The word “hack” appears to be undergoing some changes to meaning, and I didn’t get the memo. Our pastor has a sermon series going on titled “Life Hacks”. It’s steps you can take to improve your Christian walk. So, I’m learning that “hack” is a noun meaning “a clever tip or technique for doing or improving something” [Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary].
Who knew? I mean, why didn’t someone issue an announcement about this? Hack doesn’t mean that. It means to chip away at something, as with an ax. It means to cough sharply. It means to attempt to gain illegal access to a computer or related technology item. It doesn’t mean a clever tip or technique.
I’m being somewhat facetious. Yes, I’ve heard this newer use of the word, over the last five to ten years. How in the world the old uses for hack have been supplemented by this newer use I don’t know, but this old Baby Boomer doesn’t approve.
But, using the older meaning [an act or instance of gaining or attempting to gain illegal access to a computer or computer system], this website was hacked. It occurred sometime between Jan 15 and Jan 22. I tried to login on the 22nd to make a post, having skipped my normal post on Jan 19th. I couldn’t get in. Someone had changed either my password or user name, or both. Nothing on the site seemed to be changes; I just wasn’t able to get in to manage the site.
Monday I was in no mental condition to deal with this. I started investigating this on Tuesday, but wasn’t able to get much done. I did some checking through WordPress.org, but wasn’t able to figure out much. Finally, on Wednesday, early morning in my pre-work time at the office, I started dealing with it through my web hosting service. They were helpful. They directed me to a security company they work with. I bit the bullet and subscribed to a service to get a firewall and heavy-duty scanner set up. It took over an hour on the phone, but it got done. I had immediate access to my site.
So, I’m back, after a week of not posting then two days of being locked out. I still have more security stuff to do, and I’m in the self-education phase of that. I hope in a day or two at most I’ll have all the other stuff done, and will feel more confident about jumping back in and posting regularly.