I’m Under Construction…Again

ConstructionMy server host decided the best way to solve the brute force hacker attacks I was receiving was to kick me off their server…permanently. They cited me as an abuser of their system and someone they had to suspend four times to protect their other users. I’ll take ownership for one of those times, the first time (note to readers–do not install a wiki unless you know what you’re doing because it’s a spam magnet), but the other three shutdowns were caused by brute force hacker attacks that my host emailed and told me were NOT MY FAULT. More on brute force hacker attacks in a future post. I’ve learned a LOT since April 2013.

Bottom line:

Web Hosting Hub will never get any of my business nor my recommendation. Ever.

They shut me down and kept me down with no ETA or updates (as promised in their emails) for 1 – 2 days at a time, were horrible with email-based customer service, had long online wait times for help calls that were never answered before I gave up and hung up.

Rather than import the data dump file they generously gave me 72 hours to claim (and which doesn’t even seem complete), I decided to restore my blog almost from scratch. Just in case I had some malware. I had a blog backup but it was from the end of April. Better than nothing. The media images did not want to import so I’m working through those slowly, re-importing in bulk then reattaching to the posts. Ditto with the widgets and pages.

Since I have 3 of these blogs to rebuild, it’s going to take me a little time.

My apologies in advance to any of you who had blog subscriptions via email as I’ve no idea if those will transfer over.

My apologies to those of you who had cover reveals, giveaways in process, guest columns, etc….I’ll rebuild as best I can but if they were posted in May or June, it may be more problematic.

My apologies to visitors seeking information about my books. Believe me, I want you to get this information as quickly and easily as possible and will try to get all the links back up before this weekend ends.

My apologies to The Romance Reviews and those participating in their Sizzling Summer Bash. Sadly, the legitimate traffic from that party is probably what drove the final nail in my coffin.

My sincere and humble thanks to you for sticking with me and for your patience.

Yours truly,

Claire

(who got the termination notice email at 2 AM, tossed and turned with anxiety until 6:30 AM and has been working on setting up my new host site and restoring blogs for about 7 hours now.)

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15 thoughts on “I’m Under Construction…Again

  1. I’m so sorry you went through this, but I’m so glad for the warning. Thank you!

    You would think that this host would have some expertise when it comes to attacks and have strategies in place to protect their clients. Where are the white hats when you need them?

    Obviously working somewhere else.

  2. You got a horrible web host. So sorry! So unfair. Consider Go Daddy? Cheap and quick customer service. Whatever you do, I hope you have smooth sailing. You have ovrr paid your dues! 😦 I feel terrible for all the trouble you have had!

    • yeah…I considered them but heard too many negative comments about them. Plus they have all my domain names and I’ve also heard that you never want your domain name at the same place as your server. When I got shut down by Web Hosting Hub, I was using clairegillian dot NET. I’m happy to give back that domain which was free when I signed up. My new “throwaway” domain is another throw away one I got for free.

  3. Hey Claire, so sorry to hear about all this trouble! What a pain. But I’m so glad to see you bouncing back – I have no doubt your blog will be better than ever. 🙂

    (And pass my very sincere congrats along to Iris for a full request on Louder Than Words!! Here’s hoping I have a copy on my bookshelf someday very soon!)

  4. One of the simplest ways to gain access to your information is through the use of a Brute Force Attack. This is accomplished when a hacker uses a specially written software to attempt to log into a site using your credentials. This has been an ongoing problem with WordPress blogs, regardless of what version you have. There’s a WordPress plug-in called Login LockDown which prevents brute force password discovery.

    • Yes, I did install Login Lockdown. But the problem with many brute force attacks is the sheer volume of IP addresses that are employed in the coordinated attempt to break in. Many IP’s only attempt it a single time but when you have over 100,000 IP addresses in the attacking bot, that’s still 100,000 potential attempts at 1x each to try, all of which requires server CPU time to process and reject. It’s the fact that they weren’t repelled at the host level but flooded my WP application with access attempts that killed my site. The individual attacks themselves were not very sophisticated–using logins of Admin and passwords like “password” and “123”. BUT, there were and are enough WP applications out there that obviously did use this easy to crack combo because they became part of the 100k strong super-bot. It truly is a cyber-zombie apocalypse…at least as far as I was concerned.

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