Well, this has been quite the weekend.
On Saturday, I asked my delightful sister to help me share ATMakers in Atlanta. We talked through a post she could share with her local friends, and I included a link to ATMakers.org’s main website.
She posted it and immediately we found out that the main site (which is based on WordPress) had been hacked. They had posted a ton of horrible ads and “your computer has been infected” garbage on the homepage. Worse, they hide it when you’re logged in, so I hadn’t seen it before she shared it with her friends.
Embarrassing, yes(!). Deadly, no. I’ve had a WordPress site hacked before, and I kind-of know the process to clean it up. I also know how they were able to modify the site, so it was several hours of irritation, but overall, not the end of the world. We are more secure than we were and will be even more-so tomorrow after we make some upgrades and hire a firm to help us monitor and protect this site.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. To add insult to injury, Facebook took down our ATMakers Group!
NOTE: I am about 90% certain that this is directly related to the hack, and nothing else, but if anyone knows about any complaints that might have been reported, please let me know.
Yes, all of the support, advice, questions, answers, and community that were in that group are (currently) gone. Honestly, I have no way to assure you that any of it will come back — although I am hopeful at this point.
We have filed issues, and we are pushing to get it restored, but we will have to think carefully about how we work with Facebook going forward. I have wanted to do more to keep things available to non-FB people, and perhaps this is push we need to start mirroring things off of FB. I don’t know yet.
Personally, I am very tired. Not just because I’ve spent a busy weekend fighting this fight, but because it’s just such a waste, and I’m very discouraged. And in all honesty, I’m not going to be able to do this regularly. Other commitments in my life simply won’t let me do that–we are going to have to share some of this load.
However, I wanted to assure everyone that our community will make it through this, perhaps with some adjustments. You can reach via email “bill at this domain dot org”, and we regularly post our videos on YouTube. In addition, we are @at_makers on Twitter so you can reach me there as well.
I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and I look forward to more positive work with you in the future!