<   Prior Home         Share Blog Bloke     Share Blog Bloke Tips       Share to Twitter       Share to Facebook       Share to Twitter       Share to Google Plus       Share to LinkedIn       Pin this       Get Updates            
        Next   >  

Beware of Geeks Bearing Online Gifts

A Blogjacking We will Go

Hi Blokesters. I’m back again! Crikey, I don’t know of many bloggers who have been resurrected from the grave as often as I have but as you can see I’ve lived to tell the tale.

I’m guessing that you would like to know all the gory details of what happened to me over the past couple of weeks, so here goes:

What Happened?

1. Somebody had sent me a link via an email that was addressed to me personally. Although I didn’t recognize the sender, the message was addressed to “Blog Bloke” indicating that the sender knew me and was not your run-of-the-mill spam.

Although I was suspicious it was enough to perk my interest and I decided to check it out anyhow. The site hung for about a minute which made me even more suspicious that something was amiss. It was making my hard drive spin like crazy and eating up all of the cycles on my computer, so I decided to close the browser tab.

2. Not long after that my internet connection started to drift in and out. My heart sunk and I suspected the suspicious site had installed something behind my back.

3. Worst of all even if I could still surf the net in general, I could no longer view my own blog site or my Wordpress dashboard. Meaning, I couldn’t log in to write a post.

4. I called my ISP cable company and asked them to check the internet feed. They reported that the signal was a little low and decided to send a repairman out.

5. I also called my blog host company and asked them to check my site. They said they could see it fine on their servers but for some reason only I was being blocked. I asked them to check and see if my IP address was being blocked, and they reported “no”.

6. When my ISP repairman showed up at the house he noted that my internet connection had dropped out at least 20 times. He gave me a brand new (faster) modem and a signal booster. I also bought a new digital TV tuner for blog central. :-)

7. Unfortunately I still couldn’t view my blog site. So I called my blog host company and asked them to check their firewall again. Sure enough this time it showed that my IP address was blocked! Finally I was getting somewhere.

8. Apparently someone had made several unsuccessful attempts to log into my blog dashboard.

9. After the blog host company removed the block I could now view my blog and log into my Wordpress dashboard.

Woohoo!

10. But not long after that my computer suffered a catastrophic crash that destroyed my hard drive and I could not longer boot into Windows.

How did I fix my computer?

1. Much to my dismay I couldn’t fix it right away. I have a plethora of emergency CD utilities available to me but nothing worked. All I can figure is the virus must have damaged the MBR or something similar that was irrevocable.

So after days of fiddling with it I eventually had to take the bull by the horns and do a low-level format. It is extremely destructive and zero’s out all the sectors in the hard drive. Only then was I able to reinstall Windows.

Oh yeah, the computer doesn’t work anymore and I had to cannibalize parts from three other non-working computers to get this one that I’m now using.

2. After that I had the problem of recovering my data from the backup hard drive. After formatting the master hard drive something bad had also happened to the slave, despite the fact I had disconnected it at the time. So more than likely it was the trojan virus that did something.

3. It showed up as an “unknown” partition, or in other words it had lost all it’s formatting. Geesh! So I had to run a special data recovery program which eventually recovered my lost data.

4. After that it was simply a matter of reinstalling all of my software again.

Beware of Blogging Geeks Bearing Online Gifts

What’s to learn from all this? Fact:

1. I was locked out of my account because someone had tried to hack into it. My blog host company is set up to automatically block an IP address after several failed attempts to log in. Which explains why I was unable to view my site or login to my Wordpress dashboard. Unfortunately they didn’t figure it out until I told them to check their firewall (twice).

2. I was obviously the victim of an attempted hijacking of my blog (also called blogjacking) and they destroyed my computer in the process.

3. I had caught a virus from an unknown emailer who sent me a link to a malicious site injecting me with a trojan. This was done intentionally by someone who knows me.

How can I tell?

1. Was it a coincidence that all my computer troubles started right after clicking on the link to the maliscious site?

2. Was it just coincidence they used my personal email address that is only available to visitors on this blog and addressed it to “Blog Bloke”?

3. Was it just coincidence that someone had tried to hack into my Wordpress account at the same time? The trojan was using my hijacked IP address and it most certainly wasn’t me because I couldn’t even view my blog dashboard let alone try to log in. Besides, I already know my password.

4. Was it just coincidence that my hard drive was also destroyed making my computer unusable?

5. Was it a coincidence that I had just written a series of posts on the problogger/splogger community and blog ethics?

I don’t know about you but that’s just too many “coincidences” for my liking.

What did I learn?

1. Clearly this was not a random act of unkindness. It was a malicious act by someone who knows me.

2. I will no longer click any links sent to me if I don’t know who the sender is, even if it is sent to my personal email address and addressed to Blog Bloke.

