Locked out (of my own site) — Ouch!

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Internet security is a challenge these days at a level that I would never have imagined a few years ago.

For example, at the moment, our consultants and internet service provider are checking into a problem I first noticed several weeks ago, but which proved elusive to explain.  Sometime between about 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., our server grew extremely sluggish I couldn’t log into my own accounts, and pages for our websites loaded very slowly, if at all.

At first, I thought the problem might be the evening security backup to Amazon Web Services (AWS), part of the best-practices catastrophe management system. But that didn’t make sense, as the backup should occur later in the night, and shouldn’t last so long.

Then, after much digging, we uncovered (we think) the culprit.

Some evil people had set a malware installation turning our site into a cryptocurrency miner. In other words, the attackers have set up a process to generate Bitcoins for their own profit.

They have been sneaky about it. The processes run at hours when we wouldn’t normally be watching our sites — and they apparently have designed a tool that, if we remove the process, it simply reappears the next night. Right now, as I write this, the ISP is conducting a comprehensive malware scan. (Kudos to hostwinds.com — the service from this ISP has been better than any I’ve seen to date.)

Now for the second problem, my doing, which explains why there haven’t been any Construction Marketing Ideas blog updates for several days. I managed to set things so that — perhaps because of some failed login attempts during the above-noted malware problem — that the system locked me out of my own account. The tools designed to prevent attacks, prevented me from maintaining and logging into to this site.

A relief — that problem has been corrected, though I’m sure there will be many more problems.  And I can see from the security software the constant attempts of unwelcome outsiders to break into our sites.  I imagine how bad things may be for true high security situations such as banks and government agencies.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to construction marketing ideas. In the meantime, while we should certainly take the need for security extremely seriously, it is best that I watch things and not lock the door on myself in the future.

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