Why Tyler the Tech Guy Looks Different… Again

Many months ago, but not that many posts ago, I launched a redesign of this site. I found a WordPress theme that I really liked, modified and tweaked its look quite a bit, and the end result was something that I was proud of and thought looked really cool.

Then, sometime in the last several months, my site was hacked. I’m not entirely sure how it was done — I am not an expert coder or a hacker by any means — but the end result was that clicking this site from any search engine results would redirect you to a .ru page and try to install a virus on your computer (though, fortunately, it was a virus that up to date browsers and virus software were able to block).

To make matters worse, this problem affected other websites that I hosted, including my mother’s personal business webpage Orene.net (she’s a wardrobe and image consultant located in the San Francisco bay area) and my personal homepage TKearn.com. This really hurt my mother’s business, as her webpage was one of her main forms of advertising, and redirecting to a virus will cause you to plummet in the search engine results even after you fix the problem. Additionally, the hack remained undetected by me for quite a while, both because I was very busy at work and because going directly to the sites, which is what I usually do, still worked and only search engine results that were affected.

Some outside help was able to get rid of the hack and make the sites safe again. What the person who helped me reported was that the hacker exploited a vulnerability in my theme. I needed to delete my old theme, get it off the server, and start fresh with something else.

So I did. The result of that is the site that you see now. It’s still a work in progress, and I have a lot of additional tweaking that I intend to do. If you see something that you like or hate, or anything that isn’t working, please let me know.

Additionally, I would just like to reiterate that the site is safe again. I want to apologize for to anyone who may have experienced issues because of it — I really do feel bad about it, and I wish I had known about it earlier or taken further steps to prevent it (though I do not know what those might have been).

A few notes about this site and the conspicuous lack of new content: In the last several months, I have started a new job, which has taken up a lot of my time and energy. But, with this hacking incident taken care of, and with me settling into the job, the time is right to start getting back to one of the things that I enjoy — writing about tech. I want to get this site on the map again. And I need your help to do it: please comment on stories, let me know your opinions on things, and help me make this site more than just my own personal tech soapbox.

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