Hacker wants to teach me a lesson??

I’ve been battling a hacker on this blog for the past two weeks. Perhaps you noticed the pharma spam redirects that just wouldn’t go away, despite reinstalling WordPress, moving servers, switching to a default theme, removing all plugins, locking down the admin with HTTP authentication, changing ownership and permissions on all files, etc. etc. Just to clarify it’s not just me doing the battling, I have had TONS of help from a couple of Netconcepts’ finest sysadmins (a big shout-out to Dave and Drew for the late nights!). It occurred tonight to Dave that this attack might be personal, because the hacker was vehemently expending so much effort to break back in and cause havoc each time that a hole was closed. But what did I do to deserve such violence? And to also target the blogs of my three children and of my Netconcepts colleague Chris Smith is really sick.

A helpful visitor emailed me a couple hours ago a screenshot of a popup window with a ransom note of sorts. Apparently the hacker heard me present at PubCon on December 5th and didn’t like me and/or what I had to say. The message was clear: either the hacker says his piece on this blog or the attacks will continue full-force. Here’s the screenshot:

That’s pathetic — resorting to a criminal act against me instead of simply engaging me in a dialogue through commenting or emailing me. I’m happy to take constructive criticism. But Mr. Lawless Hacker: don’t threaten me, don’t try to intimidate me, don’t steal from me, don’t vandalize my sites, and don’t harm my family or my colleagues in the process. Okay, so you want to take me to task for something, so be it. Do it in the comments.