This Sunday morning, Slashpix IMed me on gtalk about a shocking thing that happened to my blog. He asked “What’s up with your site?”, with enough curiosity I checked out my blog and wow – this just scared the heck out of me:
Parking Page of Carl Ocab dot com
In the hopes of just a web host slip, I checked every domain on the same hosting account. Eight of them were taken down and all under the name of my dad. Namely carlocab.com and grandstart.com.
I paused for a moment and logged in on MSN to find guys whom I can chat with and get help because this is the first site hackage I encountered. Three people started IMing me and asked about the parking page. One of them was my buddy XMCP who gladly helped me and gave me useful advices on what to do.
After a few minutes, I chatted with Host Gator and asked them why that page was showing up. It took them about 10 minutes to give me a solution – that didn’t work.
They told me that the domains were removed as an addon on cpanel. They said I should install them back, but it seems like I can’t because it’s already added on another account.
The funny thing was, the nameservers was not changed at all. The hacker might have used another host gator account with the same nameserver to put that ugly landing page on my domain. This gave me time to breathe, no files were removed, no files lost so no worries. I just have to nail this hacker and this thing is solved.
After a few IMs with XMCP, he told me to call Host Gator to get more live help and track down the hacker. I told my dad about the situation then he called HG. Again, it took the support 10 minutes to answer the problem and gave my dad a link to a site restore page where we should pay $15 per domain to restore the site.
Actually, if we did pay that it would cost us $120 without getting the problem fixed.
I thought of a quick solution to fix this in less than 24 hours, (I can’t manage to wait for Host Gator to answer or fix this, it’ll take weeks probably) so Google won’t notice the parked site and I won’t lose all of my rankings within the day.
Carl Ocab Dot Com Rebirth
If someone was using it as an addon on Host Gator then I can probably get away with it by changing the nameserver and switching to a new host. I packed away all the WP stuff and look for a more secure hosting plan.
There comes Media Temple. One of the biggest folks in the web hosting world. They hosted sites like ABC news, Nike, Adidas and even Adobe. It didn’t gave me a second thought. I then purchased their Grid-Service package and after 5 minutes, all was set in place!
I switch the nameservers of all hacked sites to Media Temple’s and got it working within an hour. Special thanks to Charles Lau’s post on how to transfer WordPress to another server. It helped me transfer my blog with ease.
After a tiring day, I didn’t have any choice but to learn from what happened.
Never, ever be cheap when buying your web host. Always take the first class because it’s the life of your artwork. It’s the dirt that makes your tree grow. Back up files regularly too.
Personal Or Just A Security Hole?
When we got to church this morning, it kept me thinking if this was intentionally done to us or it was just a cpanel security hole like what happened last year. What do you think?