forum serves veterans of the US armed forces. Another personal experience I had on his site makes me suspect politically motivated hacking. I made an account on his forum maybe a month ago to check it out, but never made a post. Then, a couple of days ago, I get an email saying that someone had replied to a post I made. Strange. I've never made a post on the site. Come to find, the post that was made with my account was trollish, perfectly designed to mess up the morale of a veteran. Source: http://veteransbriefing.com/threads/936/ (I'm not a veteran, but the troll probably neither knew nor cared. Just to be clear, I did not make that post. Someone else hacked my account and made the post.) I'm a pretty liberal guy who likes to think of himself, as much as possible, as a "world citizen," but I do love my country, and this made my blood boil, as the veterans of every country make great sacrifices to protect us. Next, Richard made the following post about getting file health check errors, another possible symptom of hacking: So, with that as background, here are my questions: Do you think that this could have been related to activities by organizations like "Internet Research," the so-called "Russian troll factory" profiled in the above articles? What steps should Richard take to protect himself and his site? I hate to see trolls of any sort win. Would any of the experts here be willing to volunteer to help him conduct a security audit of his site? Does anyone else have experiences with what they believe to have been state sponsored trolls posting inflammatory content or state-sponsored hackers disrupting their site or compromising accounts? I know that all sorts of state sponsored bad stuff happens out on the internet, and it all has been discussed to death, so let's focus on state-sponsored trolling and state-sponsored hacking that specifically supports trolls posting inflammatory or propagandistic content. Also, let's focus on how we, as forum admins, can defend ourselves and our communities from this.