Website Hacked

TL/DR; My site was hacked, and you may have been redirected to a phishing page at some point when browsing my content. I have fixed the issue. If you are ever redirected to a strange page when visiting my blog – please let me know by posting a comment.

I regret to say that my site was hacked. Unbeknownst to me, the favicon.ico virus had infected my server for several months. The virus lived in the content directory of my blog, and it would attempt to redirect visitors to phishing sites. If you visited my site, and were directed to a site selling Chinese merchandise, or a Wells Fargo page, or something similar – I apologize. I was unaware that the virus had infected my site until yesterday.

It is next to impossible for this virus to have infected the machines of any visitors. It is programmed to nest and replicate specifically within the WordPress content directory. I believe the infection occurred after a security breach on GoDaddy’s accounts in November, but it could have happened earlier, I don’t know.

I took my site offline, and deleted every single file from my server. That nuclear attack killed off the virus as far as I can tell. I then spent the better part of a day manually uploading prior content, in order to avoid recontamination. In order to keep my content, I had to keep the database intact, so it is possible that malicious code remains somewhere in the database, but I see no signs of it. I have also invested in more robust security scanning for the website in order to keep it free of malware. I then revoked and deleted every administrative account, and created entirely new accounts with new passwords to manage every service that is used to run the site.

I’ll be keeping a very close eye on it from now on.

I believe everything is fully operational now, and I am fairly confident that the malicious code is completely gone. Security is important to me, and while I’m not a web developer, I am trying to keep this site as safe and open as possible. Please accept my apologies, and please let me know if you are ever redirected to a strange looking site when you visit my blog.

You may also notice ads appearing on my site. The enhanced security costs money, and I need to find a way to pay for it. I doubt the revenue from these ads will pay for the site in its entirety, but I hope to offset the costs at least a little bit. If they become too obtrusive, I’ll delete them.

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