On June 5th my blog was hacked and deleted. The perpetrator got my password as a result of the Linkedin hacking. He (definitely male and most likely, a college student) then hi-jacked my url, redirecting traffic to a college message board.
In what must have been an entertaining night of mischief, he destroyed seven years of laborious work (first post November 15, 2006). He stole content, fooled Google, and for the coup du gras, put a ransom note in the call to action “this domain is for sale.” Apparently, this wasn’t his first, or probably last, hack job.
What I’ve learned from the experience:
- You get what you pay for when it’s free – up until this point, I have been using free blogging tools to post and host my blog via Blogger (a Google company). There is no customer services phone number to call, and no one to respond to messages on the Google Product Forums Help Center. You’re on your own, and if something happens hope that some other user has experienced the same issue, solved it and is willing to respond to your request. I’m now paying for a hosted service…lesson learned. Also, recommend this path to other bloggers out there.
- Good people – thank you to everyone that notified me that my blog was down. Albeit, painful to receive a tweet or message from a reader trying to access the blog, I do appreciate you notifying me. Also, special thanks to Ryan DeShazer, a former colleague, and good friend, for helping me navigate this mess.
- Change your password – often, and use multiple variations. I learned that lesson the hard way. For tips for creating a secure password click here.
- The Internet is the wild west – even though I know the profile of the person who hacked my site, it’s virtually impossible for me to identify him and/or to do anything to punish him. There are no cyber police. My blog is “digital personal property” and he destroyed it. The fact is that bad people exist, and those who destroy rather than create, are the lowest of the low. So be careful out there.
Bare with me, this is going to take a while. As I am rebuilding the site I will be posting from the latest post to the most recent. Not all post will be published; this will be a “best of” approach. That said; if there is a post that you’d like to see please let me know.