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  1. #1
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Report on site hacking - excellent information
    Hacker Report

    An online friend of mine had his site hacked in June of this year. He essentially lost his business, his home and his top placed site rankings. He managed to clean up the mess the hackers created although not before suffering devastating consequences.

    He's written a report about what happened to his site, how to spot a hack before it takes you down, what to do to fix it if you do get hacked and how to keep from getting hacked in the first place (he makes an interesting observation about web hosts on this topic).

    He's giving the report away, because he's a genuinely good guy and because he's big on karma. :-) Naturally, giving the report away will also help his SE rankings with the back links but the report is priceless and he more than deserves that benefit.

    I urge you all to read this - it's really good information you need to know and will potentially help you avoid ever having what happened to Dennis, happen to you. Hacker Report

    Maybe one day Dennis will come to ABW and cast pearls about. He's an amazing human being, an expert web master and web designer and has always been the first to jump in to help anyone in need. I consider him a great friend. He'd be a great addition to ABW. - I'm gonna send him the link to this thread and hope he posts something.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I think it is a good lesson in not putting all your eggs in one basket and not relying totally on search engines for traffic. Better to build loyal visitors who don't care where you are in the search engines.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager bs0101's Avatar
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    good read. thanks for posting. ive never thought about the importance of CAPTCHA technology implemented on host logins. makes a lot of sense.

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    I think it is a good lesson in not putting all your eggs in one basket and not relying totally on search engines for traffic. Better to build loyal visitors who don't care where you are in the search engines.
    Connie, he has excellent WOM traffic and loyal return visitors.

    Either way, losing your rankings is gonna hurt but I do agree that being dependent on SE traffic will at some point disappoint.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  5. #5
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bs0101
    good read. thanks for posting. ive never thought about the importance of CAPTCHA technology implemented on host logins. makes a lot of sense.
    Yeah, that was an eye opener.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    A while back we suddenly began getting about fifty emails a minute through our ask a question form. The text, submitters email address, and submitters name was changing on every email and used long strings of seemingly random characters and words. Someone was obviously using a script of some kind to hack into our system through buffer overflow. I quickly determined the IP address of the hacker and blocked it in the router. The attack continued for a good hour before they finally gave up. Had it happened in the middle of the night, the site may have been compromised. That form is the only one I haven't paced a CAPTCHA field on. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get that done.
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; November 7th, 2008 at 02:22 PM.



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  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    That form is the only one I haven't paced a CAPTCHA field on. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get that done.
    Yep this is essential for keeping spammers out and after reading this report, I see the importance of having it as a security measure for our site hosting.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks, Rexanne, for posting that link. Just read it.

    I had a site hacked a few months ago and my web host never really explained how it happened or how to improve my situation. Fortunately, I didn't suffer nearly the grief he did, but still ...

    Any idea, by the way, who his new web hosting company is? I'm always watching for the perfect host (LOL!). Mostly, thinking about how little help or explanation I got from my web host, I would be interested in knowing who Dennis moved to.
    Generate more fake news.

  9. #9
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Wow, thanks, Rexanne, for posting that link. Just read it.
    You're very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Any idea, by the way, who his new web hosting company is? I'm always watching for the perfect host (LOL!). Mostly, thinking about how little help or explanation I got from my web host, I would be interested in knowing who Dennis moved to.
    I don't know. Trying to get Dennis in here to answer some of these questions. LOL Not sure if he'd publicly say who his current host is.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    great read rexanne!
    thank you for sharing with the rest of the class!
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  11. #11
    Newbie DennisG's Avatar
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    Hi everyone. I'm the guy whose site was hacked and who wrote that report. Rexanne has been trying to get me to come here for a while, but I just haven't had the time until now . . . of course, her posting my report and then twisting my arm a little probably helped, too.

    Anyway, I'll respond to the issues I see that have been raised, and if you have any questions feel free to ask and I'll see if I can answer them for you.

    "I think it is a good lesson in not putting all your eggs in one basket and not relying totally on search engines for traffic. Better to build loyal visitors who don't care where you are in the search engines."

    I do have several other sites, but the one that got hacked is the oldest, best established, and my primary income source. When the search engines are sending tons of traffic to you and that abruptly ends, it's a big loss of traffic, and traffic is the lifeblood of any commercial web site. I have many loyal visitors, and around 12,000 newsletter subscribers, but web design tutorials or related software isn't something a person needs every day. That's just the nature of the niche, so bringing in new visitors is vital.

