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Security Issues With the Blog

   22 May 09   Filed in General, Unmask Parasites

Yesterday, I had been notified that my blog’s web pages sometimes contain malicious scripts. I had to shut down the blog and investigate the issue. Sorry for the inconvenience. I didn’t want to expose you to any threats.

The Unmask Parasites online service was not affected (it is hosted in a different location, and is very secure). It worked all that time. And during the investigation, my blog redirected visitors to http://www.UnmaskParasites.com

I’d like to thank Googlers (John Mueller, Oliver Fisher and Oxana Comanescu) who provided me with details about the issue. The malicious code had been noticed only in a small percentage of server responses (hackers don’t want to be unmasked). I could never reproduce it myself.

My blog is hosted on a simple shared plan since it doesn’t require anything fancy. I combed though my whole account and couldn’t locate any sign of the compromise or any alien code.

I contacted my hosting provider and provided them with all the information I had. They were very responsive and had been investigating the issue for the rest of the day. They took some preventive measures and added traffic filtering so I hope my blog is currently pretty much safe.

Anyway, you shouldn’t trust even sites like mine. Make sure you are browsing the web with a secure browser. If you are on Windows, consider using Google Chrome (it warns if a site references something from blacklisted third-party sites) or FireFox with the NoScript extension. With NoScript, you can enable scripts on legitimate domains that you visit, but any third-party scripts (and most website exploits require loading scripts from third-party domains) will be blocked.

When I have all the details from my hosting provider, I’ll review the issue.

Moving to VPS

Meanwhile I consider moving my blog from shared hosting to a VPS (virtual private server), so that I have full control over the things behind the scenes.

I’m not much of a sysadmin, so I’ll need some getting started tutorials about how to keep the server secure.

Can anyone suggest a supportive and reliable hosting provider with affordable VPS plans? I don’t need anything fancy: Apache, MySql, PHP, WordPress. I guess 256Mb RAM would be enough.

It would also be great if someone could support Unmask Parasites and this blog and help me purchase a VPS.

Feel free to leave your comments here or contact me directly.

Reader's Comments (2)

  1. |

    I usually recommend the forums at WebHostingTalk.com as a good place to find hosts (and offers). Personally I’m happy with VAServ (http://www.vaserv.com/) who operate as a number of brands, from no frills unmanaged services upwards.

  2. |

    As I already said you need to reconsider Chrome or Google, they marked things safe when things were unsafe by unmaskparasites or by a simple look at the “view source”

    There is no magical way that the big G can detect things when they are not there by any standards. So before saying “you shouldn’t trust even sites like mine” it is worth thinking / taking action to see whether Google or its tactics are safe. For many things they are already unsafe and discarded but I do not want to sound like google hate war here.

    What we want is : thing that works practically, usefully and allows us to do browsing comfortably. Google and chrome are not the solution at the moment.