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Scum of the internet

So, I’m sure you’re all wondering what has happened to the Petoholics theme and where all the posts and pages disappeared to. The answer is pretty simple and yet surprisingly infuriating…spammers hacked my blog.

Thankfully they didn’t upload any viruses or anything. Instead they seemed content with filling every page with spam links for “that little blue pill” and god knows what else. They even hid it so the only way you could see it is looking at the source code. At first I thought they had only gotten to this blog. Then I realized that they had put their crap on every single PHP file in the domain. Anyone who has visited my old site knows that it had over 200 PHP pages.

How did they do it? Your guess is as good as mine. It could have been anything from backdoors in WordPress or its plugins, some old unsecure script located on one of those 200+ pages that I haven’t touched for years, or even my webhost being comprimised. After a bit of searching, I discovered that other people have had similar problems particularly with hacked WordPress themes. So far I have yet to see one that knows how it was done in the first place. Instead they talk about how to deal with the impact.

Why did they do it? Google “wow name generator”. My PANDA generator is second from the top. I was getting 700-800 hits a day from that position. The spammers decided they wanted to piggyback off my hard work and they somehow found a way to do it. They just wanted to get their stupid spam out there, regardless of who they hurt in the process.

What happens now? I tried at first to just delete their code from my blog, not realizing at the time that they had gotten to all those other pages. I got rid of some out of date plugins, changed my password, basically tried every security trick I could find. I hoped I had succeeded. The next day it was back again and that’s when I discovered it wasn’t just Petoholics Anonymous that had been affected. I figured the best thing to do would be to start anew, wiping the slate clean of their s**t. So I downloaded every file to my computer, backed up every database, and then deleted everything from my server. As for Petoholics, I will work on getting every blog post and page up here again, hopefully all the comments too. I don’t know how long it will take because I want to go over every inch with a fine toothed comb. The last thing I want is a repeat of this nightmare.

The side of me you’re all seeing right now is the practical side, the part that’s dealing with the problem at hand. What you aren’t seeing is the very angry, “I’m going to hunt down and hurt these spammer” side. My guildmates talk about how they know I’m mad when I start swearing. Imagine me using the vilest curses I know in every second breath. The part that hurts the most surprisingly? They defiled the part of my old site that showcases Blacky, my dear black lab that passed away two year ago. And I know they don’t give a rat’s a** about it. That…that demands retribution that I can’t give because the spammers are spineless cowards. All I can do clean up the mess and make things right again.

So if you’re a blogger (which I know a lot of you are), take my situation and learn from it. Be diligent about your blog, check your security on a regular basis and keep things up to date. Please don’t let this happen to you.



  1. Posted June 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Ohh nooooooo 🙁 That is just f-ing crap. Ugh. So sorry this happened to you, your blog was one of the more beautiful themes I’ve come across.

  2. Posted June 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    🙁 That makes me very mad. Your blog was beautiful, how terrible that some idiots had to come and destroy it! I always knew spammers sucked, but thats just… ugh.

    Good luck on building the site back up, take your time and have at least some fun seeing the blog being built back up to glory from the ashes!

  3. Mama Druid
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink


    How very awful!

    I hope this hasn’t discouraged you in any way whatsoever. If you look for it, something good will come out of this. It usually does! 🙂

  4. Posted June 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    This makes me sad/angry as well. I had spammers hack my blog once and it took out the entire server, which had other blogs and commercial sites on it as well. (I’m on my husband’s server now, so he helps police it.) I lost all my posts – but there really weren’t all that many – nothing like what you’ve been through! Honestly wish there was a way to put those spammers out of business – who is silly enough to buy medications like that online anyway? There’s no guarantee that you’re not just purchasing sugar pills.

  5. Posted June 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh hon, that really does completely suck. ((hugs))

  6. Wolfwynd
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    *hugs* You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of all that hard work hun. I hope the restore goes well and if I can do anything to help let me know.

    Your Fav WoW Wolfie-

  7. Posted June 22, 2009 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    ^ very, very angry that they did it to your site about your doggie!
    [insert various profanities here]
    I hope to see things work out for you and you can get things fixed too, is that works out!

  8. Posted June 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh man. Sorry to hear that you got hit by the script kiddies also. It is painful.

    If you didn’t delete your mySQL database your content should still be there. I was able to save most of mine that way.

    As for how they did it? Well, you covered it. Unless you have some way of tracking it down there really isn’t much. The most popular involves using iFRAME. The other tends to exploit WordPress permissions.

    Anyways, here’s a long rambling post giving you my sympathies. Good luck on the rebuild!