Saturday, October 6, 2012

Da blog is back!

Who knew that being an author meant dealing web site hackers? My apologies to everyone who has waited patiently for my blog to come back up. About six months ago, my web site was shut down. Turns out that it had been hacked by someone who was using it to do credit card scams. They hack into your web site, set up a "dummy" web site that looks like a bank web site, then send out a few hundred thousand emails saying "please log into your bank account (at this helpful link) and verify your bank account information. A few of those people will have accounts with that bank, and a few of those in turn will log in and cheerfully type in their account info and password. The hacked web site then emails those to a harvester site, which uses them to get into that bank account and transfer that person's $250 savings to the Cayman Islands. Pretty clever, actually. For those of you who were on my web site, there's no danger. The pages they create aren't even accessible through the link structure of the web site. Only through their email.

My web site hosting company watches for this, and shut down my web site within a few minutes when they saw it. I cleaned out the infestation, brought the site back up and ... same thing a week later. Eventually it became clear that they were getting in through my blog, WordPress. Apparently people keep finding hackable holes in WordPress, and WordPress keeps issuing updates. If you don't apply the update fast enough, you get hacked. Eventually I gave up and removed the blog entirely.

Now that I've got the manuscript for Cursed by the Sea God (the sequel to Torn from Troy) submitted, I've got time for this long-overdue maintenance. So my blog is back up, now courtesy of Let them keep the hackers out! I'm sure they'll be a lot better at it than me.

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