Once again, Doc Gurley has fallen sick. No, not the Doc herself, but docgurley.com, the website. All is well again thanks to some rapid action, but the experience was not a good one. Some of you visiting in the past couple of days may have noticed warnings that this site is an attack site (or a threat or something like that). These are warnings inserted into browsers by our benevolent overlords at Google and Firefox and Microsoft that they think something is bad at a website. And something was – we had suffered yet another nasty infection – one of the most modern strains of the dreaded SQL injection attack bug. Rapid work has fixed the problem (fortunately not actually dangerous to site visitors) and at some point in the next 48 hours the benevolent despots at Google, Firefox and Microsoft will deign to notice this and lift their dire warnings.
So what is SQL injection? Basically, some nasty hacker somewhere gets paid to force people to visit a whole host of sites (usually pornography, gambling, Viagra, etc. but sometimes more malicious things that try to take over your computer). This article has lots of information about the kinds of things hackers are now doing. One of the many, many nasty ways they attack is to find a backdoor into blogs, often by the comments system, and insert code and scripts into the website. Fortunately, these are usually blocked and often ineffective. But occasionally a new trick starts sneaking things through. This is what happened here at Doc Gurley. We found the offending code and script and excised it. Fortunately in the computer world there are neat surgical solutions to viral illnesses!
The next step is to ‘harden’ our security so it doesn’t happen again. We are in the process of doing that. Just in case you have a wordpress blog, this article has a good summary of the steps you need to take. We had already done some of these and are now doing the rest.