computer-and-cat-o

Well, hello everyone! You might have noticed that SuperNerdLand has been down since last week, and maybe wondering what happened. While I’m taking a bit of a break from restoring articles on here, let me fill you all in on the short details.

April 20th, approx. 6am, our server got hacked. From all looks, it was a brute force entry because we had a lot of iffy looking bot scanning activity going on in our logs just a day or two before the server was exploited, and we did have an uptick in what our WordPress security was autoblocking when looking back at that time frame. After that, it got turned into a zombie and was part of a botnet sending spam mails and attempting to scan other IPs for a few hours until the datacenter got told by the ISPs something was happening, and the DC told my VM admin. She then shut off the network adapter until I could look at it.

Long story short, after looking into logs to see what happened I decided to just pull a bit from the server then nuke the machine to reinstall everything.

While I did not see any activity to point towards data/password theft, if you had an account on our site then you should change your password. Even though the passwords were encrypted in our database, change them anyway. It’s just a good idea.

Even if you didn’t have an account on our site. Change your passwords regularly people. It’s just good practice.

Anyway, I’ll sum up another lengthy part of the story where my backups were corrupt and I could only recover bits by saying just that, and fast forward to where we are at now.

The server has been restored with some extra security in mind -- for the hardware and the site. We are also having to restore the articles. Not all by hand, mind you. We were able to import some of what got pulled from the bad backups and what could be scrapped from archive.org (special thanks to hartator who made this awesome ruby script to download whole sites from the archive.org). Between these we are able to recover all the articles that were not drafts on the backend.

We are just cleaning up the imported articles, and re-inserting images were needed ATM. We are going to have a first pass done by tonight, with a large chunk of the site going “live” tomorrow morning. By Wednesday pass number two of the restoration will be done, and by Friday everything should be back to where it was in a more complete sense.

I want to apologize for the downtime everyone! And thank you for the patience. We are working hard to get back online for you, and all bookmarks/links should be working just fine after the restoration.

Also, if you notice anything particularly finicky in the next few days don’t hesitate to yell at us and tell us to fix it!

Be back soon lovelies!

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Josh Bray
Josh has worked in IT for over 15 years. Graduated Broadcasting school in 2012 with a focus on A/V production. Amateur photographer with a passion to make things work... by any means necessary. Editor-in-Chief and do-er of tech things at SuperNerdLand