Danger, Danger, Blog Readers

It appears that my blog and I fell victim on Friday to a wide-spread Go Daddy malware something-or-other.  I will not bore you with the gory details, but there were several hours when the future of this blog was uncertain.  As was my sanity; I am not a technologically savvy person.  Now that I have (mostly) gotten over my own blog worries, I am moving on to worrying about all of you!

According to a moderately helpful, relatively patient, Go Daddy tech, it is entirely possible that anyone who visited here Friday into mid-morning Saturday might have left with a little something unexpected – malware or a virus.  First, let me say that I am soooo sorry that it might have happened and soooo hoping that it didn’t!  Here is what I suggest you do just to be on the safe side:

  • Run a virus scan of your computer.
  • Run a malware scan.  My husband and I used this one here and Ryan (of No More Bacon and Revive My Blog) recommends this one here.
  • Keep a close eye on your blog for any weirdness.  (For me, I saw a strange site referenced when my homepage loaded and my admin sections were all messed up.)

I will tell you that neither the virus scan or malware scan picked up anything on my own computer despite there clearly being something wrong.  (It was all in the blog files, I guess.)  But the tech guy, who I questioned repeatedly, admitted that there is no way of knowing what, if anything, might have been passed on.  And he did do something at his end to fix things for me (although it took more than one phone call and they insist it is not their fault even though it affected thousands of their customers).  Lots of gobbledygook that I did not understand.  So my next step was to “hire” blog security and I can now assure you that my blog is safe:)

I have no idea how this happened.  I am moving on to take steps to ensure it does not happen again.  And I ran a patch last night (but don’t ask me what that means) and I was warned that it might screw up some of my blogs features.  So please let me know if you discover anything wonky and bear with me as I figure things out.

If anyone has any tech advice to share about blog security, I’m sure there would be many who’d welcome the information.  And while we are talking tech advice, my blog has been very slow lately and I have yet to find a solution.  Feel free to offer advice for that too!

Sorry for the bad news today and fingers crossed this post was unnecessary.  Catch you all tomorrow.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Danger, Danger, Blog Readers

  1. Karen, this happens to be strongly related to what I do for a living at my day job and my side business. You can never stop the bad guys, but you have to do what you can. Do you update WordPress when updates are available? If not, you should. There are other things that can be done too, but that is the best place to start.

    Sorry to hear you were hit.

    • Karen

      I thought it was very ironic that I put off updating my blog for ages and finally did it about a week or so ago! And only found out yesterday that there were security reasons to keep current. I need a manual for this thing! BTW – I have been debating joining your upcoming challenge. My last two that I participated in did not go well for me. Sigh.

  2. Thanks for the heads up!! I’m downloading malware bytes! thanks!

  3. Karen, I will show this to my hubby who builds systems for small business’s. He has been in the bus since before PC’s so he is VERY knowledgeable! He knows his stuff! We have malware on our machines & it even says sites that are not a prob could be… BUT since you said ” the virus scan or malware scan picked up anything on my own computer despite there clearly being something wrong. (It was all in the blog files, I guess”, definitely going to show hubby.

    Will let you know if he has any suggestions… he is still snoozing!

    • Karen

      My poor husband is my tech guy too but he does not have a background in this and I just kept telling him that I had no idea what to do and needed his help! I was pretty calm for a while then the stress hit. It was very obvious to me that my blog was screwed up so even more frustrating that I had no idea how to fix the darn thing! I was pretty sure that I was going to have to pull the plug and start over. So glad that didn’t happen.

  4. It’s also nice when companies can admit their issues too. I like responsibility.

    I’m running scans over here but my stuff seems ok so far.

    Sucks when stuff gets in the way of blogging like that. You will become a techgeek before long!

  5. I am so not techy! My son is a computer science major in college but he is home so little that I don’t get a lot of help from him unless I catch him at just the right time.

    I blog loads slow sometimes and I have noticed that yours can take a long time to load sometimes too! What is up with that?

    We tried to load the follow up comment plug in that you use and could not get it to work. I give up!

    I would love to hire someone to make my blog better but it is not in the budget at this time.

    • Karen

      I tried a plug in that was supposed to help with speed – it didn’t. Sigh. I am not sure if that is a blog issue or a host issue. For that reply plug in, let me know if you want me to email you what I put in all the settings; it might help you set it up. I had to do some trial and error with my husband leaving test comments for me.

      • My son says it is the server of the web host that is causing my problem. We removed my blog list and the plug in that showed the latest post from other bloggers, changed the way I load the photos and none of it made any difference in the speed of the blog loading. Sigh is right!

        Yes please let me know what settings you used. We had wondered if maybe the comment reply plug in wasn’t compatible with the latest version of WordPress as we just did the latest update for it.

        Thanks for your help.

        • Karen

          I just saw this today, sorry. Another problem I am having is that I no longer get emails when someone comments, yet have not changed that setting. So frustrating. I am trying to get online support for that from WP but nothing yet. I will go through my settings later today and send you an email.

  6. Karen, what a stressful time for you! UGH!
    I am so happy your blog is intact!
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

  7. Ugh! So sorry you had to go through that. Here’s hoping for smooth sailing from here on out!

    • Karen

      And guess what I found out?! We are supposed to update to the latest versions of WP partially for security reasons! And here you and I put that off for so long. And I get hit AFTER I do it. Sigh. If you have any security plug ins installed, will you please let me know which ones.

  8. I’m glad that it all worked out okay – very scary for you!

  9. These are the moments when we realize just how precarious it all is. I start to feel like I’m really getting cool and knowing “computer things”, and then one little thing goes wrong and I’m so completely in the dark and helpless. It’s awful. Sorry you had all the stress. I hope everyone is clear. I don’t think I visited on Friday, but is it still harder to get a virus on a Mac? I never even think about it.
    hmmmm….

  10. Pingback: Waisting Time , Archive » Life’s Little Awards (the long-winded version)

  11. Are you using Askimet? I had a blog completely hacked once. Make sure you change your passwords regularly and make it really hard too.

  12. Ahhhhhh!!!! I think it got me!
    I just talked to HostGator and they’re checking into it. We’ll see. Me and my invincible Mac…

    What did you mean by “hiring” security? I’d like to learn more about that. I took my blog offline for now until I know what’s going on.
    It’s just all glitchy and nothing works.
    Weird.

  13. Oh no!! Sorry this happened to you… everything seems fine on my end, but I hope you got everything ironed out!!

  14. ugh, I hate dealing with technical difficulties! Hope everything is back to normal.

    Thanks for stopping by my site on my SITS day.

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