February 13th, 2017

On the toilet, I was, when it happened. Lazily checking my emails while tending to matters of a rather, erm, natural kind – kitten in tow – I saw that this here blog was offline thanks to a handy little security plugin I’ve been relying on that informs me when things go a bit awry.

‘Oh well,’ I thought to myself, wondering why the kitten always has to witness such moments with such disdain. Like, no one forces her to be in the bathroom when we’re answering the call of nature. It’s not like we find her specifically before plopping away. Then, I saw it.

The email was sent close to midnight, and it was way past 10am. Ten full hours had passed and it was still dead, forbidden. Another email chimed its way into my inbox, saying the blog was still offline. It couldn’t be. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

I sent a quick email to my hosting company, who are always super on it, and they shed light on the matter.

Somehow, sneaky spammy black-hatted creepos had managed to inject the very code the site is built on with phishing links and spammy pharmaceutical pages. Rather than get Google involved with its RED WALL OF SECURE PROTECTION telling users I was running a bad site seeking to steal precious data, they basically shut it down. Good in a way, bad for me.

There was nothing I could do there and then. With two house viewing planned, the blog had to stay offline. Off to Peterborough we drove, with a day planned to see family. After a good afternoon filled with memories and nostalgia, and a delicious lamb and pork roast prepared by my aunty, as well as more kittens, we returned home driving through ice and snow only for me to have a completely fitful sleep and wake up dreaming about cut-price erection medication and counterfeit Class A drugs.

So, it had to be done. My Sunday had to be spent wasted on blog maintenance stuff. Sending through a list of suspected files and folders, my hosting company restored temporary access for me to take a gamble at getting rid of the gunk.

I took a look at the control panel and was horrified.

Files upon files had been somehow installed without me, or my security plugins, noticing. Like a poison, small snippets of code were added into the bits of the site that are required for it to function, meaning I couldn’t just delete to offending files, no. I would need to somehow trawl through each one and remove the bad bits all the while hoping nothing broke in the process.

Nah mate.

So after a bit of research and shelling out £170 on a more secure firewall/clean up crew who literally started work right away despite saying they had a 12-hour turnaround, the site was cleaned in a matter of hours. It’s still a bit clunky at the moment, running a bit slow, but wounds need healing right now.

What a way to spend a weekend, huh. Fortunately, we have a little trip to London planned to celebrate the end of placement and hopefully me passing my first medicine calculation exam next week, so let’s hope it’s all settled now and I can get through a weekend without dreaming of opiates and MDMA.


I'm Laura. I write most of the stuff on six out of ten magazine, as well as other places all over the web and in printed words. I'm a fan of travel (clearly), good cocktails, and anything sweet.

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