The Site Was Hacked, But You’re Probably Ok

Never have the words the system is down been more appropriate. Ug.

If you happened to stop around these parts yesterday, you’re probably wondering where the hell we went. The short answer is offline, because we got hacked. Twice.

The first one happened on Sunday. I learned of it while I was on a train and couldn’t do anything about it, which is an amazing feeling, let me tell you. Fortunately fixing it was a pretty simple matter once I got home, so simple that most of you likely didn’t even notice it. The site didn’t even have to go down for more than the time it took me to make some necessary edits.

But that, it turns out, was just a warm-up.

Monday morning I awoke to another email from DreamHost, the wonderful (I mean that sincerely) company that keeps us running alerting me to a second hack, complete with a list of potentially compromised files as long as your arm. Happy Thanksgiving to us. After a wee bit of panic and substantially more investigation, we discovered that somebody somewhere had designs on making us into a hub for all sorts of nasties. Malware, porn, a haphazardly knocked together fake version of Fox News…you name it. But between DreamHost’s security monitoring detecting and locking things down, me when I was around, Carin who was sick and really should have been resting and our buddy James who is far beyond awesome, we *think* everything is ok now. Time will tell, but so far so good.

Alright, Steve. We’re glad you’re back, but what does this mean for us?

Not much, more than likely. If you’re worried I’ll give you the standard advice about scanning the devices you come here with for viruses and spyware, but best we can tell none of you should have been harmed in any way. But since we’re not precisely sure how whoever this was backdoored their way in, what you may notice are some site features possibly coming and going from time to time. Right now you can’t get comments by email, for instance. Aside from that though, you should be able to carry on tolerating our existence/hatereading us as you always have.

If for some reason you do have any questions or concerns, leave a comment or drop Carin or I a line. I’ll be getting nervous every time my email goes off for a little while, but don’t let that stop you from sending one.

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  1. For some reason, that hacking attempt pissed me off to an irrational degree…and you don’t want to have been here when I read some of the names of images being linked to from the fake Fox News page. And the words I had for the files I deleted from the server. Lol. I’m happy James didn’t have to work too long to get us back in business. But yeah, much love to DreamHost for saving our butts.

    1. I felt bad that I had to leave town again yesterday although beyond a certain point I’m not sure how much I could have helped. Some of this stuff is a bit above my pay grade. But we seem to be humming along for now, which is nice.

      Oh, and I can imagine your reactions. I could tell by some of the texts I was getting as I sat in a room full of old people hoping that nobody could see my phone.

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