Yes, we’ve started a web security course but we were hacked once..

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We’ll need to go back here – go back to Aug 2009 – Two of us are systematically and kind of painstakingly putting the Learning Catalyst (www.learningcatalyst.in) site up. Each course page requires us to put PPT’s on slideshare and link them to the site. The back-end of the site was WordPress. Considering that there were just two of us working on finalizing the PPT copy, linking to Slideshare, doing final code changes on the site (our WordPress developer has deserted us),doing last-minute data entry, it was much of a task. Some of the teasers were already sent and a lot of well-wishers were waiting to hear from us on the successful launch of our site and business.

And we were tired. Very tired. When it happened

We realized the homepage looks different, let me rephrase that – it looked ugly. And that’s because the entire design has shifted down and a horizontal bar has creeped in.

We sank back into our chairs, now what ?? We had malware, hacked, virus : whatever you call it !

Still remember this was at 4 in the night. Our first call was to the WordPress developer who had left us stranded with some unfinished code in the first place. And whose support, if we had during this time, life would have been less stressful. He was in Goa for a vacation and we had no qualms of giving him a piece of our mind – yes, at 4 in the night..

Then we started calling some experts in this area – btw there are very few good ones in Mumbai to ask what could have possibly happened. We tried some ready made patches available on the WordPress site but those didn’t work.

Then we did what we dreaded : checking EACH and EVERY file on the server for that one line of code which had caused the problem – knowing well that even if we don’t look at any one properly, we will have to redo the exercise – from the beginning.

Thankfully, we could find that one wretched line of code and we joyfully deleted it – the homepage design shifted up to its intended location and all was well.

To this date, I am not sure of how we can prevent such things happening to our site but I am looking forward to the Catalyst Series webinar tomorrow on this topic (http://learningcatalyst.in/the-first-10-things-that-a-business-should-do-to-stay-secure-on-the-web/ )

Register for it….if you don’t want to have that sinking feeling of your online world being compromised…. at 4 AM in the night :)

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