It’s been a LONG old week, and it’s only Tuesday. In fact it’s been a long few days.
This blog is my baby. It’s my baby after my children, and the cranky cat. It’s taken a lot of love, blood, sweat, tears, effort and time to keep it running and whilst I am not a big or massively popular blogger, it’s my little corner of the world, where I can spout my opinion, bore you with pictures and tales of the cats and kids, and share my recipes with you. It’s a place where I have been raw and honest, about a lot of things, and there is a lot shared here that if it was lost, would probably almost break my heart. (it is backed up, before you all ask, but to have to loose the site or not be able to access it would hit me really hard!)
Last week my blog was hacked. Someone or something had managed to get past the security set up and my blog was redirecting to sites that were not links to my blog. For 12 hours it was Russian porn sites, then it was links to BitCoin sites, then it was to sites selling stuff. I changed my passwords and contacted a company to get things cleaned up. They managed to start the cleaning process and it all seemed to go back to normal, then it happened again, over the weekend. Worse than that, the buggers who hacked my site managed to change my password so I couldn’t login but because I have software on my site I could see notifications every time they logged in or accessed it.
Then, last night, my blog went down totally. Someone had logged in and deleted several files that are beyond my understanding technically, but that meant my blog was no longer active. For 12 hours, the tech person who was helping me, and I tried to get it back. Thankfully my blog host, and the person fixing the issues managed to figure out what files were deleted and sort it out. My blog came back and I was able to get my password sorted and get back in.
This blog is a huge part of my life, it’s part of my job, it’s my space, my therapeutic corner, and it belongs to me. It’s the first time I have had this happen, and I hope the last. I have seen it happen to other bloggers I know, and winced in sympathy with them. It’s a freaking nightmare, and because these hackers are clever you don’t know when it will happen and why they have picked your blog.
I have said some very rude and uncharitable things about people or organisations that think they can do this, and get away with it. It messes up people’s property and work and it’s a pain to sort out. It can actually take down people’s sites, if the hacking is bad enough. Us bloggers rely on our blogs for income and as part of our jobs, so when we can’t access our blogs, it means lost livelihood as well as costs to use because we have to pay someone to fix the mess the hackers have caused. I am very grateful to those who have helped me sort things out.
I am very relieved that things are back to normal, and that we were able to get things sorted. I know other people have not been able to, and it’s incredibly disheartening and upsetting to know someone or something has invaded your space, almost like a burglar into your house, and taken over what’s yours to fill it with horrible links that can cause problems for other people or simply to redirect your site to theirs to get clicks.
I do have security on my blog, I have a firewall, I have a system in place so random people can’t login, I have things set up as much as possible to prevent being hacked, but unfortunately it happens. I know it has happened to others this week, too. The moral of the story is make sure your work is backed up, make sure you are signed up to a good security system, and that you have strong passwords. It isn’t foolproof but it helps.
This is what I have to say to hackers and people who think it’s ok to do this….
Sorry, not sorry…