Going offline, but only briefly (I hope)

reinstall

InformationTechnologyAs you may know, visitors to this site have received unexpected redirects. It’s frustrating because I can’t see them. I contacted the vendor on Saturday, who found a specific evil bug. That was fixed.

But shortly thereafter, my friend Catbird wrote: “This is where that latest link you sent goes; it’s a phishing page that spoofs Apple. There’s a blue banner across the top of the page saying ‘Safari Search Contest 2021’. This photo is a screenshot of the message, which is obviously some kind of phishing ploy.

“When I called Apple Support they immediately thought you were spamming me and it took a few tries to explain that you were a friend and not only wouldn’t spam me but probably didn’t know how to set up a computer scam.” This is very true, BTW.

So I contacted the host again.

Restoration

“After further review of the rogerogreen.com website, I am seeing that it’s been compromised since at least July 25th. I checked our oldest backup (dated from 7/30) but noticed the hacked files were present in the backups. Performing a restore via the DreamHost panel is no longer an option as we only keep backups for the preceding 7 to 10 days. Restoring the website from the oldest backup would restore a hacked file structure.”

Yes, that WOULD be unsatisfactory.

Earlier that day, my cousin Tom had looked at the workings of my blog via ZOOM – OK, ZOOM is not ALWAYS terrible. He was looking at my plugins, and somehow he was showing one more than I had installed, or had listed.

Dreamhost guy Matthew noted: “When I checked your /plugins directory within your /wp-content directory, I was able to find a directory named /zend-fonts-wp which looks to contain malware that would redirect the website. After further research, I was able to find it is NOT a valid WordPress plugin.

Like magic

Bottom line: “A full reinstall of WordPress will need to be done to return the site to a properly working, updated, and secure state. The following link has instructions on how to proceed with the installation in a way that will help ensure there is no data/content loss.”

This means this site will go offline for an hour or three, probably today or tomorrow. But as the former governor of California once said, “The more knowledge you have, the more you’re free to rely on your instincts.”

Many thanks to Catbird, fillyjonk, Alison, ADD, west coast Bill, Mary R, Tom the Mayor, Kevin, Darby, Jack, and especially cousin Tom.

“Your website is at risk”

Do you know what I hate? Technology warnings that I do not understand. Specifically from my blog host, with the headline above.

<em>Your website… is currently running PHP version 7.2. Updates for this PHP version are no longer issued by the PHP project. In practice, this means that any bugs or security vulnerabilities discovered in your PHP installation will not be fixed and that your website is potentially vulnerable to several known security threats.

On June 2, 2021, we’ll be making an attempt to upgrade your site’s version of PHP to v7.4.

We’re constantly working on making improvements that we hope will reduce or eliminate any upgrade-related complications. We plan to upgrade your site and run a series of automated tests immediately afterward to ensure your website is working as intended.

If it passes all of our tests, it will stay on PHP v7.4 but you will want to inspect it yourself right away because our tests can’t catch everything. If this happens you can change PHP back easily from the panel.

If it fails, we’ll automatically revert your site back to PHP v7.2 and notify you.

We want to stress the importance of getting PHP upgraded as soon as possible. We’ve made the upgrade procedure a quick and simple process, but we understand that you may also need to update your site’s code for it to be compatible with newer versions of PHP.</em>

PHP

So I’m asking you that if you see something weird on this site on June 2/3, please me know what they are because I might not see them.

It’s LIKELY that it’ll all be fine. But being a pessimist, particularly when it comes to things largely out of my control…

BTW, PHP is “a popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development. Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.”

Get orbisculate into the dictionary

To orbisculate. Meaning, “to accidentally squirt juice and/or pulp into one’s eye, as from a grapefruit when using a spoon to scoop out a section for eating.”

orbisculate“Is ‘orbisculate’ a word? The late Neil Krieger’s children want it to be.” That’s the title of a recent Boston Globe article.

“Hilary Krieger, now 43 and an editor for NBC News’s THINK, was 24 when she used it with a friend… ‘We were eating fruit – I believe it was oranges – and I said, it ‘orbisculated on you.’ [The friend] was like, ‘That’s not a word. … My first feeling was pity. Like, this is going to be embarrassing when he finds out that this is a word.'”

Except that it wasn’t. It was a creation of her father. “Neil Krieger was a scientist and entrepreneur. After 20 years teaching neuroscience…, he founded West Rock Associates, a biotech grant recruitment firm. He was committed to civil rights activism and was involved with the Boston chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality).

“Krieger died of complications from COVID-19 on April 29. He was 78.

“Now his adult children are on a mission. They want ‘orbisculate’ added to the dictionary, to honor their father. (Also, it’s a perfectly useful intransitive verb, they say.) They’ve launched a website with a petition to dictionary editors.”

The blog

And on the website is the post How to Break into a Dictionary.

“The way a word qualifies for inclusion is when it’s being used by a lot of people. Dictionaries employ scores of editors to scour the English language for new words and check whether they’re being used often and widely. And like many things, the best way to get a word used widely is by word of mouth…

“But there was, of course, a catch. Dictionary editors only count certain types of uses of the word: When it’s used in context. That means that references to the word as a word, rather than employing it for what it means, don’t get added to their count.”

OK. “I hold the Friskies cat food can away from me when I open it, lest it orbisculate on me.” BTW, this is true.

The Krieger family is “also selling T-shirts with the word on them; all proceeds benefit Carson’s Village, an organization that helps families with resources right after a loss (the group does everything from helping to coordinate burials to setting up obituaries, for free).”

Lunaversary

I am sympathetic because I’m a big fan of the word lunaversary. It’s made it into the Urban Dictionary, but its example is terrible. “Our 4-month lunaversary is on Saturday.” NO! “Our fourth lunaversary is on Saturday.” Yes!

The Merriam-Webster people are looking at the ‘-iversary’ word part. “Monthiversary (with its variant monthaversary) to be the strongest contender for full establishment in the language.” [SHUDDER!]  Mensiversary would be OK, I guess, but one loses the sense of the insanity of new love.