3. I need to purchase another backup computer (just in case).

4. I need to purchase an ‘external’ hard drive for backups.

5. I will continue to speak out on the subject of blog ethics no matter what they try to throw at me. Hopefully (more sooner than later) they will get the message.

But for now:

Until I am able to purchase another computer I will have to share this computer with my wife and child which will take away time that I have for blogging. But at least I’m back.

Oh yes, much thanks to everyone who sent me their well-wishes and a special thank you to Kathy and Jaffer who notified my readers of the problem.

Cheers!

Written March 19th, 2008 by | 97 Comments | Filed under: Blog Ethics, Featured Tips, Miscellaneous Blog Tips, MythBusters, SEO Tips, Security Tips , ,

Thanks for Sharing     Share - enable java in your browser Share to Twitter            

Did you enjoy this article? Keep up to date with Blog Bloke Tips the moment it's published by email. Your Privacy is Guaranteed and will not be shared with anyone.


Keep it real with Blog Bloke Thanks for reading the original Blog Bloke. You can read more about me here. Contact me if you have any questions, tip requests or if you would like to be a guest blogger. Keep it real every day and subscribe to the newsfeed, share with friends or follow me.

    Subscribe to the Newsfeed     Share to Twitter     Share to Facebook     Share to Google Plus     Pin this     Share to LinkedIn


Got an opinion? Let's be real and start a conversation:

It's your turn to tell Blog Bloke what you think, ask a question or suggest another blog tip. Don't forget the comments policy and I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say.

There are 97 Comments so far to “Beware of Geeks Bearing Online Gifts”

  1. Bloke — What a sad and incredible story! I’m so sorry this happened to you, but I’m glad you recovered to the point where you could get up and running again, with your data, and of course, blog again. This is scary stuff and a good warning to others about the evil among us. Welcome back. We missed you.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Don’t Worry, He Won’t Bite

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  2. Glad to have you back bloke! Its too bad there are people in this world that only want to hurt people or steal something. I feel for you in your computer woes. I have formated hard drives so many times that i lost count.

    Curtis’s last blog post..My Bloggers Bloom Day, March

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  3. Thanks Kathy and Curtis. I’m considering sending the email to the FBI computer forensics lab for further investigation. I will also contact the authorities to shut down the maliscious site.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  4. Glad to see you back! Sorry to hear of your computer troubles. I hope everything gets back to normal for you soon (minus crazy computer issues, of course!)

    Kirsten’s last blog post..Love at First Sight

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  5. Thanks Kirsten. Everything is looking ship-shape and better than ever.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  6. Wow, THAT frightens me to even turn on my new computer!
    Sorry to hear about your troubles and being targeted. Teri

    Tica Macha (Teri)’s last blog post..Church on Sunday

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  7. I guess it goes with the territory Teri.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  8. Bloke, please do us all a favor and share information on steps you’re taking to deal with this. I think we should all know what needs to be done to work towards shutting these idiots down. It’s getting ridiculous the things one needs to do to be protected any more. I have two virus checkers running at all times, plus about three different spyware filters up and running. And I’m sure that I’m still not completely safe.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  9. Wow… so sorry to hear of this Bloke. Why the heck would someone be so malicious to try and steal a Blog???? I don’t understand how people can be so destructive. So glad to hear you didn’t lose any data… a lesson that frequent backups are ciritical nowadays!

    Glad to have you back.

    Maureen’s last blog post..Good Friday Traditions

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  10. Thanks Maureen. It’s good to be back. To answer your question — they’re sickos, that’s why. I use this blog to speak about blog ethics and the lack thereof. Obviously they don’t like it (or get it) and if they can steal my blog then they can take away my voice (at least according to the theory). What they don’t seem to realize is their subtrifuge is only a temporary setback (not to mention illegal) and have made me all the more determined to get the word out. I’m also determined to prove who the culprits are and I will prosecute to the full extent of the law.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  11. What was it in the email that made you suspect that it was the cause of your problems. It would be good to know so that we can watch out for similar threats. After having lost all my data lately I now realize how vital an off computer backup is - a backup drive on the same machine is not enough.

    Sueblimely’s last blog post..Blog for Autism Awareness Month

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  12. I have added a few more pages by request to the site, main ones were
    Autism in teenagers and Gluten Free diet.

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback! Ill keep
    it updated as i get time

    Thanks Again

    Lee

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  13. Bloke, that really sucks! And I think the bastards are after me. My last post contains a reply that askimet caught, but I thought was sent by you because it has blog bloke in the header, so I let it through. Go over to my site and check it out. Is this you? Or not? Let me know. Thanks. Ellen

    PS I promise nothing bad will happen!

    Ellen Wilson’s last blog post..The Sea of SEO

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  14. Hi Ellen. I don’t recall so I took a look at your blog but I don’t see the comment you are referring to. Can you provide a link please?

