You know what the Diamond Comics BBS needed? “Tradewars 2002.”

§ November 10th, 2021 § Filed under retailing § 1 Comment

As you probably heard, the computer system for Diamond Comic Distributors was taken down by a ransomware attack over the weekend. Diamond’s various online presences started popping back up in various levels of capacity Sunday and Monday, though I was having a problem accessing the retailer site.

Basically, after I heard it was supposed back up, I’d click my menu bar bookmark for the retailer site, only to have the browser think for a bit before sending back this message:

I’d confer with other retailers, in state and out, asking them if the website was coming up for them. “Oh sure,” they said. Confounding me further was that I could call up the site on my phone, which is how I ended up doing the weekly final order adjustments before the deadline. And believe me, filling out the online order forms on the phone was no fun…and with the monthly order due in a couple of weeks, there’s no way I wanted to have to repeat the process with that.

So I tried multiple browsers, clearing caches again and again. I tried multiple operating systems, Windows at work, Mac at home. No dice. I fiddled with DNS settings, and no go. I was beginning to wonder if my internet provided (the same in both locations) had noticed something fishy was going on at Diamond and just shut off access to them completely as a safety measure.

It wasn’t until Monday morning, when I called the Diamond service number to find out if there was any way to fix my lack of access, when I heard something the recorded message said. It told me their retailer website “retailerservices.diamondcomics.com” was back up.

Wait, hold on. “Retailerservices?”

For…well, I don’t know how long it’s been, a couple of decades at least. Sometime after we stopped calling into the Diamond Comics BBS to download order forms and stuff. (Remember the Diamond BBS? You do? Hello fellow olds.) The address I always accessed was “retailer.diamondcomics.com.” That was the address I’d been trying to log into for a couple of days now. Always getting that message in the pic I posted above.

Well, Diamond’s phone message said the “retailerservices” site…and lo and behold, I logged in there just fine. And when I double-checked my phone…yes, sure enough, that was the site I was accessing there.

In conclusion, I felt pretty stupid. Apparently Diamond set up “retailerservices.etc” somewhere along the line, but still supported the “retailer.etc” domain. At least, until this ransomware attack hit, and “retailerservices” was restored and the other wasn’t. Sigh.

Poking around the retailer site…some functionality has been restored. I was able to do my final order adjustments as I’d said, and the damge/shortage report form was working as well (y’know, good thing, considering). I placed a reorder, which seemed to have been confirmed (though may take a little longer to ship, more on that in a second). I saw that UPS tracking numbers for shipments hadn’t been updated, and that some data files were unavailable, like the list of the week’s new releases.

But, that’s better than nothing. Plus, Diamond’s “back up” website is up, specifically for news about their operations post-computer disaster. Noted there is that delays have struck shipping to a number of areas due to the hack…my area was not one of them, so all my boxes showed up on time.

I am expecting, though, that without computers and access to invoices and such, next week’s shipment may be an entirely different issue. Since I get my Marvels and DCs from other distributors now, I’ll at least have them on time, but I expect everything else to be late. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Diamond just skipped a week to get everything back in order. Says on that backup site we’ll find out “later in the week,” so I’ll keep my eyes peeled. I’m also sort of wondering if the invoices for next week will be automatically generated sometime thjs Wednesday morning…probably not is my guess.

It’s a good thing we have multiple distributors now, as this could have easily taken down the industry for a while if everyone’s eggs were in the same basket. We’ll just see how things go next week…may just have to settle for a new DC Tuesday, new Marvel Wednesday, and a new Everything Else…whenever they can get it to me.

One Response to “You know what the Diamond Comics BBS needed? “Tradewars 2002.””

  • Heslin says:

    Man, –==TradeWars2002==– takes me back.

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