Attack on Wikipedia accounts over
A brute force attack on Wikipedia accounts took place on May 3 and ended a day later without definite result. In the course of the attack, more than 70,000 accounts received "a failed attempt to log in to your account" alerts. The Wikimedia Foundation later released an internal statement calling for stronger password security.
|“||The Wikimedia Foundation's Security team is aware of the situation, and working with others in the organization on steps to decrease the success of attacks like these.
The exact source is not yet known, but it is not originating from our systems. That means it is an external effort to gain unauthorized access to random accounts. These types of efforts are increasingly common for websites of our reach. A vast majority of these attempts have been unsuccessful, and we are reaching out personally to the small number of accounts which we believe have been compromised. While we are constantly looking at improvements to our security systems and processes to offset the impact of malicious efforts such as these, the best method of prevention continues to be the steps each of you take to safeguard your accounts.
As the Administrators' noticeboard would like to remind you: Strong passphrases consist of long, standard English sentences.
General sanctions on cryptocurrency
After Bitcoin and cryptocurrency holders were already placed under Conflict of Interest when editing articles on the topic (see this issue's In the media), general sanctions have now been placed on all articles related to blockchain and cryptocurrency (broady construed). The sanctions were not placed by the usual venue of an Arbitration Comittee ruling, but rather as community sanction discussed and unanimously adopted on the Administrators' noticeboard, with the sanctions on Syrian Civil War cited as another case of this procedure. Smallbones seemed to be in the general spirit of the discussion:
|“||Yes, I've worked in some incredibly difficult areas, e.g. binary options and retail forex, but cryptocurrencies take the cake.
The main problems I see are:
The discussion was also under the general idea of following established internet practice, with other large websites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter already having banned cryptocurrency advertisements.
Brazil Wikimedia groups de-recognized
The Wikimedia Affiliations Committee has withdrawn its recognition of the two Wikimedia user groups based in Brazil, Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil and Wiki Education Brazil. The affected user group agreements will be terminated by the Foundation legal department "as soon as possible", and there will be a one-year ban on primary contacts of the two groups serving as primary contacts to other group applications or existing user groups. According to a statement by the Affiliations Committee, this comes as a result of "a severe and protracted conflict" between the two user groups, "which has resulted in significant harm to past, ongoing, and planned Wikimedia movement activities in Brazil".
Wikimedia Conference 2018
From 20 to 22 April, Wikimedia Conference 2018 took place in Berlin. The event has a tradition of the Wikimedia community funding representatives of Wikimedia movement affiliates to attend the conference and there have discussions about the outreach practices and inter-organizational collaboration of Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups. When these various communities select their representatives to attend, many of them ask that that their representative draft a report describing their experience at the event. Readers of The Signpost may ping Wikimedia organizations to publish their report anywhere they like and to put it into the category for Conference reports. A good report can be as brief as five sentences, a page with a few photos, or any communication which captures any aspect of what was important about this conference.
Snippets from two Conference reports:
On Saturday, I engaged with the topic of Wikimedia organisations. Wikimedia Deutschland is by far the largest Wikimedia country organisation (at the moment, we have over 100 staff, the next largest country organisation about 10), so that question concerns us especially. I would like to present two quotes from participants of the corresponding discussions: "Wikimedia right now is more like a government than a charitable organisation", and, alluding to Eric Raymond, "Wikimedia has to evolve from a cathedral to a bazaar".
— Gnom, personal blog
It looks like WMF are reconsidering whether this conference should continue to exist in this form. One proposal was that the Wikimedia Conference be restricted to governance/strategy, and that the other aspects of this might better be handled by a set of regional conferences.
I (Joe) think that may be a good idea, but I would hope that:
- At least one of those regional conferences is held in conjunction with the governance/strategy conference, so that the governance/strategy people don't become too detached from other aspects of this movement.
- At least once every three years, things are all brought together in one place. The hothouse atmosphere was stimulating and productive, and I don't think it can be reproduced any other way.
— Jmabel, Cascadia Wikimedians
- New Pages backlog drive: New Page Reviewers are holding a concentrated effort to cut down on a growing backlog. Anyone with the required qualifications and demonstrated experience is welcome to apply for the NPR user right at WP:PERM and lend a hand.
- Editathons: Upcoming editathons are Wiki Loves Pride, Women singers & Women+Song, Geo-focus: Russia/Soviet Union, and Women and GLAM.
- New user-groups: The Affiliations Committee announced the approval of this month's newest Wikimedia movement affiliates, the Wikiesfera Wikiesfera Grupo de Usuarixs, the Igbo Wikimedians User Group and Wikitongues.
- Facebook rolls out information feature: After a Beta launch in October (see previous Signpost coverage), Facebook has now made an information button linking to Wikipedia articles accessible to all News Feeds. According to Facebook tests, this resulted in 500,000 additional Wikipedia views a day; meanwhile, the Wikimedia Foundation writes in a statement that it "encourages companies who use Wikipedia's content to give back in the spirit of sustainability".
- Wikimedia Deutschland publishes Impact report form for 2017: The report looks back on a successful year with increased fundraising and membership and two new members of the Board of Directors, Peter Dewald and Dr. Gabriele Theren.
- New Board for Portugal: Portugal Wikimedia elected a new board on April 15. The new president is Gonçalo Themudo.
- Foundation News: The Wikimedia Foundation has appointed Heather Walls as Chief Creative Officer and Kui Kinyanjui as Vice President of Communications.
- Milestones: Congratulations to the Russian Wikipedia, which reached 900,000 articles this month.