What an interesting couple of days

It’s been an interesting week… there’ve been dramas, a return to gainful employment, relatives, concerts, the Phoenix-like (there really should be an adjective for that) rebirth of my Scooter Betsy, and intrigue.

I shall get around to the former in the course of the next week as we wrap up our stay in Brisbane but I’d like to turn to the intrigue thus presented…

In an age where many more people are blogging, becoming virtual residents and catching the Intertubes to various destinations of work and play, there is an increasing likelihood of your average Joe and Joeline running websites without a comprehensive understanding of their underpinnings and vulnerabilities. Internet hosts facilitate this through easy 1-click installs (occasionally more) of popular software to enable expression of thoughts (WordPress etc), artistic inclinations (photo galleries) and/or commercial enterprises (Joomla, Zencart etc).

Whilst a number of free websites cater for budding bloggers, photographers, entrepreneurs – and indeed have built vast communities and empires (think Flickr, Blogspot) through the provision of these services – there is something nice about the ownership that comes with one’s own website, be it a terrible one page contraption with flickering borders and gaudy colour schemes. There is also no question of End User Agreements or relinquishment of rights to images and/or text.

So I should not have been surprised that I am one of these Joes that took web security for granted and had my website hacked on what appears to be multiple occasions. It looks as though the Joomla software I’d installed on a whim (and whose suggested security measures I’d ignored) was hacked and, in one instance, had been supplemented with a fraudulent Paypal service that solicited details from unsuspecting Joes and Joelines to fund personal drug habits, armament of 3rd world warlords or worse.

Whilst removing the hacked files and reactivating my now empty binbilla.net domain, I also discovered this hack – replete with what I can only assume is an Allahphilic rap song, which appears to be separate from the Paypal fraud. Interesting eh…

In retroflection I’m just glad that there was nothing of import on binbilla.net and that it was not jameses.org that was jeopardised. For although I would likely get back most of whatever was removed/deleted/destroyed from this site, the thought of losing the words, sentiments, stories and memories that I’ve imparted on these digital pages over the last few years is not a pleasant one. That being said, I should really go and upgrade my version of wordpress, no?

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As a last little tidbit of funny in this somewhat dry post, I’d like to leave you with Senior Sergeant Greg Davies of the Victorian Police Association’s sage words on tasers.

“A lot of the reports in relation to tasers have been wildly exaggerated and I think if we set the statistics aside and just deal in facts, we will find that there are, according to some sources, no recorded deaths directly attributed to tasers anywhere in the world.”

The man’s a born politician!

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