Wherever the Road Leads

Me and Hillary

And the Russians

The idea of a personal website came to me as I had a distant friend who did not believe in Facebook. My first attempt was on a free server with limited options and a lot of advertising. Even with limited options, there was a considerable learning curve.

As I learned more about web design, web hosting and what was out there to learn, I got my own ‘.com’ and chose a web hosting company. My first web pages – here – started with a design from South Africa and took hours and hours to create but I enjoyed it. There was an interim step – improvement – as I got better, using a minimal theme from Italy, before settling on the teal-colored layout that the site now has.

Along the way, I have learned some photo editing in Adobe Photoshop and some Adobe After Effects to make the little movies that appear at the top of the blog posts. It’s been fun.

I have paid very little attention to my web server, although there is information galore about who has visited and what people look at. In the beginning, ‘site stats’ were mildly interesting, but I have never bothered watching ‘behind the scenes’.

Until recently.

I got notice late one evening that my site had been shut down by my web hosting company. Immediately, I checked to make sure that I had paid for the yearly web hosting and paid to maintain the name ‘gordonmcb.com’. Both were up to date. I started a chat session with the web host to find out what the problem was.

The rep explained that I had been shut down as I was considered a ‘spam’ site.

Say WHAT???

I started poking around the files that are on the web server. There are hundreds in various directories, most of which I have no idea what they do. By magic, they make the site work. However, there were some files in there with some very suspicious names that seemed to have nothing to do with making the site run. With nothing to lose – my site was shut down anyway – I deleted them. The rep ran her report again and proclaimed my site clean, putting me back online.

But it’s not ‘clean’. It’s a long way from ‘clean’. A Hacker has gained access and has a back door. I check each day, looking for similar infected files to reappear, and then delete them. I installed a security program to watch out for hackers. The ‘free’ version helps but to be effective, you have to purchase the ‘premium’ version. To investigate, thoroughly clean and then maintain a vigil, would be $180, then $99 maintenance per year thereafter. I’ll probably have to go that route in the end.

In the meantime, I have been poring over those previously ignored web server stats. I got hacked in June. My ‘hits’ in May were 121,223, about the average for each month of the previous year. In June, ‘hits’ jumped to 400,117. In July and since then, 2,063,097 hits monthly. So far this month, October, I’ve got the tide stemmed at 1.7 million hits.

There’s no way that volume of people are interested in reading about my life. I’ve got four friends and two of them don’t like me. Somehow, the hackers are sending out Spam via my site.

The vast majority of the hits are coming from Russian IP addresses, so Hillary, I feel for you. It happens to the best of us, though some of us – no offense, Hillary – deserve it.

Speaking of lying, crooked, career politicians who have run this great country into the ground with their big-government meddling – no offense again, Hillary – we made the trip down to my ‘home’ of Green Cove Springs Florida last week where I was able to cast my ballot at the Early Voting Polling Station, after showing picture ID.

Regarding the candidates, there’s a lot of opinions in my family, but there are only two of us eligible to vote.

Not to worry, we’ll do what’s right.


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