Not So Fast!
First things first, I need to apologize to all my valued visitors and blog subscribers for the disruption of my service. My site was hacked a little over a week ago and the result was that all visitors were being redirected to various porn sites.
Last week, I posted this on Facebook: To all my website (Retired in Samar) visitors and subscribers, I regret to inform that my blog has been hacked and all visits are now being directed to different porn sites. After having watched all this porn to ensure its validity (jk), I have decided to redirect my website’s domain to my YouTube account while I decide how to attack and fix this problem. I apologize for this inconvenience and hope anyone hasn’t been too horribly offended (I know a few guys that probably think this is an upgrade and are excited!). I hope to have my site back soon and until then, my loyal followers will be stuck watching my home movies! (videos) Thanks for your understanding. (While this was a serious post, I had to inject some humor into it to help me overcome my own shock and grief. One of my local expat friends mentioned to me that he had seen the post and thought I was joking as usual. While I appreciated the fact that he appreciated my humor, it was hardly the case!)
Anyone who has ever had a website hacked for nefarious reasons knows exactly how frustrating and infuriating it is. When I was first notified by one of my faithful blog subscribers that I had been hacked, I immediately went to the address he provided me and there it was… PORN. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the sound a heart monitoring machine makes when a Code Blue occurs. When that first re-directed page was displayed on my monitor, all I could hear was that infamous “flatline” tone as it dominated my entire thought process. It is like being violated in the Nth degree and what’s worse, you will never find those responsible nor will you ever be able to kick somebody’s ass for a justified and simple satisfaction. It is a totally helpless feeling knowing that there is absolutely nothing you can do, and along with the added uncertainty of recovering the site, it is an almost unmatched sinking feeling. I my case, I have compiled nearly fours years of writing – over 350 posted articles and hundreds more files and photos in the website library. Where did I go wrong? I failed in my own due diligence to keep my site backed up! While I thought my hosting service was performing auto-backups on my behalf, I was mistaken. I failed to ensure that the service was up and functioning. That is totally my fault for not following through. But now that has been fixed.
A Fiesta and Some Food For Thought!
I came to a crossroads during this last few days when I actually took some pause, considering putting an end to the blog. Throwing in the towel. Calling it quits! And at one point, it would have been as easy as putting a suffering animal to rest with a single shot… like pulling the plug (power plug), literally. Actually, for about 4 days straight, I struggled with this resignation. Yesterday, I went to a fiesta, ate some good food and got re-energized by talking with a few of my fellow expats who also happen to be blog visitors. Having a few beers with these guys was all I needed to get re-inspired to find a solution. After spending a good part of the previous 5 days downloading, reading and researching the “hows” and “what to dos,” yesterday I committed myself to fixing the problem – and I am happy to say, without having to throw copious amounts of money at other “experts” to identify the hacked files, repair them, and return my site to functionality, I went about it on my own. Well, me, myself and the technicians at GoDaddy!
I have purchased and managed many domains through this company in the past and I’ve used them almost extensively for all my domain hosting needs. And I must say that after being with this company for over 9 years, they have outdone themselves. After spending several hours on the phone with three different tech reps today, they all came together in the end, identifying the issues, re-writing lines of code, and helping me to get back online. From walking me through folders and files, to helping me to identify additional vulnerabilities, they were with me all the way to the end. It was a win-win-win today for me. I’ve recovered all my data, I’m back online, and I didn’t have to spend much money doing it. And I am better prepared for what lies ahead.
Now, all that’s left to do is to come up with something new to write about! Hmmm.