Whack a Mole (or a hacker)


In college I  distinctly remember  leafing through class offerings – desperately looking for a class that:
  1. fulfilled a requirement for my major and
  2. did not put me to sleep in the first 20 minutes.

Tough assignment, but the one that caught my eye and I ended up signing up for was Criminology 101.  Was it that shadowy bad side that we all tiptoe around that I wanted to explore more? I guess so. Yet I came away from that class with even more confusion about WHY  people do bad things, like hacking.  The answer often given is: because they can.

So here sits your innocent site, wanting to tell people about a service that can only help them and along comes someone who hijacks your site and morphs it into something evil:  because they can.

Well you also can,  you can make it harder to hack.

For WordPress users – get a plugin that will help you! My current favorite is https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/

Pay attention to updates!! As WordPress grows in popularity so does the target on its back luring in hackers. There is this whole “Game of Code” war going on out there.  A lot of folks are fighting it and if you care about your site engage in it, or at least read a bit about it. Educate yourself enough not to be lazy and update as needed.

Arm yourself.  Back up your site or host somewhere where they backup your site and can help you through the recovery steps in case you are hacked. Partake in the responsibility for your site. If your info is important enough to have out there in the first place, back it up.

Geek out a little and read this: http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress. Even it you take just a little bit away from this article at least you have started to pay attention.

Watch for the new moles and whack them! The latest one I have been annoyed with is Referrer Spam. It is not the worst problem out there but geeze they are breeding like vermin!  These guys do a better job explaining it and how to deal with it then I can.  http://blog.raventools.com/stop-referrer-spam/

Quick edition to this – the porn sites have jumped on the bandwagon for refferal spam (big surprise!)  Another good article to check out:


Unfortunately this is the ongoing real world class of Criminology 101. Just wish I could someday understand the WHY.