Well it’s been a long couple of months, but the website is finally back live and working!(click here to see) For those that missed the drama that unfolded, here is a play by play of how a simple website which has been working fine for a number of years can all of a sudden turn into a massive nightmare!
The headache began whilst I was on an Australian Snowboarder Magazine editorial trip in a remote valley of New Zealand’s south island. I was there to shoot a story about “Heli Park” an amazing little Heli ski lodge set in one of the most breathtaking valleys I’ve ever seen! Heli park is so remote there is no internet, mobile phone coverage or T.V out there; you’re disconnected from the outside world and it’s a great thing!
While I was enjoying the serenity of spending four days with a couple of good friends in paradise (with a helicopter on standby parked out the front!) I had no idea that my website had been targeted by some nasty web parasites apparently originating from Russia. I was uncontactable, and friends had been trying to let me know something was up. What made this random situation all the more troubling was that I had just been featured on two of the biggest news websites in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.com. They ran a gallery of some of my best winter action shots and a little story about dream jobs. I was featured as the snowboard/ski photographer. They linked out to me, which normally would have seen an unprecedented amount of first time visitors to my site, however the Russian hackers had other ideas and their little parasites that trawl web server’s looking for back door vulnerabilities sure found one in my website. This so called “sequel injection” (as I was later to find out) rendered every image on my site non-viewable and users of a Windows machine were greeted with a message that they had just received a Trojan from me! Talk about bad timing, I don’t think it gets much worse.
As soon as I reached civilisation again, I was greeted with this news, and a few 80 dollar phone calls to my web hosts in the US later and things were all sorted out – or so it seemed. The back door was shut and I was assured that nothing could penetrate my site, well it did and it did four more times in the space of a single week!
It was decided best that my site be shut down until the whole thing could be re-coded into something much less vulnerable to random Russians!
So here we are, nearly two months later and it’s finally back up! Everything looks and feels the same although I’ve put up quite a lot of new images as well as some old favourites that I just can’t seem to let go of. I’ll be adding more images over the next couple of days, but am relieved that it’s finally back up and one less thing I need to be working on everyday!