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Back online!

Posted by on March 12, 2013

If you were unfortunate enough to try to access this web site/blog any time in the last two weeks or so, you would have noticed that all of the usual content was inaccessible due to a hacker compromising it.

I was in India when I learned of the hack, and still had a little under a week left on that trip. There was little I could do from there to fix the problem. Near as I could estimate, he probably got in through a wordpress vulnerability, as I noticed he tried to reset my password. I’m not sure exactly what he did from there, however, I was able to locate a few files he had put on my server in order to gain further access, and also delete a number of files, including a good number of wordpress ones – plugins, themes, and the main files needed to access the site. Also deleted were any files I had uploaded through wordpress direct — thankfully most of the photos I share on my posts were actually stored on Facebook, so I didn’t need to re-upload much.

I located the hacker’s files and moved them so I could download and analyse them later, and deleting them off the server so he couldn’t get back in the same way. Honestly, I imagine people like that do this sort of thing to people they expect don’t have the computer skills my husband and I have. Indeed, when said hacker replied to the email my husband sent him at his request (on the page he put up in place of our sites), he said all he’d done was change the front page. Either he was lying, or he was following someone else’s instructions and didn’t even know the extent of the damage he was causing.

My husband returned from his dinner (I was sick in the hotel room) and then pulled up the logs to discover a really obvious paper trail this kid had left of his actions. IP address blocked. But I wasn’t prepared to put wordpress back up the same way and risk the security breach again. Sorting that out required my husband’s help, and almost immediately after we got home from India, he had to spend a week in Singapore. Then our Internet was down on Sunday night.

It was, perhaps, a blessing in disguise. The theme and some plugins I had been using had been somewhat outdated, and there was one that still existed that seemed to have broken some of the functionality that should have been available to me. So I spent the day sorting out a new theme and making sure everything looked in a way I’d like. Hopefully, better than what I had previously. There are at least some things I’m doing now that I wanted to do before, but hadn’t been able to.

Lots of thanks goes to my husband for sorting out all the server side functionality for me last night. I was so thrilled by it that I wanted to start working on fixing the rest immediately!

Thank you all for bearing with me, and I hope you enjoy the new look. The next post you can expect, I’ll either share with you some details of my trip to India, or be letting you know about the crowdfunding project for an anthology I’m going to be published in.

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Dominica has a strong interest in exploring diversity in media, seeing people subverting corporate control of creativity through crowdfunding and indie publishing, and spending as much time as she can travelling the world and discovering culture. This is what she most regularly blogs about. In her spare time, Dominica is primarily focused on long-form improv theatre, and writing and publishing speculative fiction. You can find links to some of her free and published stories and screenplays on her writing page, or check out her pirate time-travel novel Adrift. Though born and raised in Australia to American parents, Dominica lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 2008-2014, until she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. She also has a background in web programming, filmmaking, and stand-up comedy. For more information, check out her about page, or any of the specific pages about her various creative pursuits in the links at the top of the page.

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