My 3 Monsters: The View from the Blacklist

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9.23.2012

The View from the Blacklist

An extremely accurate artistic depiction of what I think is happening behind the scenes of my blog.
Many of you may have noticed a fun, bright red pop-up window this weekend when you tried to access my blog.  It said something like, "You should be ashamed of yourself.  Does your mother know you're here?!  This site has been found to contain malicious code which could destroy your computer, slap your children, and ruin your life.  Google loves you more than Amy G. ever has --  trust us and be on your merry way to another lovely site so you can sleep easy tonight dreaming of unicorns and rainbows".  {Not a direct quote.}  Imagine my surprise when I read that nice message at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning as I groggily logged onto my computer.  My site -- my little internet baby -- had been taken into custody for its unbecoming behavior.  I was equal parts shocked, confused and embarrassed, with a dash of angry thrown in for good measure.  My 3 Monsters?  On the Blacklist?  Huh?

I'm just a little old Mormon homemaker sitting here in Arizona writing about crafts and other very vanilla, non-controversial things.  {Except for that post on Housekeeping.  My views on that proved to be quite controversial.}  How had I unwittingly become accomplice to internet crimes against humanity?  Could it be true?  And, more to the point, why me?  Because I'm an easy target.  I could never have imagined this happening so I didn't protect myself against it.  After a quick web search, I learned that my website had probably been hacked and that malicious code had been placed somewhere in the depths of my blog-baby's soul.  And that it moved around so I wouldn't be able to find it, even though Google could.  After an extensive web search, I learned that I was in waaayyyy over my head.  There was talk about robots, and needing to "close the back door" of my blog and looking in my directories for redirect code.  Whaaaa?  Google has spiders crawling through my blog content and there are robots keeping the spiders from crawling in certain places?  Meanwhile, burglars are sneaking in and leaving junk all around.  Why can't the robots fight the burglars instead of the spiders, which seem harmless after all?  {If you know about this kind of thing you are probably sitting back saying, "That girl is an idiot,"  and you're right.  But can you make a snowman out of a baby sock?  Didn't think so.}

Long story short, I got it fixed and it probably won't happen again because I am paying a company now to monitor my back door.  Or something like that.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm paying them for now, but they fixed my blog so I love them.  I'd like to sincerely apologize to anyone whose website or computer may have been adversely affected by the things that happened to my blog this weekend.  Not that I did anything on purpose, but I feel really bad nonetheless.  I got an email Friday night from another nice blogger whose site had been blacklisted, too, because she linked to me in her side bar.  She was super sweet and super encouraging, but I lost her as a follower.  And I lost all of my nearly 1100 readers in Feedburner.  Boo.

It's not a big deal, really, except that it is.  To me it's a big deal.  When my kids are at school or sleeping, this blog gets the lion's share of my attention.  It's my job.  It's what I do.  As a very reserved girl in real life, this blog is my voice.  It's where I'm not afraid to be myself.  I feel very motherly toward it, in a weird way.  I felt sick to have my blog-baby attacked and our good online reputation taken away from us this weekend.  I was sick to think that anyone else would have to go through a similar experience, just because they were associated with me in some way.

So, I'm sorry.  And thank you for coming back.  And now I'm moving on. 

*UPDATE:  I have found out that the "bad stuff" Google found was associated with the ads I run -- an issue with the mother company -- and not a direct hack of my blog.  It has happened to many, many bloggers this weekend, too.   It gives me comfort to know that my blog-baby is safe and sound and that the ad company {with waaayyy more resources than me} has amped up their security to protect me {and you!}from their end.  It still sucks, but at least you got to see the cool graphic I created.*


4 comments:

  1. it's weird that that happened! your blog is so cute and innocent! I LOVE IT!

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  2. What a horrible invasion! Sorry that happened. I was out of town over the weekend - so I didn't check in, but dang it anyway! Sorry dude. Glad to know you figured it out. I would have just sat and cried. My blog IS my journal - they tell me to "back it up" but I don't know what that means...
    Crap. Now I have to run over and check my blog. JIC

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  3. How frustrating! I am sorry this happened, love you blog!

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  4. I couldn't understand a single word of all that blacklisting jargon. . . AND I can't make a snowman out of a baby sock, either. You're still way ahead of me.

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