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Not fun being hacked…

Yesterday, my site was one of many attacked by a well known hacker (called the Turkish Hacker or Iskorpitx according to the messages left behind). Over a period of about 5 days he apparently hacked over 30,000 sites, mostly by getting into host servers (as happened in my case).

So my first message today is sorry if you tried to visit my site or send me emails yesterday. Although I did rectify my site reasonably quickly once I knew, my host later took down all their sites and reinstalled their servers so my site was offline.

I won’t make my second message what I think of people who have nothing better to do with their time than annoy people around the world just because they can.

Here are my top tips to minimise the hassles of being hacked…

  • have a great password – your surname, business name or kids’ initials really aren’t good enough
  • back up your site regularly so it’s easier to replace it as needed – or even move to another host
  • choose your host carefully – look for their security, how they will deal with issues and how much they will help you
  • if you need to give a password to someone else (eg a web designer) be careful how you tell them – certainly don’t put it in an email with the subject “website password”
  • remove anything from your site that isn’t needed if it is sensitive in any way
  • use the most recent version of any software on your site (e.g. the software to run a blog) as it will have recent security developments included and probably has fewer successful hacks set up

Do you have any additional tips?

2 Responses to Not fun being hacked…

  • Pingback: Website hosting security

  • tashword says:

    Another security point is to ensure you don’t have permissions set at 777 in blog software (or elswhere I guess) as this opens a back door for those who know how to use it. If you really need that level of access, try turning it on at need only to miminise the risks.

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