Hacked and Hogtied

Derek Ouellette —  February 4, 2011

They say there is a first time for everything. Well, for your sake I hope that is not true because recently Covenant of Love went through a period of distress which I would wish on no one.

Tuesday night I was finishing up a blog when a terrible storm hit and knocked out our home internet. Not a problem. My post was all but complete and ready to be published.

The next morning I woke up and set about my routine by first checking facebook to see what my friends are up to when I received a notification from my friend who said, “Dude! You’ve been hacked by Muslims Extremist!” I had no idea what that meant.

Shrugging it off I continued my routine by visiting my blog to see if anyone left a comment. I found it odd that I could not sign in, but I was using my Palm Pre phone and figured it was just a glitch. So I decided to go directly to the site which you are now on. I discovered in short order exactly what my friend meant. Just then I received a text from the same friend: “Dude, it’s Nate, I think your blog was hacked“. About that time I received another facebook notification by Billy: “How on earth did your site get hacked???” That’s a good question. (Advice: Update and backup. Update and backup.)

I received further moral support from Britt, Gregory, Jose and George who all took interest in my sorry predicament. I’ll come back to Jose and George in a moment.

So what’s it like being “hacked”? Terrifying actually. Panic sets in right away. You don’t know who to contact or what to do. Your password and email addresses have been changed effectively rendering you helpless.

Friends come along side and offer their incites, experiences and support. But if you’re like me, you’re not much of a techi. It makes following instructions via the internet quite difficult.

My blog is a part of me. It encompasses a piece of my identity. When my writing matures it is a sure sign that I have matured. When my posts are witty, it means I am witty. When they are deep and emotive, they are so because I am so.

If it’s true that words, once uttered, can never be taken back. It is also true that uttered words can be easily forgotten. But written words are easier to store. I have written things I don’t want to lose. Like my article on Wright/Sproul/Scarecrow, or the series I have written on How the Irish Saved Civilization, or the obituary of my cat Sassy who was very much like a daughter and dear family member to me (after 16 years!), or the reflections I’ve written about my father who passed away a few years ago or the wrangling with theological issues of “Justification” among others. That stuff is important to me.

Blogging also takes time. Lots of time and lots of energy. Lots of formatting, and tweaking, adjusting and nestling. Blogging is hard work. It is difficult to get to a place of high standing in Google. It is difficult to make long-term friends and acquire  long-term readers who are not just readers, but engagers, contributors (literally!). People who visit, read, and engage. If people aren’t engaging then what am I writing for. I need people to engage so that I can learn and grow. And when people are engaging I know that I am not learning and growing alone. “As iron sharpens iron.”

All of that, everything I just mentioned, stripped from me in a heartbeat by some vindictive sorry soul whose task in life is to steal joy and security from others. My friend called them “Muslim Extremists”. That’s not quite true, there is no way to know for sure. But terrorists. Yes, that is a more accurate word, internet terrorists of the little guy. Only terrorists usually operate with – what they perceive to be – stated goals or objectives in mind. This Ali Abdennadher had no stated goals. (Love your enemy. Pray for those who persecute you. Forgive. Unconditional.)

As I said earlier, I’m not a techi. My wife’s uncle, Jose, purchased the domain for me and got me all set up. I contacted him (he lives up in Mississauga Ontario) and he went to work right away connecting with the right people, getting my password reinstated and settling loose ends. I owe him a thousand thanks (muchus gracias!).

There were still quirks to work out and I’m not sure all of the damage has yet been contained.

I was fortunate that my server automatically backs up my blog but I was saddened to discover that the last back up was in December. I have published over thirty posts since then including five book reviews, two of my new “polls results” posts, my twenty plus posts documenting my journy through the bible in 90 days and all of the images attached to those posts. Gone.

But then George sent me an email. He went to his reader and pulled off every post I had written since December, including all of the images, placed them in a Word document and sent them to me. Again, a thousand “thank you’s” to you too! (“χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.” – 2 Peter 1:2)

Last night I worked hard at getting those posts inputted back into my blog (whew). Sadly all comments are irretrievable.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for your support. Thanks for trusting Covenant of Love by returning to engage once again.

~ Derek

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • http://www.rethinkingfaith.com Dave Leigh

    Glad you’re back in the saddle with everything restored!

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      Thanks Dave!

  • http://wendyhedrick@gmail.com Wendy Hedrick

    Thank you Lord that you are our recompense. Thank you that what the devil meant for evil…You turned into good.
    Thank you for compensating my son!!!
    Derek….you are truly Blessed and Highly Favoured of the Lord!!!

  • http://vagantepriest.blogspot.com/ FrGregACCA

    Glad you’re here and I’m glad you were able to get back up.

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      I appreciate your support Greg.