I apologize to those who visited my blog the past couple of days. I’m sure you’ve noticed that a couple of posts have been missing, as well as some comments.
Unfortunately, this blog was either hacked, or a virus may have caused all my sites to display a malware message starting February 29th. It was in the middle of our Hump Day $50 Giveaway and I had to reroute the pages coming for the giveaway to another participant to prevent all of you from getting infected (although I was advised that it couldn’t have infected you anyway).
I couldn’t be sure if the hacking or virus was through this site because all my wordpress sites on my host, as well as one joomla site was infected as well. It could have been from my PC, one of the plugins or themes being used, or from the site itself. What was again unfortunate is that my web hosting DOES NOT PROVIDE troubleshooting for these situations. They wouldn’t even help pinpoint where it all started. They just told me they know the sites are infected and gave me options on what to do (which weren’t at all pleasing to one’s ears if you’re already rattle and semi-irate at how they handle things).
Anyway, to make a long story short, I opted to have the backup files restored from February 24th which they think was not infected (yes think, because they weren’t even sure about it!), although it may temporarily lose some of the posts as well as comments that were published and made after that restore date.. As soon as it was restored, I was advised to update everything I could from themes, plugins and passwords but another problem arose. I couldn’t because the plugins couldn’t write on the server.
Host to rescue? Of course not… they didn’t. They checked the permissions and said they didn’t see a problem on their end. All the permissions were set properly and were writeable. I even had problems with one tech support rep because he had the audacity to tell me to get in touch with the plugin developers because maybe the plugins weren’t compatible with their hosting (seriously?! When I was able to upgrade all the said plugins on my other blogs with another host).
This went on for days because I desperately wanted to update everything first because people kept insisting that outdated plugins are easy targets for hackers and malwares. But without the hosts’ support, I had no idea how to proceed. I’ve read more than 30 forums and support groups (per day I was offline, which was about 4 days), and most of them didn’t work aside from those that I couldn’t do because I COULDN’T write on my server!
Thankfully today, I was lucky enough to be connected with a different tech support rep, and when I told him my problem, he also did what the others did which was check my permission settings. No surprise there when he said all was fine. What surprised me was when he asked me to “hold on” as he checked on something else. After a couple of seconds, he came back and told me to try and update the plugin again and it worked! I asked him what he did and he just said he checked on the ownership of the files and folders. It was set to root and not to user which was why I couldn’t create folders or files on the server.
Once that was done and all my 6 blogs were updated (of plugins and themes), I manually restored my missing posts (2-3 per blog) and is all set again. Now we’re back and malware/error free.
I intentionally did not disclose which host I’m referring to as I still have a complaint pending with them for one of their tech support reps. Aside from that rep, and the time it took me to get a “smart” rep on the line to go out of his way to check on things, I’m still thinking that this host may have potential… if you’re techie enough to troubleshoot on your own.