“Dave, what happened to your offthegridhomes.org site?”
“Weird science, man. Russians. Theft. Intrigue. Confusion. Panic. All kinda hell broke loose.” Here’s the story:
My site was hacked and hijacked back in the spring. A porn referral site lay across my page. Peeps couldn’t get in to read the latest nonsense but they saw butts and boobs and all things lascivious. Some readers wondered what the hell was going on off the grid. Others started looking seriously for land. I was left confused. Mildly aroused, but confused.
As it turned out, the temporary hijacking was just part of what the hackers did. On the face of it, we saw a referral to body parts and unusual positions but there was more. And I did not know that.
My techie friends advised moving from Bluehost to Bluehost. Yeah, I know, but that kind of logic is typical with techies. What they MEANT was ‘change accounts’. Changing accounts would purge the hijackers, they said. So, I did. After a week or so, everything seemed OK.
The hackers know you are going to do something like that and so they lay in wait for your site to fly over the ether (or something) and then they pounce and snatch it out of the air. But, quick like Russian bunny on roids, they put the targeted site on THEIR server and provide good service. Voila. They have your site and you don’t know they do. You think you are with Bluehost and so you carry on innocently. Thoughts of porn lost to the past.
“Why would they do this?”
I do not think that a Russian read my blog and said, “Dah! Is good writing, no? We take writing and maybe get vodka for it, eh Ivan?” What they do is employ a robot program to steal sites when it can. Mine was caught like a fish in a net. Indiscriminately. But, instead of letting me go, the robot began to mine the site for personal information. Most sites have been monetized or subscribed to and so many sites have some data worth stealing. I didn’t monetize or use subscription tools and so mine was worthless but the robot didn’t know. The robot didn’t care. The robot kept my site. I was kidnapped.
Coincidentally, my domain name came due for renewal. I was not informed. It expired. So some other dickhead snatched that. And it was that theft that, when sold to an OTG referral site, lay over the site like the previous porn had done, I was alerted. I thought it was the same thing. It was not. This time the double ruse was revealed.
Well, I naturally called Bluehost and they looked. “I am sorry, sir, we used to host you but you went somewhere else in February.”
“No, I didn’t. I went out your front door, walked around the block and came in the back door. Account A went to become Account B.”
“Not by our records. Lets go see who has it now even if it has been picked up by a vulture.”
“Oh yeah. Vultures lurk in wait for expired domain names. Any such names will drive traffic. So, they get ’em. Quick. Oh yeah, I see that you are hosted by SpeedyOne. They are in Amsterdam. Suspicious. Oh yeah, they have offices all over the world. IP addresses everywhere. This is a hacker server. You are now in the hands of hackers. Russians use Amsterdam a lot. Could be anyone but I suspect Russians.”
“Can I get it back?”
“If you pay the ransom.”
“Nah. Let ‘er die.”
“Ooohhhh….that’s brutal, man. Don’t you love your site?”
“Not enough to pay a ransom. I only have six or seven readers.”
“It says you have upwards of 900 hits a day.”
“They are all Russians and Chinese. Some Ukrainians now and then. Probably all robots. I suspect that are not really interested in me and my ravens?”
“Never mind. Let’s start another blog. Can I rescue my content?”
“Probably not. But here’s what you can do.” And so I did it. We are now half done. And we have rescued just about all of it. Pictures are history, tho. The site will be similar in the text to the old one. Not so much visually. New name, of course. The Russians will still have the original. I doubt they have much use for it. But they are in possession of a clone, now. The new site is the real one. The old site is the Russian’s.