Those of you who get blog updates from me in your email or news consolidator may have noticed some very strange behavior from my blog today.
First, my apologies for any inconvenience.
Second, an explanation and some reflection:
This morning, part of my routine is to check the blog to make sure the latest post is published. I usually have them scheduled for publication about midnight PDT. When I looked at it this morning, all my posts had been wiped out! There are almost 2400 posts, spanning 10 years. All of them were gone.
Fortunately, I’m paranoid about things like this. I actually back up the site several times a day, so we could recover pretty easily.
The biggest reason it took some time is that we wanted to find out what caused the problem. If we didn’t fix that, we would be exposed to the same thing again.
We think we isolated it, it was a website referenced in a comment someone made about 8 years ago. That site had been abandoned and was hijacked by some hackers. Apparently, they found a way into the blog site and could delete all the content.
We’ve deleted that reference, my IT team has done some scans of the blog site and added even more security to prevent this, but I’m somewhat resigned to the unfortunate fact that this is a cost of business. We balance making the site accessible, particularly to commenters whose interaction is so valuable and protecting this asset.
For some of the regular commenters, you will find your comments may no longer be automatically accepted, but will require moderation. It may mean a delay of about 24 hours in getting your comment posted.
My team gave me some interesting data. Year to date, there have been about 10,000 malicious log-in attempts to the blog. There have been over 1 million spammed comments. And those are the one’s my team could detect.
We live in a world where no there are no guarantees of security. It seems hackers find ways to penetrate everything. Fortunately, we have backup and recovery strategies.
Some of you, through this recovery process, may have gotten several emails through your subscription to the site updates. My apologies for filling your inbox, hopefully, we are back to normal.
Many of you reached out expressing concern. Thanks so much, I appreciate both your concern and that you value the content.
Thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding!