thought I’d pissed off the Russian mob and had suffered a contract hit.
You’ll remember how I mentioned I shut off my blog comments because of all the entries being placed on it (sites get a lot more traffic the more places they are featured, which is a faulty algorithm that drives disreputable behaviors). I’d decided that the last time my site got hacked it was through this mechanism and, if anything, my feedback mechanism was getting stone-aged. Once I started getting volumes of Russian traffic, I decided to mitigate the risk and shut it down. And three days later, my site went down. Just totally, utterly blank.
I sat there looking at the void where my site had been, figuring I’d been vengeance-hacked by some angry Russian cyber-pirate. Something like a thousand postings (book reviews and Dog Ears, but even my trip reports) all gone. It was a lot to take in.
I lay in bed that night, wondering what I could do. Yes, I have backups but I’m not sure how to do a full cold restart (and even if I could, might I not get knocked down again?) And I had to come to terms that I might have lost it all. So, was that a bad thing?
One thing I learned (from my complete system reinstall after a malware attack) is that nothing is permanent. Hackers can get into just about everything. Margot Kidder went crazy years back when her memoirs were hacked and deleted – ended up babbling through people’s backyards in the dead of night, as I recall. But I’d read that the best armor there was against hacking was not to care. Do not place great sentimental value in the late-winter snow-dusting that is your computer files. Back up the irreplaceable. Print off the critical. And the rest? Be ready to bid it a sorrowful goodbye.
And that’s what I did. As I lay there, I changed my thinking from what I’d possibly lost to what might be my future site. First off, I’d find a better platform than creaky old Joomla. And maybe I’d change the nature of my blogs into a more freeform style, less formal, more flowing (possibly combining book reviews with writer perspective). Possibly a more engaging background than my parchment and pen template. But there was no rush – my replacement of RobertRaymond.com would be careful and considered, not a blind rush to duplicate it. It was actually heady to shake off the chains of what-was and embrace what-could-be.
I dropped off to sleep for a bit but woke up in the dead of night. Just because I am who I am, I decided to look to the site one more time. Booted up and Firefoxed in and pop! Here was the Blogotorium, all up and running (slowly). I would find out later that a new Russian cyber-offensive directed at the Ukraine might have had something to do with it. So maybe that’s it and the worse is behind me. Maybe the site will stay up. We’ll see.
If you can.
P.S. GoDaddy (my host) confirmed that the server where this site resides had been down for a few days. The timing was magnificent.