Just checking to see if the automagical migration of posts from my blog (The Mongrel Dogs Who Teach) to my Facebook page actually works.
Regular readers of this blog, were there any, would know that in early June, The Mongrel Dogs That Teach was high-jacked by people of malicious intent who inserted “invisible” code into my text to direct people to infected sites and to sites offering badware. This resulted from my neglect of the infrastructure of the site, specifically, from failing to upgrade regularly. Let that be a lesson to you!
Anyway, the malefactors pulled off their dastardly deed using a glitch in WordPress (since fixed) that allows one user to modify the posts of another. So the creeps created a spurious account, leavened my site with their crap, and (as far as I know) moved on. Following advice I found on the Net, I deleted the fake users (institutiong user moderation for the future) and purged their comments, after upgrading the WordPress installation. This, I thought, solved the problem; but I was wrong.
Today, browsing to my own site, I was blocked by Firefox, which told me that Google has deemed the site unsafe. Further investigation made clear that many of my posts were still harboring the vile iframe and noscript tags that causes the problem. I dsicovered admin tools that simplified my search-and-destroy mission, removing the offenders from every post and comment.
Now I’ve submitted a request that Google check the site again and clear it. Let’s hope that works out.
OK, so one sign of not writing enough on your blog is having it highjacked and you don’t even notice. Bleh. Somewhere between May 27 and today (Jun 4), some nefarious party registered itself and inserted nasty code into one or more of my pages… possibly through comments. When I tried to visit today, ZoneAlarm piped up and warned me that “wp-stats-php.info” is a suspected phishing site and would be blocked… meaning I couldn’t see The Mongrel Dogs, either.
But the 21st century is amazing. I googled “wp-stats-php.info” and found a ton of pages by users with a similar problem, and indeed, some with solutions. Yay. I am particularly indebted to the following people and pages:
For the curious, my solution was to back up everything (just in case), then nuke the files and restore from an April backup. Having learned my lesson, I also upgraded immediately to the latest version of WordPress (2.5.1) which apparently doesn’t suffer from this vulnerability.
Minor editorial: Although the blame for not updating regularly lies squarely with me, I really think the WordPress crew should come up with a simple, one-touch way to do that. Right now, backing up the database is a scary proposition for someone not a MySQL pilot. There used to be a neat script that did one-touch backups but for reasons that I cannot understand, it’s been deprecated and removed. *sigh*
More testing, this time with the correct category.
You can just ignore this post — I’m trying a new feature.
Where should I put the subscribe message?
So… I’ve wanted a three-column theme for a while and for whatever reason, tonight’s the night I decided to get one. Mostly I want something that uses the real estate of my monitor more efficiently. I went with Anaconda and it seems pretty good. I’m still figuring out how to make it look like what I want. Also, this post is an attempt to check out “asides” to see what they are. And I’ve added a couple of countdown timers just for show.
Yesterday I spent more time than really justified in playing around with the look-and-feel of The Mongrel Dogs Who Teach. It began innocently enough: I finally reached my breaking point on the comment spam, receiving two blocks of 48 spams within an hour. (And yes, they came in discrete quanta of 48. Odd.) Considering the very low output of this blog, it seemed ludicrous to be getting spam at roughly a 100:1 ratio. So I tooled around the Net for a while and found Spam Karma 2 (excellent tool for WordPress, by the way), which automates the process and so far is doing a great job.
Then things kind of ran away from me…
Welcome to The Mongrel Dogs Who Teach, my little experiment in blogging. This will be updated approximately every “whenever I feel like it” and will likely be about as erratic as I am.
If you’re interested, the experiment is, “Can I run a blog on education and not get myself fired post-haste?”
That’s about it for now.