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What's Up With the New Look, Gabrielle?

As many of you have been messaging me, yes, my site has been down for the past week. For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I have been in a four month long battle with a variety of hackers in the Bosnian/Croatia/Ukraine area of the globe. I was hacked 5 times in four months by people trying to commandeer my site and put up porn cams in their place. I tried everything personally: rebuilding the site, changing the passwords on a weekly basis, installing security software. Nothing worked. I asked my oh-so-accomodating hosting company WestHost, with which I have had an account for eleven years. They informed me that any sort of security was not in their job description. Well, this was news to me, since when I first signed up with them they offered such. But also new developments with WestHost that I learned about after this most recent attack was their relocation of their 3rd tier tech services to the Ukraine. Interesting. Why outsource suddenly your higher level techs to a war-torn country that is barely able to keep alive? Doesn't lend much to confidence on the U.S. landscape. When will America learn that outsourcing is not the solution?? It usually only adds to more problems as we watch one country after another start to implode. Greece is on the verge of disappearing and now even the previously touted super powerhouse China is rumored to be on the verge of ruin. Let's keep it local, eh? Well, apparently WestHost isn't in that same mindset.

Instead, they have battled me for the past week, making me feel like I'm the one who brought this whole thing on myself for having not employed thousands of dollars of tech support, which most authors can't afford. For the record I am the designer, programmer, and the sole admin on my site. I do everything myself from graphics to the books themselves. And for WestHost to turn around and say "I'm sorry you've been us to manage your accounts for the past 11 years, but we don't have any accountability for anyone trying to hack our servers" is, frankly, bullshit. If you host websites you should offer some sort of protection to all levels of your accounts and not just the Enterprise class ones. That is basically saying to the world: Oh, unless you're going to give us thousands of dollars you're better off going elsewhere.

Which is, for the meantime, I've decided to go with So far I've had an amazingly easy experience getting a site back online.

I'm still in a battle with WestHost over the rights to my backup files. And I may still lose up to 7 years and over 9000 pages of works because they are blocking IP addresses and my own FTP so I can't obtain the files. It is strike that is unfathomable. But what else is there to do but move forward? There is no way, at this point, for me to recover those lost years without the recovery from WestHost. So I may be looking at a complete loss. But even with the recovery I'm not sure how much is transferable. It may be a fresh start, but luckily I wrote down the last "visitor counter" number from last week so we aren't starting from scratch. My hopes are to at least get the files from WestHost in order to archive them. What a tragedy to think of 7 years of blogging to vanish because a hosting company's inability to protect its clients...

But, rest assured, if WestHost makes the retrieval of my files harder than ever I will be enlisting the aide of a lawyer. I will keep you all posted as things progress.


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