    You are correct about not putting all your eggs in one basket, whether that is search engine traffic or one niche market. I had started expanding into other things before it happened, but am now marching forward with more urgency.

    "A while back we suddenly began getting about fifty emails a minute through our ask a question form."

    My forms were getting killed with spam. I kept a log of the IP addresses it was coming from and soon found it was almost all coming from two IP ranges located in Europe. After blocking those ranges and adding captcha the problem has been reduced that to almost nothing. Now and then someone foolish enough to spam manually comes by, but it's minimal.

    "Any idea, by the way, who his new web hosting company is?"

    I hesitate to say in a public forum, but if you want to email me I'll be happy to tell you.

    Hope that helps. Like I said, if you have any questions post them and I'll be sure to come back and answer what I can.

    Best to you all, Dennis

  12. #12
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Hey Dennis,

    welcome to ABW!

    I'm so happy you finally found your way here. You fit right in with the members and we all speak the same language.

    Guys, Dennis has been one of the most helpful and most decent people I've met online and he's encouraged me to carry on even when I was ready to give up about 5 years ago. I know he will be a valuable member of our family.

    And maybe we'll keep in better touch this way, Dennis. LOL
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  13. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard Dennis, I'm sorry about the problems you've had but I'm glad you decided to join us and I'm even happier that you published the "Hacker Report". Looks like I've got some extra work to do over the next few days.

    -rematt

    Edit: ...and Rex, good job getting him here!!!
    Last edited by rematt; November 7th, 2008 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Kudos to Rexanne
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  14. #14
    Newbie DennisG's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words, Rexanne. As I've told you many times, you're the best!

    By the way, I just sent you an email that you can now ignore since I told you that you win, I registered and posted a reply, but you already found that out.

    And now I see why you don't write as much - you've made almost 10,000 posts! You're doing all your writing here.

  15. #15
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    Hey Dennis,

    welcome to ABW!

    I'm so happy you finally found your way here. You fit right in with the members and we all speak the same language.

    Guys, Dennis has been one of the most helpful and most decent people I've met online and he's encouraged me to carry on even when I was ready to give up about 5 years ago. I know he will be a valuable member of our family.

    And maybe we'll keep in better touch this way, Dennis. LOL
    Sounds like a love story to me Rexanne!

    I thought I was your one and only???????????????????????????

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  16. #16
    Newbie DennisG's Avatar
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    Thanks for the welcome, rematt. Hope the report helps you some.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Welcome Dennis! Hope you can find time to spend here. You'll be a great addition to the ABW repertoire...



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  18. #18
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    Sounds like a love story to me Rexanne!

    I thought I was your one and only???????????????????????????
    Dennis is a married man. For that matter, so are you BB! I don't do "married" either way.

    Actually, I think the first contact I had with Dennis more than 10 years ago was me sending an email telling him I thought he was sexy after reading one of his newsletters and falling in love with the way he thinks. LOL Poor guy probably thought I was coming on to him but we got past all that to become good online friends. I still think he's *sexy* but no married men for this demanding woman!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  19. #19
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisG
    Thanks for the kind words, Rexanne. As I've told you many times, you're the best!
    Aw shucks Dennis - so are you .

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisG
    And now I see why you don't write as much - you've made almost 10,000 posts! You're doing all your writing here.
    You'll find out why soon enough .:-) But yeah, if I wrote half the content for my own sites as I've added her over the past 3 years here, I'd have another 600 pages. LOL

    Something about ABW members makes you want to interact. Smart, cool and brilliant marketers abound here.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Welcome, Dennis. Happy to see you got here.

    FYI -- The most immediate value I got out of that link to your hacking report was to check my WHM control panel for the VPS where I host all my sites -- AND FOUND ANONYMOUS FTP ENABLED!!

    It never occurred to me before that it might be enabled. Apparently I don't understand enough about the uses of FTP to understand why in the world it would be enabled by default.

    So, thanks especially for alerting me to that. One potential problem down.
    Generate more fake news.

  21. #21
    Newbie DennisG's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rexanne:
    Actually, I think the first contact I had with Dennis more than 10 years ago was me sending an email telling him I thought he was sexy after reading one of his newsletters and falling in love with the way he thinks.
    I remember that, Rexanne. I also remember when I saw a picture of you for the first time, I thought, "If anything ever happens between Alison and I, I'm going to have to take a vacation in ____." (Didn't think you'd want me saying where you live.)

    @writerguy...
    It never occurred to me that anonymous FTP would be enabled either, until my site got hacked. It's incredible that any host would enable anonymous FTP by default, isn't it?

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