E-Mail from "Forum"?


I don’t know where to post this. I received an e-mail from “Forum” with the subject of helping to keek anti-Catholics from hacking the Catholic Forum websites. Since I wasn’t sure if this was legit, I deleted it without reading it. We get so much mail that looks o.k., but is trash and possible damage to our computer, I don’t take chances. If this is something you want us to read, will you find a place to post it?

Love and prayers,
Mom of 5


Maybe I need to add to this post…(sorry about the typos in the first post) Have any of you recieved this e-mail? is it legit? In other words, did CAF send the e-mail?

Mom of 5


Yes. It has Karl Keating’s name on it, and it has CAF’s address, so I believe it is legit. :slight_smile:


I received it and didn’t open it either for fear of spam or worse. I absolutely didn’t recognize the mail address so I deleted it also.

I have gotten CA emails before and they didn’t look as unidentifiable as this. I wonder why?

You are not alone.:wink:


i could spoof an email with karl giving you a personal message and dancing an irish jig. don’t believe and email unless is brings you back to a CA website, and watch out for any emails that will give you a URL like

they’re hijacked sites with a script set up to phish personal info… (you see these supposedly coming from banks or ebay.)

(or any email that requests you go to a trusted site… close your browser and reopen a clean one, and type the real URL yourself.)


I didn’t receive any email like you described. Tossing it away unread was probably the right thing to do.


I figured it was spam because it came to the WRONG e-mail address.

I have a couple addresses…one I associate with different forums, and my main e-mai, which of course is subject to many spam and fraudulent e-mails.

Because the forums e-mail came to my main e-mail address, and not my other one, I deleted it…CA forums, to the best of my knowledge, does not have my main address.

While the url seemed to be legit, I was not about to take any chances.


Actually I got it too in my main account and in others that I use for things other than my personal stuff . I’m not sure about it though…I did receive similar stuff in the mail from CA. It would be nice to know if it was legit…:yup:


Well, we should ask Karl Keating, since his name was on it. When I get to work tomorrow, I will fish it out of my deleted bin and send CA an email. Now I’m curious. I do the monthly forum support thing, so I don’t usually get solicited outside of that.


Subject: Help stop anti-Catholic hackers from destroying the Catholic Answers web sites

Anti-Catholic hackers wiped out our Catholic Answers forums
at www.catholic.com – and they could do it again
if we don’t upgrade our security immediately!

Is that the one Mom?

If so, it is same address that has been sending me emails about hot topics of these forums for ages, and is also same address that sends out karl’s e-letter, except first part says “karl”, not “forums”.

So I would say 100% it is ok but double check with CA


I also received that email.

I was also unsure about it so I deleted it. Because I get tons of very cleverly done spoofing emails from ebay and banks and credit card companies and I KNOW those are all fake.

Then I went to the Catholic Answers Web site and could not find any thread about protecting the forums from hackers.

There SHOULD be a thread or a button about raising money to pay for system upgrades. BUT if there is one, I was unable to find it.

I still have no idea if it (the appeal email) was real or not.


I got it too…I have no idea if it was OK, or not…


I received one too and deleted it as well. I think we should ask Karl if this was really sent by him.


I received it, too. Deleted it.



I got it, and I read it. :eek:

It was about the Forums going down and why. It was also about what to do to stop it from happening again. It was an plea for prayers and it also asked for a donation.

Nothing sinister, it came from the same address that sends information about “hot topics” and other information about the forums.


Interesting…I’m a forum supporter and get stuff in the mail all the time… In fact I made an additional donation to help when the forums came back up…:slight_smile:


I’m not sure if I got one or not. I don’t read mail like that. I like coming here to post but I doubt if I’d give them money. Basically, these forums are addicting and waste alot of my time.:smiley: They should pay ME, in fact!:wink:

I just started posting at a forum that I’m liking even better. It’s not a religious one, but has alot of cool people. It also is less strictly moderated, but still everyone behaves really well. People aren’t as self-rightous there too.

