That huge rushing wind sound you’re hearing . . . me heaving a huge sigh of relief.
I believe that I have things back to just about normal around here. It is now officially safe to share links to the site again. (And please do so.)
So, what happened?
The simple answer is that my site was hacked. Someone (or thing–much hacking is automated) gained access to my server and installed a bit of code there that redirected links from other sites to mine to spam sites.
When you clicked on a Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or Bing link to a post of mine, you would be redirected to a site selling Starbucks or fake Antivirus Software.
As I said, I’ve now corrected this problem. The site is safe for viewing and sharing as you wish.
Let me take this moment to apologize to all of you for the problems the site has had over the last week as well as for your having been redirected to sites that you did not wish to view. I hope that this was only an inconvenience for you, and that it did not cause you serious issues. If it did, please contact me via the comments feature at the bottom of the page.
Credibility is a difficult thing to build, yet insanely easy to lose. I pay close attention to the content of my site because of this. (This is why I do not have, and will never place any ads on this site. This isn’t about getting rich or famous. It’s about making our schools better than they are.)
Where I failed was that I did not pay closer attention to the impact that the delivery system could have on my credibility. I know that my credibility was harmed by the spam sites as well as the outages, and I take full responsibility for all of it. I will do a better job of monitoring the site in the future, and should I find that something has caused my readers issues, I will move to address that problem immediately.
Part of the reason this event took so long to address was that I couldn’t believe that I had been hacked. Once it became clear that I had, fixing it really didn’t take very long.
So again, I apologize.
In the future, I will verify links that I post are not redirecting my readers away from the site, and I will do my best to address the issue much quicker than I did this time around. Most of my readers hear about my posts because y’all share them, and I absolutely need that to continue.
Finally, I would like to take just a moment to address a rumor/joke that has circulated around my outage. A few friends have joked that perhaps the outage was caused by Dr. Wardynski or someone connected to Huntsville City Schools. For the record, I have no reason to believe that Dr. Wardynski or anyone else connected with the district had anything to do with this outage.
Frankly, it would be stupid for Dr. Wardynski to attempt to silence me by hacking my site. Doing so would give instant credibility and credence to my questions and posts. Dr. Wardynski is not stupid.
On one other note, I posted on January 29th that I was hearing rumors that Huntsville City Schools had blocked access to my site through their servers. I was able to confirm yesterday that you can actually access Geek Palaver from the HCS servers. However, as with many things, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. I would still recommend that readers access the site on their own time.
Remember that you may do so via email or by subscribing to the RSS feed above.
Glad to see things returning to normal. I was a bit concerned that HCS had crossed the Rubicon on this.
Thanks Mack. Me too.
You don’t have to apologize for being hacked or being courageous.
Now we know how employess of the school system feel and why they are afraid to speak out.
True Redeye. True. And it’s getting worse everyday.
Redeye, we’re starting to get pressure at UAH also…from VERY high places that aren’t even in this city… Which means, I think, that we’re asking the right questions and making powerful people feel threatened. Luckily, the first amendment and academic freedom are on our side.
Jason, I’m sorry to hear you are getting pressure at UAH also from VERY high places. I fear what happened to Legal Schnauzer could happen to you.
I’m beginning to wonder if we really have the first amendment and academic freedom on our side, or are they just slogans to make us think we have the first amendment and academic freedom on our side.
I am praying for everyone.
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