You and a few thousand other folks noticed how Guns Save Life’s website looked like a ghost ship floating through the ocean the last few weeks. Indeed we were adrift as we were unable to post new content OR edit existing content.
Frustrated didn’t begin to describe our feelings. We made it through the seven stages of grief over the loss, forcing ourselves to work through the stages very quickly as we had other tasks on our plates.
So what happened?
It all started with hackers installing a back door. Actually, we’re told it was more like a garage door. They then started doing so many malicious things that they bogged down the server. Not only that but google searches for Guns Save Life would send people to domain.com. Yeah, I don’t know if the fine folks at domain.com were aware of what these bad actors were doing to drive business their way, but suffice it to say I’m not a fan of domain.com.
Anyway, Hostek took our site down. They said they emailed our book-keeper about the take-down but she didn’t get that email (or it went to her SPAM folder). I didn’t get any emails either.
What’s more, when I contacted them to bring the site back up, they neglected to mention that THEY had shut us down.
Just a trivial, minor concern right?
In fact, I didn’t find out until they called back AFTER my second phone call for support many hours later.
At that point they allowed my IP address in to make changes and I updated the plug-ins and did a couple of other things like they asked.
They brought us back up.
From there, as we troubleshooted, things went further south. Once more, Hostek brought us back up but we couldn’t make any changes or edit anything on the public-facing side of the site. We did a couple of things to protect members and prospective members data and continued working to fix the issue.
Hostek refused to restore our site from a backup so we started shopping for a new host provider.
I’ve been a long-time fan of GunFreeZone.net. I know the former head honcho there had some hosting issues and brought on Troglodite Services to get him up and running. GFZ’s Miguel raved about the work they did so I contacted them.
OMG, they were wonderful. While Hostek’s reps were disinterested, at times negligent, and even malicious on occasion in their support or lack thereof, Troglodite has been AWESOME and a joy to work with. Yeah, we’re spending a little bit more, but the difference is night and day. Sort of like the difference between a Karen working at the Driver’s License Facility and the person working at your like Chik-fil-a in terms of helpfulness.
We’re now Troglodite customers. They’re handling our hosting and support.
They’ve found and deleted the malicious code and their files. (Someone may be pissed we took their toys and website away.) Trog’s not only bricked up the bad actors’ access to our site, but they’ve installed armor plating over it. Our administrators are getting coached on improved security, including two-factor authentication to access the back end of the site to create or modify posts. Or do anything else.
In the coming days, I plan to add some content that’s been stacking up. At the same time, don’t expect miracles because GunNews is due at the printer on Monday, so that’s taking up a lot of time.
Anyway, suffice it to say I’m thrilled to report that we’re back.
Expect good things in the coming days as we’ve got some catching up to do. You deserve it.
Tell your friends we’re back too.
And if you discern something’s not right or we’ve missed a bug or two, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.