TL;DR version: We were hacked. Now, we’re back.
From the Editor –
Things were going swimmingly, and then while on break during a photography gig Saturday I noticed LynnHappens was blocked by the firewall of the venue’s WiFi network for being, “Malicious.” (I didn’t think we were mean…)
This happened once before, in October-November 2016, when clicking on links to some LynnHappens content brought folks to spammy ads, rather than to LynnHappens. No LH readers or their computers/phones/tablets were harmed, as they were just spammy ads, but plenty were annoyed.
While working to resolve that problem, the infected code on LynnHappens triggered a quarantine of the site until it could be fixed, because it also figured out how to send spammy emails from the server. It was then I consulted with a security expert, had the site cleaned, and then all was well (after a few false starts and re-cleanings) for a good while.
What I didn’t know was that while the bad code was cleaned up, the vulnerability was not adequately patched – even though I added a few security services in the immediate aftermath. You see, the nasty infection from last October left behind a back door, waiting to be rediscovered.
So, this past Saturday, some people, particularly those using Chrome, clicked through a link to LynnHappens content and were redirected to spammy ads again. Thankfully, it didn’t get any worse than that. Google put up a scary warning for folks trying to go to LynnHappens, I did more research on security options and malware removal companies, and $200 later, this place is Fort Knox. Well, maybe not that secure, but as secure as it needs to be, and Google has given it a clean bill of health again.
Running LynnHappens isn’t cheap anymore, but you or your company can help by taking out a completely legitimate and non-spammy ad. Or, you may find that the new adverscriber program is perfect fit your type of business.
Thank you for your understanding and support,