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Mea Culpa (Non Vere)

Posted by Dirck on 27 November, 2017

I found out over the weekend that my site was cranking spam out into the world.  Are you one of the evident thousands receiving a come-on from my front page, urging the purchase of (probably not real) Ray-Ban sunglasses.  I am heartily sorry that this has happened.

However, I deny all but the slenderest shred of fault for it.  And I’ll explain why.

The fact of the spam first came to my attention when my brother, who got the ball rolling on the whole family name-as-domain thing some ages ago, was told by our ISP that my end of the domain was up to no good, and we’d better cut it out.  When he told me on Friday, my response was in essense, “What? What the…? How? Huh?” because that’s how evident the problem was to me.  From what we could tell from the overly-complex email the ISP sent, the problem lay in a contact form.

So, I jumped into action and updated the contact form plug-in which I had got from WordPress.

And on Sunday, the ISP-brother-me chain was activated with the same message.  He actually talked to a tech at the other end, who told him yes, it’s doing it right now.  My response was the same as Friday’s, with extra vigour and some swearing.  I clambered onto my computer, and found that I was indeed using the latest available version of that plug-in. So, let’s try something else:

"Visit plugin site" link

Not that I was VERY hopeful, but explanation may lie there…

What I found was a big notice, which began thus:

Explaining that plug-in was sold to a villain

Which disjointed my nose somewhat.  It would have been nice if WordPress’s response to me poking the UPDATE button on Friday had been a declaration that I wasn’t going to get a supported item, even if they didn’t tell me “this is now a horrible infection under control of a venomous reptile.”  Having now been told about the venomous reptile, I deleted the contact form entirely.

Which means that right now, no one can contact me through my site.  But, hopefully, no one is being pestered by my site, which balances out my inconvenience.

You can see, I hope, how I decline to accept this as my fault.  Much blame to the unthinking brute who decided to abuse trust in this way.  Some to WordPress for the failure to mention this might be an issue.  I’ll take a tiny share for not paying a little more attention, but apart from not looking into the plug-in site every damn time I update, I don’t feel like I’ve really been unduly negligent.

I also save an enormous slice of the Your Fault cake for that toxic spirit of our age, Capitalism. The reptile mentioned above is clearly inspired by urge to gain profit regardless of who it might inconvenience.  Since my ISP was suggesting a possible solution to the problem was the shutting down of my site, not only would I more than momentarily lose contact with people who might like a repaired, and they with me, but the broader informational aspects of the site would be gone.  I have no illusions about the depth of my scholarship, but it is pretty wide-ranging, and more than a few people seem to enjoy having it around.

So, boo to unfettered filthy greed.  I continue to experience a breed of suffering, as an updating of the whole site leaves it looking rather funny, and I need to put that right.  I also need to find another contact form, and since I’m now afraid of all of them, this might take a while.

Today’s indignant pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s reticent ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

One Response to “Mea Culpa (Non Vere)”

  1. […] « Mea Culpa (Non Vere) […]

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