Where have I been?

It has been almost 2 months since my last post. There were a lot of things happening during that period. Mostly involved my main website, mount-kinabalu-borneo.com.

It started with my text-link-ads php script which was not parsed properly on my static html website, which was then penalized by Google. For about a month, mount-kinabalu-borneo.com was invisible from Google search engine. It hurts, but I learn a lot from it. I am not sure why it happened, but I believe that my webhosting server did someting which leads to broken php scripts on the website, which invloved all other php scripts to run the website properly.

Because of that, I forced myself to look into upgrading the website engine. Old mount-kinabalu-borneo.com was created from scratch, using WYSIWYG HTML generator, Kompozer/N|vu. All pages of the website were static. It means that I have to hand code every pages if I want to make any changes. I am not good at using CSS by the way.

After researching for few open source content management system (CMS), I end up with modx, because it is the only cms that could give me friendly URLs for each and every generated page. They have a very good website structure, similar like the old mount-kinabalu-borneo.com, and their templates were also easy to understand. WordPress and Drupal were high on the list, but was not a good candidate, as I cannot get friendly URL for their static pages with a .html at the end. I need that .html suffixes on the URL because it will be the same structure with my old website. I just don’t want the backlinks from other websites broken with a new URL structure.

During this period of time, the website got hacked. Some script kiddies managed to get through my servers and installed a virus, which leads to injection of an iframe script on each and every page of the website. Apparently the script that they injected linked my website to a website in China which spreads malicious software. Again, it hurts my website even more as Google now blocked my website with a warning!!!

Although I recovered my first page appearance on Google search engine result page, visitors cannot acces my website because Google put a warning before they enter it!

Anyway, after running an antivirus software on my server (mind you that I hosted my website on a LINUX server), they found PHP.Shell script that is malicious. It seems that the virus will not run on the server, but will run on any Windows PC which access my website, as they will automatically download themselves silently!

I also updated my modx backend engine, from 0.9.6.3 to 1.0.0.0, as I have a very high suspicion that old modx version have some secuity flaws. Only after the upgrade, the iframe script on the website is gone.

During those period of time, I emailed Exabytes (my hosting) few times, in which they could not help much. I also emailed Google few times to plead and appeal, as to not penalize my website anymore, and get it out from their sandbox.

Glad to share with you that today morning, when I got into my clinic, everything is back to normal.

Morale of the story : ALWAYS update your website and blog. Security is a very BIG issue on outdated website and blog.

Happy fasting for Muslim and never stop blogging!

20 thoughts on “Where have I been?

  1. HIIIIiiiiii drizad!!!! Glad that you are back. Hope everything will be fine for your blog.

    My blog has long being penalized by Google. My text-link-ads parse properly but Big G manages to figure out anyway.

    My site was also attacked by hacker once. Luckily he only defaced my first page without anything really damaging..

  2. Its so sad to hear that a fellow climber fell and died while climbing the mt kinabalu yesterday.

    Our condolences goes out to his family and friends.

    God Bless!

  3. Welcome Back, my good Dr.!!

    Initially I thought something happened to you that prevent you from updating the popular Mt Kinabalu blogs. Thank God, it was just an attack on the website which can be restored.
    Good to hear from you again, Dr Rizad.

  4. Hi,
    Nice to hear from you again after such a long silence. So sorry to hear that so many things had happened in the past 2 months. Glad that you are back on track!

  5. Hi Drizad. Nice to see your blog back. Just as i saw your mail today, i heard from radio about the new of the incident of the fellow climber. May he RIP. Btw bad incidents in Mt. Kinabalu is not common, the last being Ellie’s case in 2001.

  6. Hey Drizad, good to know that you are back and I couldn’t believe there are so many things happened during last 2 months… Hope that everything will be fine…

  7. Welcome back! Ya, hackers are bad for bloggers like us. I know of another whose wordpress got hacked. So he hardened his wordpress installation and I got some tips from him to hardened mine too. Drupal is a bit unwieldy, and Joomla is too sophisticated. Modx looks interesting, might explore that and see… For my website I decided to mix-mix with some hand coded and some wordpress pages. At least the hand coded one will not be hackable though it would be very tedious headache if I wanted to redo the layout. Oh well… pros and cons…

  8. Yes, it is indeed great to havce you back.

    Any chance of putting people in touch – fellow climbers – to be friends – with help of your website??

    I m Sarawakian and travel to KK and in particular, Mt. Kinabalu National Park alot – because I like it there. Would be nice to sometime meet up with new faces and get to know new friends – how about it???

    Happy Raya to all our Muslim friends.

  9. Welcome back indeed Dr Izad. Really appreciate your effort for putting all these together. Talking about passion. This is it. Peter has a good suggestion. with correct timing, fellow climbers can actually meet up and widen our circle of friends. Hope it can be a reality one day. I don’t mind flying there. Go Dr Izad, Go!

  10. @Pin: Thanks for the link. I figured it out the same way as you did.

    Oh, thank you very much to the other well wishers! I will work something out on how to get all climbers together through this site!

  11. Welcome back Dr. Izad. Was wondering where you were. I like Peters’ suggestion, unfortunately I have not climbed Mt. Kinabalu due to health reasons. Take care n God Bless

  12. Lyss, why should one have to have climbed Mt. Kinabalu to meet new friends.

    We can be friends and talk aboput other issues besides climbing.

    Peter

  13. This info will be useful no doubt. I experienced something similar too which resulted in me having to re-upload everything from scratch. But that was on WordPress lah.

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