So last night was interesting. Panic inducing. Frustrating. Embarrassing. Humbling. Educational.

In case you didn’t know – my site got hacked.

Screen shot 2011-08-10 at 9.40.01 PM

I was replying to comments and all of a sudden I was logged out of my account — and my username was not recognized. Rut roh.

I posted my first response directly on Twitter:

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My second response also went to Twitter:

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Thankfully some very kind tweeps helped me out and gave me some direction

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While some were just supportive while I totally freaked out.

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Ultimately I contacted my host (Eleven2) and they.were.awesome. Thank goodness for Live Chat!! I opened a ticket with them and within minutes (it felt like hours, but it was minutes) my site was back.

It also helped that I have been good about backing up my blog — they were able to restore almost everything (just a few comments that I had responded to were missing). So thank you goes to Katy who taught me why and how important it is to back up your site. IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT.

Jason also mentioned a plugin to try out – WP Security Scan from Website Defender.

Screen shot 2011-08-11 at 8.46.38 AM

I signed up and last night my first scan found that I had 2 Critical Severity Alerts: Executable files found in the Shareaholic files (which apparently, is bad). So either that’s where the hackers started — or that’s where the hacking came from. Regardless, those files are now deleted (as is the plugin).

The site/plugin also alerts you if someone changes your username and gives you pointers on how to make your site more secure. So far I am a fan.

I’m honestly not sure WHY anyone would want to hack my little old blog — I guess because they could. The lessons I learned are invaluable: 1. My site was not as secure as I thought it was, 2. If you are ever confused/frustrated about anything Twitter is a an awesome resource, 3. Always contact your host 3. Using the term “Mother Bitches” is highly acceptable in a situation like this (thank you goes to my friend Tena for coining that phrase), and 4. YOU SHOULD ALWAYs BACK UP YOUR BLOG. AWAYS.

Have you ever been hacked?? Please tell me I’m not the only one!!


    • Michelle says

      I really don’t know why anyone would want to hack my itty-bitty blog. It’s not like it’s Dooce or something! It was a good lesson learned though.

  1. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance says

    This post (and that hacking Joker picture) TRULY freaked me out! (Which is probably a good thing)

    What plugin do you use to back up your blog? I need to get on this stat!
    Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..Cough Drops = Candy

  2. Holly @ RUST BELT RUNNER says

    Holy cow! That is crazy. I have never even thought of this. And you have a Mac too! I always think by having a Mac I am save.

    Shoot, and I’m using the Shareaholic too. Double shoot.

    Now I’m freaking out!!!
    Holly @ RUST BELT RUNNER recently posted..The Most Beautiful Day for a Run

  3. says

    OH noooooo! I can’t believe I missed all this drama last night! Good call by @iJason_. I ‘m going to check that plug-in out today. How terrifying! Glad you got it all back up and figured out. That’s way more scary than when my pathetic Yahoo email address was hacked!

    Note to self: double checking my back-up systems … again.
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..My First Giveaway: A Staycation for You!

    • Michelle says

      Yes – check your back-up systems (you should be able to backup your stuff within your cPanel too – which is how they ended up recovering my site).

      I think any kind of hacking is scary — my gmail has been hacked before and HOW EMBARRASSING!!! Why do people do this shit?

  4. says

    DUDE…that is crazy! I’m glad Jason told you about that plugin.

    I’m now so paranoid that I backup my backups…and pay $15 a month to VaultPress. It backs everything up and can jump in if my site is ever hacked (or if I break it, which has happened!)
    Katy Widrick recently posted..What I Learned on the Treadmill

    • Michelle says

      DUDE is right! Has it ever happened to you? Most of my passwords are pretty hardcore, so I was REALLY surprised. I can’t believe that people waste their time doing this kind of stuff!
      And thanks for linking to this post — I hope it helps avoid anyone else getting hacked (or feeling completely helpless like I did for 2 seconds!).

  5. says

    I’m glad I was able to help! I extremely despise hackers and the bots that they create to take down websites! Mother Bitches (hilarious combo) is mild to what I have called them in the past while fixing friends’ computers. :-)

    Hopefully the security changes will help protect against future attacks.

  6. Maryellen says

    WOW…so glad you have such a great network of people to help you out!! Love the term..Mother Bitches…and again..why do people do this????????

  7. Ginni says

    I am so glad you’re back, I was worried for you. So I can just imagine how you must have felt. It’s always great to learn from a bad experience. But I still don’t know what kind o satisfaction people get out of that! *shakes head*

    • Michelle says

      I was so stressed!! Thank you for emailing me last night though — if I wasn’t already in my blog I would have had NO idea. I don’t get the satisfaction either — so odd.

  8. says

    I’m not a big fan of swearing but unique swearing has some fun qualities :-)

    As for the hacking…I’m glad you got it fixed ASAP with help from lots of sources. I’ve backed up from day one after having it drilled into my head over and over. Thanks for the reminder.
    Cynthia (It All Changes) recently posted..Preparing for the Summit

    • Michelle says

      LOL about the swearing. I rarely swear as well — except for when I’m running and listening to my explicit music, of course!!

      I am SO glad that I have been backing up my stuff. I thought it was overkill, but obviously not!


  1. […] get into WordPress for some reason. I kept having flashbacks of Michelle’s recent hacking experience and made it a priority to back up my baby (which took me a good hour or so to figure […]

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