I was hacked. Yes. Hacked. I don’t even know where to begin on this one….
My website was hacked by ISIS. This site. The one you are reading now. Hacked.
It happened last month, sometime between February 5 and February 14, but I’m not entirely sure of exactly when. I should know more specifically. I would know if I logged into WordPress daily to post to my blog. I am trying to post more often, but I had been recovering from severe exhaustion, and hadn’t been online in a couple of weeks.
Anyway. I had a backlog of writing to publish. I opened my browser, clicked on the tab with my WordPress admin screen, and found this:
I feel like someone shot me in the stomach.
I don’t even know how I start to go about fixing this. Nor do I have time for this.
This is my little corner of the world. Almost nobody comes here to read what I write.
Sorry. Yes, I know you are here. I am very grateful that you are here. And you are certainly not nobody.
Let me rephrase that.
Very few people come to read my blog. It’s not like I get even 100 visitors a day.
Why would they pick my site to hack?
The Range of Emotions
I feel violated. I feel annoyed. I feel frustrated.
I feel fucking ANGRY.
I have enough hang-ups with publishing my writing. Not the writing part. That flows in abundance. But the publishing is a different story. It’s like everything in the WordPress editor is designed to instill in me the belief that my writing isn’t good enough: my “Readability” score, my SEO, the image reminders. Argh. I don’t need any more reasons to feel resistance to publishing.
The Worst Offenses
Aside from feeling violated, and uncertain and not sure what to do or how to fix this, I notice I feel especially annoyed about two elements of this hacking.
First, the hackers deleted some of my recent blog posts.
Look. I get it, hackers. You wanted to share your message. You decided, for whatever reason, to hack my site. But did you have to delete my writing too? If you wanted to share your message, how about just clicking the “New Post” button. Why did you need to delete my posts? That’s just taking it too far.
Second, I can’t help but be offended by the inefficiency of this.
You know, I am a productivity geek. For me, productivity is all about finding the most effective way to get a result. That’s what people come to me for: helping them get better results in the most effective way possible.
And in this area, I can’t help myself: when I see someone doing something and I see a more effective way, I generally tell them. I tend to tend to internalize the ineffectiveness and inefficiency I see in this world. It’s definitely one of my trigger points. I confront this a lot in meditation, and I’m working on it. But it really offends me on a deep, personal level.
Inefficiencies drain energy and waste resources. They force unnecessary work. Who wants to do unnecessary work?
Anyway, I guess my point with this — what I’m trying to say — is that if you’re an ISIS hacker and you wanted to make a statement, I don’t think that hacking my blog — which gets about 5 views per day at the time of this writing — is your most effective path.
If I had a monster audience, I would get it. I wouldn’t like it, but I would understand. I might even respect the move.
This? Hacking my little corner of the world that only a handful of people — brilliant, amazing, talented, sensitive and caring high achievers (yes, that’s YOU! — unless you’re the ISIS hacker, and then, it’s not you.) — read? That’s just a waste of time. That’s ridiculously inefficient and ineffective. I have no respect for that.
Not that ISIS asked me for productivity advice, but I’m just putting it out there.
A Saving Grace
If there has been one bright spot in this it has been in my hosting service. A couple of years ago, when my previous host locked me out of my site, I switched to CharlotteZWeb. Jason Saunders, the owner, turns a utility that can easily be a nameless and faceless sector into a personal service business. Someone on Twitter told me to contact my web host, and I am so glad I have CharlotteZWeb and Jason on my team. Jason responded personally and has helped me navigate this mess. Jason put me in touch with WordFence.
WordFence has a plan specifically to repair your site if you’ve been hacked. Honestly, I didn’t even know all the possible repercussions. It’s overwhelming. They scanned my site, found the holes, and cleaned out the messes. They, too, have been incredibly supportive and responsive to follow up emails and questions.
Despite the excellent support, I’m still unnerved by this. I feel violated. I feel unsafe logging into my computer and my other sites. I feel like my entire life has been invaded.
And I feel like my voice is being attacked.
This is A Test
This comes on the heels of another instance of someone trying to stifle my voice – in that case, it was a “request” that I remove something that I posted on my personal Instagram feed. A “request” that felt more like a threat of some type of action if I didn’t comply. What, exactly, they could do to me, I’m not sure. I was too exhausted to fight over that one.
I feel like the forces are conspiring to keep me silent, just when I’m finally getting up my nerve to share my voice in a bigger way.
Of course, that’s how it works with the universe. As you move closer towards what you desire, the universe conspires to put obstacles in your way. Not to derail you, but to test you. To force you to look inward again and verify that this is what you want. To force you to strengthen even more for the pursuit of your calling.
I hear the universe is asking:
Will you allow yourself to be silenced by the hackers?
Will you allow yourself to be silenced by the censors?
I acquiesced to the request to remove my Instagram post, because I was too exhausted to fight. In retrospect I regret caving in. Despite the veiled threats, I’m not sure that the people demanding removal could do anything about it. But it was so insignificant that it wasn’t worth fighting about.
But now this happens. Hacked. By ISIS.
I hear you, universe. I hear your questions.
And the answer is: NO.
No. I will not let the hackers silence me.
No. I will not let the censors silence me.
I will use my voice and speak my truth and I will double down on my efforts to be heard.
My message is important. People need to hear it.
So don’t fuck with me.
Because I’m gearing up for a fight. A fight to defend my truth and my voice.
And I will win.