When you've been hacked.

We’ve all been hacked, in one way or another. You know the drill: messages send from your email to your whole address book, selling health products or hacked pharmaceuticals shipped from an unnamed country north of here. (I receive at least one of those every day.)

Maybe it was your Facebook account (a grease fire waiting to happen). If you’re like me, your Twitter account was hacked this morning. I guess hackers want everyone to lose weight.

source: sxc.hu/valakee

Last weekend my personal site was hacked, along with hundreds of thousands of WordPress users (let’s call this “Zero Day Vulnerability“). At least one large theme developer worked quickly to patch their themes once the security flaw came to light and now passes a security check. If you’ve ever jammed your thumb hard and felt the sore effects for days and weeks, then you might find the names of the weak files ironic; the insecure files have “thumb” in the name. Curse words inevitably follow jamming your thumb. (For the record, in case you’re wondering about this pastor, no curse words were said aloud or silently in the response to these hacking attempts šŸ˜‰

Then my wife’s site was hacked, though it’s hosted on a completely different web server, and doesn’t use any of the themes supposedly vulnerable to that security weakness. We manually re-posted 700 of her posts after her username was deleted. This is not long after her site was hacked and we lost more than a hundred of her old posts. I had to get my hands dirty and clean up the MySQL database, since there were 10 invisible admin accounts suddenly in her site.

All is well now. It was hard to keep the “sacred mundane” mindset while wasting away a hot August night hunched over a keyboard.

Be Warned

You thought you must be secure using your Hotmail email address from the late 90s with the handle p1nkpuppyt03s@… The issue is not with your email address per se, it’s your password. It’s predictable, it never changes. People can guess it. Is yours similar to one of the top 10 most common passwords?

Be Wise

A friend who works for the Bureau, in cybercrime, said a hacker can get into your account if he wants. They have methods to guess our passwords, so having one universal password is not only unwise, it’s asking for trouble. Have multiple passwords. And change them often.

Need a random password generated? Yet even that generator site says to not let any computer randomly generate your banking password. Neither let your anniversary, dog’s name, or birthdate generate it. Be wise and inventive.

Be Wickedly Good

I am certain some people will “unfollow” my Twitter account today, after all my account caused them some discomfort. I can’t control that. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond. Be gracious, forgiving, even happy that you get to be part of overcoming evil with good. Paul was more than wise (and religious) when he wrote Romans 12:

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. (v. 17)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (v. 21)

Right now my wife is praying with a group of women who gather every week before the sun comes up. It’s not convenient for them, but it is awesome. They plead and intercede for one another, our leaders, husbands, fathers, and even systems. In a broken world, seemingly overcome by evil, they are doing persistently good.

You can’t hack that.

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