Anyways, my identity here got deleted with the crash of the forums, so I had to reregister, so maybe they didn’t have my email. I don’t have time to read mass mailings of any sort, I get alot of spam. I’d rather waste it posting if I have to waste it at all.


I’m a supporter and trusting, also. I tried to donate and filled in the amount but couldn’t get past that screen. I don’t know whether my contribiution made it to the CAF or or not.


I got the email too, and something about it just didn’t seem right, so I contacted the office directly. Sent them an email asking for verification, but they never responded. Glad to know I wasn’t the only suspicious one!


Here’s the email address they used:
forums [forums@imcomonline.com]

Add here’s the text:

Anti-Catholic hackers wiped out our Catholic Answers forums
at www.catholic.com – and they could do it again
if we don’t upgrade our security immediately!

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,

It’s official: When the forums section of our web site was wiped out several weeks ago, it was the work of anti-Catholic computer hackers who constantly harass us and want us OFF the Internet.


These hackers constantly attack our web site and our e-mail system in multiple ways.

In the past, we’ve had many problems with these hacker attacks. (As you know, a hacker is a computer expert who is able to find ways around the security of a computer system, then come in and do enormous damage.)

One time, hackers clogged our Internet capabilities by hitting us with 2,000 “spam” e-mails per second. That’s right—2,000 per second!

This came right after we launched our now-famous “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics” just before the 2004 elections. (Just a coincidence? Not likely.)

Our e-mail server was brought to a standstill—forcing us to use an outside service to screen all our incoming e-mails for attacks like these.

Another time, our service was flooded with pornographic e-mails.

Still other attacks have included things called “port scans”—where hackers look for weaknesses in our web sites defenses. Other times, they try to inject their malicious programs into our web sites.

And that’s not all.

These hackers also use something called “IP address spoofing”—where attackers gain unauthorized access to a computer or a network.

Sometimes they use “denial of service” attacks (one of the most difficult attacks to defend against), “sniffer” attacks, “TCP sequence prediction,” etc., etc.

The list goes on and on. It gets very confusing. And very frustrating!

The bottom line is that these hackers are out to destroy our web sites and our Internet presence!

They know how to use the Internet as a weapon.

Unless we do something significant to stop these attacks, we will continue to be vulnerable and at the mercy of these high-tech “cyber terrorists.”

That’s why I’m writing to you today. I know you care about our Catholic Answers Forums and you do not want to see them wiped out like they were several weeks ago.

Right now, we need to beef up our Internet security to the highest level possible—the same level of security that major corporations use to protect their web sites.

But that level of security and system redundancy does not come cheap.

The fact is that we’re looking at a price tag as high as $110,000.

And that is a totally unexpected expense that’s going to hit us very hard.

We have to strengthen and increase our Internet security—or we’ll be at the mercy of these relentless hackers who are out to shut down our web site and especially our forums.

Believe it or not, these misfits actually boast about their destructive handiwork.

They delight in it.

It doesn’t cost them a dime to wage their guerilla warfare via computer. Yet their destructive attacks cost their victims hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars.

And most of the time, they never get caught. They know how to erase their tracks—and they cover for each other when law enforcement agencies investigate.

For example, they have special computer programs that inundate our forums web site with sexually explicit and foul-mouthed content.

They know this causes us nothing but headaches as we try to shield our members from such filth.

And yet, because the hackers have the know how to attack us, they’re relentless. Constantly changing their attacks and their M.O. Forever coming up with new ways to mess with us.

That’s why we need the highest level of Internet security available.

And we need it now.

The recent disruption of our forums—which we now know was the result of a sophisticated kind of hacker attack—will happen again and again if we don’t do something to protect ourselves now.

The reason they attack the forums is because our forums are the largest Catholic web forums in the world!

We have almost 40,000 active registered members, plus another 100,000 non-registered visitors to the forums.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.