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  15. http://www.wilsonswordsandpictures.com/

    The 1st comment. Thanks.

    Ellen Wilson’s last blog post..The Sea of SEO

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  16. I just ran Spybot and dumpted the comment into spam box. I think it was really weird this happened as you mentioned getting blogjacked and then I get the bogus comment. I was too nervous to keep it up. I have a router so I hope I’m okay. I don’t have tons of bucks to dump into my blogging efforts either!

    Ellen Wilson’s last blog post..The Sea of SEO

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  17. You were smart not to click on the link and check with me first. Leaving the comment without a link would not have harmed you. You can edit it out in your dashboard. Here’s a nice plugin that I use called “Delink Comment Author” that easily removes links with just one click:

    http://alexking.org/projects/wordpress

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  18. It is a shame that there are people out there who would be this malicious and intentionally cause damage, even if they disagree with your views. There are a number of sites available, like http://www.recovermypc.com and others, that can help with data recovery when this happens. This can save a lot of time.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  19. The moral I get out of your story is to back up your work. It’s a frustration to try to work through an attack, a damn shame to lose if you lose your what was stored on your computer.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  20. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers,
    Christian

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  21. Very good information and you write it very clean. I’m very lucky to get this information from you.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  22. Thanks for great information. It’s wonderful.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  23. Glad to have you back bloke! Really very Sorry to hear about your troubles, i hope you will be back to your regular work…

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  24. I had the same thing happen to me with my gmail account not too long ago. Someone tried to log in from Spain and it then blocked their IP and informed by of the breach.

      Reply   ·   Share Share Blog Bloke Tips  

  25. […] my recent bout with a virus Lee asked the question: Bloke, please do us all a favor and share information on steps you’re taking to deal with this. […]

  26. […] the pro blogger / splogger crowd read this blog and lurk here regularly (and more recently even sent me a virus). But how many times have they actually contributed something positive to this blog? How many times […]

  27. awesome site brotha http://bit.ly/1jshln

  28. @Gaia Herbs, some look like downtown Las Vegas in the evening. http://bit.ly/2ub7iQ

  29. @Gaia Herbs, some look like downtown Las Vegas in the evening. http://bit.ly/2ub7iQ

  30. @CFI, @hospitalera … my head was spinning when I wrote it ;-) http://bit.ly/1CQix9

  31. RT @BLOGBloke: 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog http://bit.ly/2TRLSx

  32. 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog http://bit.ly/2TRLSx

  33. @Humayon, if you are just a blogspot user then you don't need to bother with dns settings. But I still recommend ge… http://bit.ly/1fDYre

  34. @hari saryono, I wrote an article about why we should not play into terrorists hands by linking to these horrific v… http://bit.ly/2aTKBw

  35. @InternetMarketingMentor, here's another analogy for you. Your blog is your permanent home and social networks are … http://bit.ly/4hZtE

  36. Optimize Your Blog - Making Your Blog Search Engine Friendly http://bit.ly/4A9Go5

  37. @Mike, glad you liked it. If you're serious about blogging then Wordpress is the way to go. http://bit.ly/33GQUp

  38. via @BLOGBloke: Hi There! Thanks for following. Why not ask me a question or for more blog tips visit http://tinyurl.com/5zjajb. Cheers!

  39. @Michelle, you do not need a subdomain for it to work. A subdomain is also a bad idea for SEO. You need to go over … http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  40. @Justin Gill .. thanks for saying so Justin. It always feels great to hear from another happy customer. :-)

    Cheers! http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  41. blog hating at http://www.blogbloke.com/10-reasons-why-i-dont-like-your-blog was just pinged to 91 Services!

  42. @Kay, I never thought of it that way http://bit.ly/1CQix9

  43. @humglum http://www.blogbloke.com/moving-wordpress-blogger/ basically… no. doesnt look like it'll happen.

  44. @BLOGBloke,

    I decided to get rid of the Blogger redirect as the redirect via modification to .htaccess works, t… http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  45. @Michelle, redirect speeds will depend on the blog host's servers and your internet connection. You only need to pa… http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  46. @drugi, you mean "you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you… http://bit.ly/4CvJh7

  47. Finding Your Blog Voice http://bit.ly/5LD5kQ

  48. @zarazek, don't get your domains through Wordpress. Use GoDaddy or something similar. http://bit.ly/1fDYre

  49. Saw an advertisement for Moving Blogger to Wordpress Service. Why not save your money and read my free guide? http://bit.ly/6rFYFE They do

  50. hmm.. informative )) http://bit.ly/6krJX6

  51. I should notify my girlfriend about your post. http://bit.ly/6iqFfC

  52. hello everybody, how are you all doing.i am liking this web sight i might start staying on it more. me i stay sick … http://bit.ly/6krJX6

