Scripting incompatibility and Viruses for Christmas…. Almost!

It is end of the year again and everyone is in festive mood….. I was preparing to post a blog entitled, “Christmas message: The Hazards of Immorality in Risk Assessment” – trying to put up some sort of a sermon, but that was not to be… my blog-site was hit by incompatible scripting in between plug-ins, where you get to see alot of error messages -something like this:

My Theme Creator replied in email – he thought the script, “?php boposts_show() was abit sleazy!
1. Fatal error: Call to undefined function boposts_show() in /home_/mala_4/public_html/wp-content/themes/magazine-basic/single.php on line 17 – My Single.php is coded in this manner:
<p>
<small>
<?php _e(‘This entry was posted on ‘, “magazine-basic”).the_time(get_option(‘date_format’))._e(‘ at ‘, “magazine-basic”).the_time()._e(‘ and is filed under ‘, “magazine-basic”).the_category(‘, ‘); echo ‘. ‘; _e(‘You can follow any responses to this entry through the ‘, “magazine-basic”).post_comments_feed_link(‘RSS 2.0’)._e(‘ feed.’, “magazine-basic”); ?>   <?php boposts_show(); ?>
</small>
</p>
2. Fatal error: Call to undefined function boposts_show() in /home_/mala_4/public_html/wp-content/themes/magazine-basic/page.php on line 16 – A section of my Page.php looks like this:
<?php get_header(); ?>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<div>
<h1><?php the_title(); ?></h1>
<div>
<?php $subtitle = get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘subtitle’, true);
if($subtitle) echo ‘<p>’.$subtitle.'</p>’;
?>
<?php the_content(); ?>
</div>
<?php wp_link_pages(array(‘before’ => ‘<p><strong>’.__(‘Pages’, “snowblind”).’:</strong> ‘, ‘after’ => ‘</p>’, ‘next_or_number’ => ‘number’)); ?>
</div>
<?php comments_template(); ?>
 

<?php endwhile; endif; ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?> <?php boposts_show(); ?>

The blogsite was defaced and all attempts to log into admin control were shut out. This was discovered in late evening of the 17th December. The site almost blanked out except for part of the header and side bars. The first thought, this appearance was caused by some conflicting plug-ins that runs taking up substantial memory. I have those malfeasance plug-ins deleted vide my cPanel login, but after making more attempts to gain control, I realised that the irregularities were not something I have seen before! My site may have been hacked….

LEARNING CURVES IN A NUTSHELL
  1. Simply putting it, scripts are codes (as seen above) which helps connect and synchronise all relevant components together – thus the contents of the site showed up well in the browser. We can equate it as the wire, cables, plugs and sockets linking up one another in the physical world.
  2. Backup, backup and backup
  3. Use plug-ins, themes and widgets selectively – especially if source is not credible

At this stage, the only option is to approach my host (BlueHost) to request for some assists. The support team and I spent more than 8 hours working on restoring the site to normalcy. Site was back to 80% normal at about 4am on the 18th December, but comment form section was truncated and I was still unable to login to gain control of the site. The following error always appear:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 524301 bytes) in /home4/malaysj6/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 251

After numerous attempts, the support team decided to increase the memory to deal with this error – only at 6:30pm (approx) on 18th December was I able to gain control f the site. Gaining control of the admin has enabled me to reorganise the contents, theme, plug-ins and get everything working to order. A big TQ to the support team – good thing I have a reliable host!

LEARNING CURVES IN A NUTSHELL
Security checklist that you can review which can greatly help secure your account sites:
1. Change the Admin Email on your account.
2. Change the Password on your account.
3. Change the Credit Card on file on your account.
4. Update and apply any patches, upgrades, or updates that the 3rd party vendor or web developer of your scripts may have available.
5. Fix any loose file permissions (this may be the most common exploit vulnerability)
6. Delete all non-system FTP Accounts that were created, or at the very least, change the passwords to the FTP Accounts.
7. Check your scripts for any Header Injection attacks, SQL Injection attacks, Cross-Site Scripting attacks, etc., as well as your php.ini file settings.

