Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hacked & Troubled

After posting nothing for quite a while, I now post for the second time in a week. Normally I would save this up for a week or so before posting, but I wanted to share this sooner.

Malicious damage was done to me personally this week. My website was hacked. If you go there (http://mimistadlerpottery.com) you will see a red bar telling you this is a “reported attack page.” Uncovering the code, Leah at iPoint Web Design discovered that the hacker operated from Syria, and that attached to the infecting snippets of code were anti-Israel phrases.

My Wordpress website had a vulnerable point of access, and the hacker entered. (I only noticed when Google blacklisted me.) But what drew the attacker there in the first place? Based on the geographic origin of the hacker (probably a machine programmed to do what it did) and the anti-Israel phrases, and taking into account that nowhere does the word “Israel” appear on my site, I make an assumption. In About the Artist, you can read that I am Jewish. And in the meta data, you can see “Judaica” as one of the terms used a lot, and “Jewish holiday” as another. Those had to be the targeted keywords that the mechanical hacking program with the offending code was looking for. Any pretense that Israel (and not Judaism itself) is the reason for hate here, is false. I was targeted because I am Jewish. And because I am Jewish, an Israel-hater would like me harmed.

As hate crimes go, this one is relatively benign. It prevents me from carrying on my e-commerce, of course, and this is a pretty unpleasant situation for me. But I am a studio potter, not a school, let’s say, or a business with numerous employees. Hacking my site affects only me and no one else. Indirectly, you might even conjecture that in a back-handed way I gained, as the security on my site, which was weak, is greatly improved now, and the code in general got quite a nice tightening up. Assuming Google un-blacklists me soon, the harm done could be considered pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But the stupidity of attacking a peace-loving clay spinner, who desires to live gently and do no harm to this earth or its people, and to attack me because I am Jewish, is indeed troubling.

1 comment:

  1. Troubling is a massive understatement. I'm sorry this happened to you and your site Mimi.
    Anyone who knows you appreciates your peace loving clay spinnerness.
    You probably did the best thing you can do, which is post about it and call it out for what it is.
    Good job!