Your Maintenance Announcement for 2017

If you were trying to get in here in the middle of the night on Sunday, you probably saw this:

That happened because bots from Russia and China were, in Mollie’s words, “eating up our resources.”  She’s on it and we have the blog back, but that was a little . . . disconcerting.  What did we ever do to Russia and China?  (I know, they’re just mugging bandwidths so they can re-elect Trump, but still, ARGH? Really?)

This has been your maintenance announcement for 2017.  

15 thoughts on “Your Maintenance Announcement for 2017

  1. I hope being with SquareSpace will preserve me from this. But I probably ought to visit my website more than once in a blue moon, just to make sure it’s still visible. Of course, what I really need to do is get invokved with it, restart my blog, etc.

    And then there’s ransomware: a local gallery owner was telling me recently that my two-external-drive back-up system is inadequate, because all three hard drives could get infected, and then I’d lose years of photography and all my writing projects. But while I could (and ought to) back up my fiction and non-fiction projects, how would I back up all my (large) raw image files? I’d have to have a system to decide which photographs are most valuable to me, so I back those up, and that’s yet another set of decisions to make every time I download a cardful of images.

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    1. Back up my writing stuff to the cloud, I mean. The problem with photographs is their size – when you’ve got tens of thousands of them.

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      1. I can’t make any comment on cloud safety, but re size, I pay an annual (and reasonable) subscription to dropbox and more storage space than I think I could possibly fill in a lifetime, and backup automatically. If that helps.

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    2. Um…one reliable way for you to ensure your photos are safe is to literally have a second system which is NEVER connected to the internet (neither by wire or wireless) and load pix directly from your camera/card onto it BEFORE putting them onto the computer you use for other work and communication. And no USBs — thumb drives only in one direction (from the clean system to the connected one). Of course, this means you’ll have only your raw shots safe. And involves more expense. And a pain.

      But the moment you have ANY outside contact you are open to problems because the anti-whatever software you can get is always behind the curve. Depends on how much aggro and expense you are willing to put up with. (At work we have two completely separate networks, ne’er the twain meet, and no shared devices EVER. It’s a pain but it keeps the stuff safe that needs to be safe.)

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      1. That’s an interesting idea. Don’t know quite how it would work – but I’m going to forward it to the guy who’s running a session for our photography group on this topic next month. Thanks!

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  2. My understanding of that attack, Jenny, is you need a firewall of some kind that blocks suspicious users. You can either let it choose the blocks, or block intentionally an IP of a user, or depending on the product, block entire countries. If you get that via a plugin, it’s better than nothing, but it’s better for your security to be separate from your site in case it ever gets bypassed so that your security itself isn’t compromised and they just whitelist themselves.

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  3. ARGH.

    Spammers have found my blog on Blogger. Luckily, they’re pretty good at weeding out the spam comments, and I have it set so that after a post has been up for over five days, I have to approve all comments. Annoying, but still…

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      1. I don’t have a blog to spam, but I once had a troll comment on one of my fanfics in Portuguese. At first I was really excited– at last, a use for that Portuguese-English dictionary I bought fifteen years ago!– but then I realized they were being insulting. Plus they seemed to be confusing my characters with a completely different fandom, despite the fic being clearly labeled and tagged. It was surreal. o.O I retaliated by responding cheerfully in Spanish and moved on. It makes a fun anecdote, at least. 😀

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    1. Yep. We’re on it. They’ve been fixing it instead of stopping the attacks, I think. Mollie’s talking with them about it, pointedly.

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  4. !

    Damn. There’s a world of thought behind that, and I don’t know how to express it all. But I often wonder if we are living in a very short window of the Internet Golden Age. Stuff like this, and stuff not like this, will make it impossible for nice people to have nice things. I’m talking about all the trolls and hackers and people who think they are doing stuff “for the sheeple’s own good” not realizing that sheeple like me are often perfectly capable of making up our own minds and acting on our own consciences.

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    1. There’s definitely a change coming. As others have pointed out, Facebook and Twitter and Google are unregulated even though they act as news sources, and they’re huge corporations, bigger than AT&T was when it hit the anti-trust boundary. So everybody just has to get a lot more careful with stronger protections. It’s been the Wild West, and that’s not going to work any more.

      I’m betting we’ll find a new host with better security, but it’s in Mollie’s hands.

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