The support team today wrote in advising me on the possibilities that my site may had been hacked. They found quite a few files that appear to be compromised with codes that looks suspicious after doing a quick scan through the files for commonly injected/hacked code.  On opening the file: public_html/wp-content/themes the following bunch of encrypted codes were clearly seen at the beginning of the file: 

eval(gzinflate(str_rot13(base64_decode(‘FZjHDoTYF….

and goes on for many lines.  This type of eval/base64_decode function with really long code is commonly found to be injected hacking code that once decoded by the php script performs unwanted functions on some files and/or databases. I have those files deleted but in the process can’t help notice, all the files were themes downloaded from one source – WordPress Theme DesignersThe following site is important – it provides information on how sites are hacked as well ramification and site restoration works: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/04/my-sites-been-hacked-now-what.html A piece of long-winded piece of information…not sure whether I ‘ll find the time to read it.

As blogging has becomes my hobby – something for de-stressing and yet able to contribute to the industry (something informative and humorous to spice up the everyday life of those engaging in this industry), I found it now, very stressful indeed! Because I was so engrossed with my site being hacked… I no longer able to think  rationally, which I supposed has something to do with patience – I was then already thinking of how to rebuild my site back from scratch, started digging through the rubbles (emails, old files and thrash)….. for the materials needed in the rebuilding process.

Through it all, the most important is about the learning curves – the last batch of these is really about an opportunity to be an IT DOCTOR to HOME and SMALL BUSINESSES computing when I eventually retire (not wanted by the mainstream of the insurance industry). While medium and large corporations have enough resources to selectively engage the necessary experts to deal work out their IT initiatives and solve problems, those at the Home and Small-Entreprise level are never able to have those privileges.

When I mean IT Doctor, I am referring to Computer repairs, dealing with viruses and solving all day-to-day issues in respect of web-based requirements. There is

LEARNING CURVES IN A NUTSHELL
  1. An opportunity to be a Doctor for Home Computing and Small Entreprise Computing
  2. The insurance industry has overcrowding syndrome – more people would be retired when turning 55

actually no real difference between a GP medical doctor and this IT doctor but only thing the latter is dealing with the computer with the owner is paying for the fee.  If a GP deals with diagnosis on viruses, likewise I would be dealing with viruses as well including major operations…… I am looking at my friendly wordpress man, Michael Challis – the Si Captcha anti-spam plugin fame and he is Mike the Computer Repairman from LongBeach, US. A self-taught IT expert and he also utilises his expertise in scripting to produce very good web-based weather monitoring system for the general public.

Back on Malaysian shore, we do have our PC Repair Station Malaysia. You can visit their blogsite: http://repairthatpcfast.blogspot.com Their modus operandi is based on a wide network of repair technicians throughout the country. The technicians are self-employed and PC Repair Station would secure customers online and advise the technicians within any relevant location to handle those customers…. The idea is there but the concept is still not realised as planned.

This means I would have 10 years to work out a strategy and implement it towards becoming a full-fletch doctor, helping insurance agents and small entreprises pursue the web to expand their business channel and also services in solving IT related problems like hardware breakdown, virus infection, hacking and website building and maintenance requirements…. But will I be able to compete against those free-lancers unemployed IT graduates? They have been giving those IT retail shop and reseller a hard time – many actually folded along the way! No worry! I am going to work out a plan…. so strategic and with seamless implementation that can take me and my kids to a totally new heights – just like 7-11 Convenient Shoppe that have been running down the smaller retail shops out of business.

Hello…… Wake up! It was only a broken down blog-site with abit of misaligned codes, so misaligned they look malicious…and hack or no hack, IT’S CHRISTMAS SOON!

MAY WE AT MALAYSIA INSURANCE ONLINE WISH OUR FAN AND READERS A MERRY CHRISTMAS…. and GOD BLESS YOU
Concentrate on this Sentence 

‘To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.’ When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better… Concentrate on this sentence… ‘The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you’



Flowers for Christmas..... Are You sending some to me?


There comes a point in your life when you realize:

Who matters,
Who never did,
Who won’t anymore…
And who always will.
So, don’t worry about people from your past,
there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.
Give these flowers to everyone you don’t want to lose in 2009
including me, if that’s what is in your heart.
Try to collect 12; it’s not easy!

I’m waiting ……..

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2 comments for “Scripting incompatibility and Viruses for Christmas…. Almost!

  1. Chen DT
    February 3, 2010 at 01:06

    Dreaming or what! But I’m sure is good to dream while suffering from some virus attacks or being hacked by some nuts.

  2. December 22, 2009 at 12:57

    Site looks good, in fact improves a fair bit. Good job and will vote for you at Blog4FT.

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