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History of the ✛ΔO: The Portals
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
This article is the first one in a new series of articles, which cover the history of our organization. After constant inquiries, received from readers, and recent similar publications of different intelligence agencies, we felt the need to publicize. This part focuses on the evolution of the ✛ΔO web portal, during the last decade of operation.

History of the ✛ΔO: The Portals - Version 1 The very first version of the official TRON-DELTA.ORG / ✛ΔO website was released in spring 2005, and hosted on the internet by our trusted provider 1&1 Internet AG. Since then we never migrated web services, or any other important kinds of services at ✛ΔO, to a different provider [1]. Throughout the years we evaluated several offers, but eventually concluded that prices as such are not the most important subject-matters of a contract. As one can see from the screenshot of the original website (left) it contained a header image, which outfitted the site well, though at that point in time intelligence was not a big issue within the organization as a whole. The main activities members were involved in were smaller systems engineering projects, computing tasks and amateur hacking events [2]. However, importantly vast amounts of knowledge in various areas, within the field of computer sciences were then acquired.
 
History of the ✛ΔO: The Portals - Version 2 About one year later, in June 2006, a visually updated second version of the ✛ΔO portal was brought online. Back then especially members of directorates »C« (Central Services) as well as »I« (Intelligence ICT) realized that content was indeed key, and therefore some kind of structure and content management system was necessary to ease up the process of website administration. Between 2002 and 2003 site content was distributed to members via CD (compact disc) with static hypertext plus media, similar to the way software was shipped with popular computer magazines these days [3]. Also for the first time system and network engineering as well as related technologies were distinct fields of operation within the entire organization.

History of the ✛ΔO: The Portals - Version 3 In sharp contrast to the first two versions of the portal the third one (left) was created from a static page template only, with no wCMS operating in the background whatsoever. Of course that provided our administrators with a higher degree of freedom, with regards to customizability, but also added limitations to the speed of content deployment and to the displayable content itself. Nonetheless, the third version already contained much of the groundwork for future releases, such as an improved structure within the backend and also W3C compliant hypertext markup [4]. Unfortunately the template was non-free and also lacked substantial parts of code for centralized content update.

History of the ✛ΔO: The Portals - Version 4 For that reason the TRON-DELTA.ORG / ✛ΔO administration decided to replace the template, and further improve the backend file and directory structure too. Besides applied filtering within the web server, a transition from SGML parsable HTML to XML parsable XHTML was initiated. Although the fourth version of the ✛ΔO web portal implemented a pile of new technologies it was more or less a technical preview, rather than an actual ready-for-production site [5]. Thus it was suspended mid 2010 and soon replaced with a wCMS (again), based on popular PHP 5.x technology. Although cutting edge back then, the technology base turned out to be unsatisfying [6].

History of the ✛ΔO: The Portals - Version 5 In August 2010 version five of the ✛ΔO portal was brought online (left). The time from 2010 until 2015 was the most active one in the whole ✛ΔO portal development history. As we described within our article »CMS Change of the ✛ΔO Web Portal« a migration, from v5.0 of the portal to v5.2, took place during that period time. While 2010's v5.0 was driven by PHP-based Joomla! SE v1.2, the 2015 v5.2 successor now runs on ✛ΔO's offline wCMS »LXCMS« with v1.1. That system implements a row of security features, which basically make the statically exported site unhackable. The attack surface is reduced to the underlying OS and its single web server instance which resembles any web 1.0 site [7].

Therefore »LXCMS« brought the best of portal version two, like dynamic content and management capabilities, and version four, e.g. proven standards and a high level of security, to the latest version. In our opinion the ✛ΔO web content is even more resistant to attack than the one created with GSB (Government Site Builder) for the website of the German BND, the one created for the website of the British GCHQ or the one created for the website of the Israeli Mossad [8]. At present version six of our portal is in the making, which will also eliminate some of the remaining webserver-based attack vectors.
 
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Last Updated (Friday, 01 April 2016)
 
 
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