What backend does VericalScope use to drive the forum? Is it possible to move to a provider that will deliver a secure platform?
There's a couple of aspects to that.
First, there is really no technical objection to moving the whole site to HTTPS. You can easily do that on the server or, failing that, put an SSL offload server-side proxy (e.g. https://www.nginx.com/blog/nginx-ssl/
) in front of it. The fact that VS hasn't done so already is probably just a matter of money: First, an SSL certificate costs money. Not a lot, but if you host 600+ sites is still a very decent amount of money. Second, SSL requires significantly more CPU capacity to perform the encryption, so it might be necessary to upgrade the servers. Since companies like VS typically operate on a shoestring - most, if not all of their income is off advertising - they might not want to go through that expense unless absolutely necessary. (Having said that, if they would only do the login process over HTTPS, and the rest of the site over HTTP, then the CPU impact would be negligible. So they would only have the added expense of the SSL certificates. But it would be a significant improvement in security.)
Whatever the backend system is doesn't really matter. It's not the backend forum software that is going to perform the encryption. But yes, there are several backends to choose from, if you want to operate a forum. And migrating from one to the other is typically not easy. Likewise, the operating system also doesn't matter: Any modern OS will do. (FWIW, it looks like VS is running Linux and Apache, at least on For Suzuki V-Strom Enthusiasts
Second, without the help of VS - which they're unlikely to give, given their marketing model - you would not be able to gain access to the forum database so you can't move the posts over to a different backend/server. You also would not be able to gain access to the user database to inform all users that the forum has changed. And since VS holds the registration to the stromtrooper.com name you also need their support if you want to move the stromtrooper.com domain to a new server. So moving stromtrooper.com as such away from VS will be impossible without their help and consent.
The only way to make a statement to VS is if the users of all their forums (not just this one) would be migrating en-masse to a competing forum provider. That would hurt their bottom line (less advertising income) and that is probably something that would get the attention of the CEO/CTO. Unfortunately the competing forums that I checked (VSRI, v-strom.nl and a few others) all suffer from the same problem: No HTTPS, not even for their login page.
The only other options I see that would cause VS to move to HTTPS is some sort of consumer action/exposure, possibly by some sort of consumer privacy/security organisation, or a lawsuit by somebody who had his password stolen/intercepted, suffered some kind of identity theft, and sues VS for negligence.
But I don't have a lot of hope that that's going to happen anytime soon...