  53. @Cdathy Tibbles, I host images on my wordpress.com account. Let me know it goes. I always like to hear from happy c… http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  54. @BLOGBloke, Yeh, I had a domain from a different comapny but Wordpress said I still had pay them to be able to link… http://bit.ly/1fDYre

  55. @zarazek, so if I understand you correctly your blog was being hosted by Wordpress and then they insisted on chargi… http://bit.ly/1fDYre

  56. I'm very happy with the refinements I made to the blog. What do you think? http://www.blogbloke.com/

  57. How to Produce Your Own Podcast http://ff.im/-dm32o

  58. "10 Reasons Why Twitter Is So Popular" ( http://bit.ly/8CM5gX )

  59. Updated my Blokester Buttons for 2010. Grab yours now .. http://www.blogbloke.com/introducing-new-blokester-buttons/

  60. How to Make Professional Podcast Videos for Your Blog (Vlog) http://bit.ly/7EHvN8

  61. RT @projournalist: How to Make Professional Podcast Videos for Your Blog (Vlog) http://bit.ly/7EHvN8

  62. RT @journtoolbox RT @projournalist: How to Make Professional Podcast Videos for Your Blog (Vlog) http://bit.ly/7EHvN8

  63. @BLOGBloke - really ok - am trying to pull off this from your blog http://bit.ly/5Zv5kW (thank you so much for documenting this - it rocks)

  64. @BLOGBloke - do you think I could use this service to redirect or park my domain like you mentioned in http://bit.ly/5Zv5kW

  65. Great tutorial on migrating your blog from #blogger to #wordpress. http://bit.ly/Nlr2k

  66. @FijiLomalagi my email is at the bottom of my blog http://www.blogbloke.com/

  67. @Kwame, you will have to play around with the Apache code .. http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  68. @Ankit_A see if this helps.. http://bit.ly/Nlr2k

  69. @drewmillikin My technical skills are limited, but I found this post to be very helpful: http://bit.ly/7LY764. My advice: pull the trigger.

  70. @Adam Johnson .. it was my pleasure and glad it worked for you .. http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  71. @gopmommy Your domain name redirection is done on your hosting service. Check this tutorial http://is.gd/8TXkI

  72. @stepfanieb Check #6. http://bit.ly/Nlr2k

  73. RT @BLOGBlokeTips How to Make Professional Podcast Videos for Your Blog (Vlog) http://bit.ly/2JgxLd

  74. @Wade, like I mentioned earlier in the article the odd link might get changed during the import process into Wordpr… http://bit.ly/5Z3vbE

  75. @John Daniels, not sure if I understand your question. Can you be more specific? http://bit.ly/cjF9ac

  76. RT @Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB

  77. Should you use a "#TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB

  78. Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB: Twitter_Tips: Should .. http://bit.ly/9ApqEG
    RT

  79. 8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog: We should be leveraging Twitter to drive traffic over to our blogs – not the … http://bit.ly/dxYF2d

  80. RT @Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB

  81. RT @Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB

  82. 8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog - We should be leveraging Twitter to drive traffic over to our blogs – not the … http://ow.ly/16Uu8y

  83. Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB: Twitter_Tips: Should you us… http://bit.ly/95gYJT

  84. RT @Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB

  85. Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB http://url4.eu/21u9n

  86. RT @Twitter_Tips: Should you use a "TwitterRoll" to promote your blog? http://j.mp/cO1yKB

  87. 8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog http://bit.ly/bLbgz2

  88. RT @mparent77772: 8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog http://bit.ly/bLbgz2

  89. 8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog http://bit.ly/bLbgz2 (via @mparent77772)

  90. RT @mparent77772: 8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog http://bit.ly/bLbgz2: RT @mparent77772: 8 Twitter Tips to Pr… http://bit.ly/dortmq

  91. RT @mparent77772
    8 Twitter Tips to Promote Your Blog http://bit.ly/bLbgz2: RT @mparent77772
    8 Twitter Tips to Pr… http://bit.ly/diYc9B

  92. @Dorinda, I'm on pay & talk with auto top-up and on the phone with Telus (Philippines) as I write this. My daughter… http://bit.ly/1BH6lz

  93. Beware of Geeks Bearing Online Gifts http://bit.ly/aJhzXu

  94. RT @BLOGBlokeTips: Beware of Geeks Bearing Online Gifts http://bit.ly/aJhzXu (Ouch. What a nightmare)

Share     Share this article with your friends

Subscribe to Better Blog Tips Newsfeed   SUBSCRIBE to Bloke Bloke's Articles (Newsfeed)

Subscribe to Better Blog Tips Newsfeed   Subscribe to only Comments for this Article | TrackBack URL

You can also use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>