Hackers and other disasters

image

11 June 2016

Late on Thursday night when I tried to proofread the blog post that was due to be published the next day I couldn’t get onto the blog. There was a just a weird message I didn’t understand. Straight away I checked the LCN site to make sure it wasn’t an issue with their servers or whatnot. It wasn’t. Then I tired to view the blog throug an old Facebook link. The same message came up. Going through Google brought the same results. A shard of ice stabbed at my heart and one word screamed in my head, HACKERS! Continue reading Hackers and other disasters

Phoenix rising from the ashes

image

12 October 2014

For the first time in the history of the world there was no walk on Sunday morning. Instead, there I was again, looking for a non-existent email from the techy bods. As I ate my granola my mind lingered on the photos I’d lost for good. Moonwalks, Itchen Navigation walks, Race For Life’s, Commando’s marathons, Netley Abbey, views from the penthouse, holidays… the longer I thought the longer the list got. What was the point in dwelling on it though? What’s gone is gone right? Continue reading Phoenix rising from the ashes

Boulevard of broken dreams

image

10 & 11 October 2014

On Friday night I had two major problems and a zillion minor ones. Major problem number one was that I still couldn’t get onto my blog to reset it even if I knew how. Major problem number two was that my email was slowly filling up with non delivery notifications for emails I hadn’t sent, hundreds of them. It didn’t take a genius to realise the two things were connected. For once Googling got me nowhere. In the end I rang LCN, the blog hosts to ask for help. Continue reading Boulevard of broken dreams

Crash and burn

image

8 & 9 October 2014

Wednesday was a stormy day in more ways than one. Despite heavy rain when I got up I somehow managed to dodge the showers on my way to work. Foolishly, I’d promised to start at eight all week which meant it was a very long day. Thirteen hours later I finally walked back through the door.

Once I’d had a coffee, because I can’t walk through the door and not have a coffee, I thought I’d multitask and proofread the blog post I’d prepared for Wednesday evening while I ate my pasta, simple eh?

As it turned out, not so much. When I tried to log onto my blog all I got was a white page with

Linux10+bd5e5eb049f3907175f54f5a571ba6b9fdea36ab.

Scary! A prickle of panic ran up my spine. I tried closing everything down and starting again but the same thing happened. I tried logging in through the WordPress My Blogs page. The same thing. I even tried Googling my blog but that came up with the same result. It was gone, all of it. The one teeny tiny saving grace in all this was that, less than a week before, I’d backed it up on my Mac but, if I couldn’t get onto it, I couldn’t restore it.

There was a rather fraught and panicked email to the LCN help team who host my blog and then half an hour of checking my emails for a reply that didn’t come. I went to bed feeling worried. More than two years of my work, all the lovely people who comment and read, gone just like that. Ok so it wasn’t the end of the world. No one died. Even so, I wasn’t exactly a happy bunny.

There was a tiny hope that order would be restored in my blog world at some point in the future. But this is also a cautionary tale. Back up! Back up regularly. Back up every day! Do not take the techy geeks for granted. They make the wheels in the background go round so the writers and dreamers don’t have to worry about all that code and clever stuff. Let’s face it, if I had to worry about that there would never have been a blog in the first place.

Thursday morning I was up bright and early and one of the first things I did was check my emails and my blog. Nothing had changed. The techy bods had not replied, the blog was still AWOL. It wasn’t the best of starts to the day. When I left for work, just after seven, my mind was whirling with the thought that the blog really could be gone for good. What would I do? Could I bear to start over when I’d come so far. What about the people who read it, they’d be seeing the same message when they tried to look at it. Would they wonder what had happened? Would they really care? After all there are thousands of other blogs just as good as mine, better even. Would my little offering even be missed?

Walking along the boardwalk I had a swift and beautiful reminder of the important things in life. The most amazing sunrise across the water, all crepuscular rays and clouds lined with gold. There was a swan at the water’s edge and gulls in the air. As I walked the sun slowly rose through the clouds. Photos were taken, of course. There was still a tiny hope that I would be able to share them at some point. Tiny.

image

It was another long, manic day, filled with lost property and bus disasters, not to mention a man who may or may not have been attacked on a bus, he wasn’t entirely sure. Despite the glorious sunrise there were showers so heavy the world outside the window disappeared from time to time. In the afternoon the sky was lit up by lightning and the air rent with thunder. It was hard to concentrate with all the noise and flashes going on.

At home, tired and still worried, I checked my emails again. There was a reply from the helpteam geeks, well one of them anyway.

I have raised your issue up to our 2nd Line Support team. Once I have more information on this I’ll contact you with an update.

It wasn’t exactly hopeful. With fingers firmly crossed I checked the blog again. Maybe the second line geeks had worked a miracle since the email was sent. Sadly, they hadn’t. Nothing had changed. The tiny bit of hope that it would ever be fixed shrank. It was now a microscopic thing, too small to be seen by the human eye. If you ever read this it will be a triumph of hope over expectation.

On Friday I got an email from LCN.

Our engineers have looked into this thoroughly for you and unfortunately it would appear that your WordPress installation was hacked and malicious code inserted into many of the files. Unfortunately, this is going to require a complete reinstall. Normally we would be able to restore the data for you however the only snapshot with your site available already has the malicious code present.

So that was it. All gone! At that moment I could have wept. Of course I still had the backup but did I dare use it? What if the malicious code was in there too? Would it even work? Let’s face it I am about as techy as a two year old. Scrub that, a two year old probably understands more about this stuff than me. Ok, so I studied Computer Science at college. I could write BASIC programmes. Does anyone even use that stuff any more? These days it’s all well beyond my poor little frazzled brain.

So basically, here I am starting again.

image