The Dark Side of the Internet

2012-Jan-28 -> from the im-not-happy-about-this department Tags:

I'm disappointed.

Earlier this week I experienced something that I hope none of you ever have to experience. At around 9pm Tuesday, Jan 24, somebody executed an attack against my server, broke into my database system, and wiped out all of my data.

This is the darker side of the Internet. The side populated by low-lifes who have nothing better to do with their time than destroy other people's property.

For the record: There is nothing of any importance stored on my server. It's a hobby server that I run from my basement and that I administer myself. I recognised the vulnerability that the attacker used to break in long before they actually did it, but I hadn't had time to fix the issue. They beat me to the punch, and abused the issue to perform some completely pointless vandalism that I'm sure they found terribly amusing.

I am not amused.

The vulnerability has since been fixed. It was a minor configuration mishap that should not have happened. It did, and I'm glad I had most of my data backed up.

To the person who broke into my system: You are amongst the lowest form of life on the Internet. I work hard to put this site together, to build a reputation in my industry, and to create content that I hope people will enjoy. To wipe that away without a second thought, without any consideration for the amount of time and effort that goes into building an online presence? It's despicable. And what's worse? You hide behind the internet anonymizing service Tor, like a coward.

I try to keep my blog posts positive, to send a message to the world that there is good out there, if you just look hard enough. I'm sorry this had to be contrary to my usual friendly posts.

Thanks for reading!

I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget to join in on the conversation in the comments section below.


By JS on Sat 28 Jan 2012 04:32:37 am [ Reply ] I'm sorry to hear this happened to you, Thomas. :\ It looks like you lost all your comments too?

By helios on Sat 28 Jan 2012 06:49:21 am [ Reply ] Yeah, happened about a year ago to The HeliOS Project. A vulnerability in the 4X Php script was our weakness....and we didn't patch it...well because we just didn't patch it.

Why someone would attack a non profit like ours is beyond me. Fortunately, I keep a backup locally so it was more of an inconvenience than anything else but is an act of cowardice and vandalism. All the graphics and video links to previous blogs died when they deleted our files

"A pox on them, may they marry and have children" - W.C. Fields

By Nonya on Sat 28 Jan 2012 11:08:56 am [ Reply ] Once again those unable to create attack those who can. I guess this demonstrates th value of frequent backups of important data. I am a little paranoid about backups, but I have lost very ;ittle data over the years. What little I have lost was due to my own mistakes (like trusting any M$ product to be stable!). I do frequent off-site backups too, after seeing some good friends lose almost everything in a fire a couple of years ago.

I will be looking forward to reading your future works!

By IGnatius T Foobar on Sat 28 Jan 2012 12:29:34 pm [ Reply ] The dark side of the Internet has nothing to do with attacks. The dark side of the Internet is called "Facebook" and it is evil, evil, evil. It must be stopped.

By IGnatius T Foobar on Sat 28 Jan 2012 12:31:46 pm [ Reply ] By the way, if your data was wiped out and you didn't have a backup, you have no one to blame but yourself. The Internet is known to be a hostile place. There are plenty of crackers, script kiddies, and other assorted scum who feel no remorse about trashing other people's servers. At some point you have to expect these things to happen. That's why it's your responsibility to take backups on a regular basis, especially if it's a site that you put a lot of personal effort into.

By Thomas A. Knight on Sat 28 Jan 2012 04:24:38 pm [ Reply ] JS, Helios, Nonya: Thanks for your support. I appreciate it. I just wish I could have done more to track down who it was.

IGnatius T Foobar: Please note the line "and I'm glad I had most of my data backed up." which I thought made it clear that anything of any real importance *was* backed up. The only thing I really lost was my blog comments, which I'm sure will not stop people from coming to my site.

By Gjorgi on Sun 29 Jan 2012 11:14:01 am [ Reply ] Sorry to hear that your site was hacked. You seem to blame yourself for no backups and not fixing vulnerabilities, but then you turn around and wish you could return the favor to the culprit. Have you thought that maybe somebody you know may have done this? I found your blog as a part of google news and would have probably never read it if it wasn't for google. For a site of such a minor significance to be attacked maliciously, it has to be someone close that knows about your site and planned to inflict pain. Attack on an insignificant site is more likely to be done by someone that knows about the site rather than by random anonymous scumbag that never heared about you before. But I might be wrong.
The comment about Facebook was right on the spot. Now every chance for a new acquaintance will be treated like a job interview. Stalkers' paradise!

By Ciara Ballintyne on Tue 31 Jan 2012 05:44:38 pm [ Reply ] The dark side... including activities such as trolling, online abuse and other unsavoury and illegal activities in addition to vandalism and hacking. I had a run-in with a troll on Twitter who criticised a blog post I'd written and then proceeded to attack me personally. A delightful little soul.

By Anonymous on Thu 11 Oct 2012 03:36:25 am [ Reply ] I don't think bolding words in order to try to make it more insulting or hurtful will do anything. Especially when it's overdramatized. If he's as close as he can be to scum in his or her motives for screwing someone over on the internet, doing this only feeds them. Calling her or him a coward won't do anything either. if she or he hacked you and let all of his information get into your hands, wouldn't you call her or him dumb/post her or his information up AND call her or him dumb? I don't think it's about quivering fear, more just being smart and avoiding inconvenience. Just being truthful here- I don't think it was cool, what she or he did. Pretends it's a hot chick that did it to make you feel better.

On an off note... (I am not yelling at the writer of this entry)
It's kind of annoying when I try to research the dark side of the internet, and I get harmless results about TROLLS. Get off of the internet, or at least the talking part, if you hate trolls that much. Personally I don't get how someone can be trolled when they know they are being trolled- ,I mean, effortlessly getting someone mad like that?

Anyway, if they're anonymous especially, you can't call them the lowest form of life on the internet. That kind of annoys me too. But I've read more annoying (like calling people net hate machines and "below faeces scum", or pieces of crap, for things like hacking their my little pony account). It makes me think that some people need a break from the internet when they use insults reserved for people who commit far worse. Sorry for your loss, though.

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