Monday, October 23, 2006

Blog hijack, how to protect yourself.

Recently, I have been reading many reports of blogs being hijacked on the Google Blogger Help forum. Nitcrutz (Chuck) wrote a good post on it: Is your blog gtting hijacked through your computer
Stolen Computers
(close new window to get back to this page).

Among many recommendations is to strengthen your password. I have since done that. Fortunately I have a way of creating long password with numbers mixed. I would like to disclose the method I use, but that would be exposing myself, so you will have to find your own way. The only thing I feel safe talking about is it consist of 3 parts which are easy for me to remember. Also, I am mullti-lingual. Hope these hints helps you. The only drawback is the hassel of remembering long password (which in my case is not difficult) and to have to type in long password. I have changed the gmail account password as well as the Google account password (I thought they share the same password, but they don't) for my beta blog. If you want further information about creating strong passwords, have a look at this article: Strong passwords: How to create and use them (close new window to return to this page). Another site on creating hard to guess password: Choosing good password (close new window to get back to this page).

Amazon computer products

Another safe surfing tactic you may want to use is to install 2 or more user accounts for Windows, one with administrative rights which you use only when you need to install software, and the other non-administrative for general surfing. For me, unfortunately, I have a habit of having 3 browsers opened simultaneosly, and I have not figured out the way to install Opera such that it is also accessable for non-administrator users, so I am sort of forced to use the administrator account most of the time. When I find out how to install Opera for all users, I will begin to follow my own advice.

To Change your Blogger or Google password

Sign into blogger.com (Dashboard). On the top left, under EDIT PROFILE, click "Accounts". In the next page, there will be a long list of Google services, which all uses the Google account. Click "change password". Type in your current password. Below, there will be 2 boxes to type in the new password. They must match.

Note: This will change the password to all Google account related services such as Gmail, Google analytics, etc., but not your Google AdSense account.

To protect your hardwork and prevent headaches, do read Chuck's articles: The real Blogger Status (close new window to get back to this page).

Update 29 November 2006: Looks like having Norton Securities and strenthening my password from 10 characters to 15 didn't help. My Blogger account was hijacked and all (except one of which I am only a team member wasn't listed in my Dashboard, and all the blogs were redirected, for me to google.com.my, for others to other sites. Do read Chuck's articles if you want to protect yourself. Meanwhile, Chuck is trying to figure out how the hijack happened. Blogger employee helped to restore access to 2 of my blogs. It must have something to do with the template as changing the template removed the redirects. How the bad guys got into Blogger's templates we still can't figure out.

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12 comments:

  1. Yes I was a victim of this(twice no less). Fought tooth and nail with blogger to get my blog back.

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  2. Congrats. How did you do it. It would be good for the rest of the bloggers if you can comment further or perhaps write a post about your experience on your blog and I will post a link to that post on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10/24/2006

    I use a freeware program called Key Folder to keep my usernames and passwords, this way I only have to remember the username and password to this one program. ;)

    One handy thing it will do is generate completely random passwords for you. Nobody can guess them because they're totally random.

    It also has space for notes and allows you to add links to the sites using the passwords. And it lets you create sub-folders, and back up. Good little program.

    http://www.mag2soft.com/KeyFolder/overview.asp

    There are other similar programs out there, this is the one I found that I like best. So far.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the tip. It can be useful for some people. For me, I may be worried about trusting many different passwords to a single party as I will have to depend on the integrity (or maybe a better word - stability or the ability to stay in business), especially if I use randomly generated numbers which I will never be able to remember. I prefer to use my own methods to easily generate long passwords and yet be able to remember it easily. Wish I can disclose the method without compromising my password.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My blog was hijacked. In my case I created a blog in 2004 to help people in the San Francisco area whose cars were towed illegally. It was basically explaining the Motor Vehicle Code etc. About a month ago the California legislature made some very significant changes in the law that will affect all of California. So I decided to change the ADDRESS of my blog from sftow.blogspot.com to predatorytowingincalifornia.blogspot.com

    I did not realize it at the time but I found out a few days later that the numerous times my old sftow blog has been linked to other web sites, including newspaper articles, were no longer valid. My old sftow blog pages were still showing up. BUT, here is the problem. I went back into blogger to either change the ADDRESS back or to create a new blog with the old sftow address to use for redirecting to my new blog.

    Low and behold two things happened. First, Blogger says that name sftow.blogspot is taken. By whom? Probably by me and they have not cleared it off their computers. I cannot imagine that anyone else would want that name.

    The second thing that happened is that when I, and probably anyone, click on my old sftow site I am redirected to some shopping sites that say things like Find what you are looking for at sftow.blogspot.com. This is insane.

    When I put my old sftow.blogspot.com address in the URL box and click on it I am redirected to a shopping site with 10 places to buy or shop in San Francisco. Nothing to do with towing or the Motor Vehicle Code. The new URL that has taken over my old SFTOW site is http://searchyouneed.info/search.php?q=california%20francisco%20san&ref=

    How can I find these people and get them to release my old address so I can create a new blog with a redirect to my new blog? There is no contact information on the page that opens. Thanks. Appreciate any ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My sympathies. You are not alone. There had been numerous reports of similar cases. I think I have read one isolated report of Blogger support doing something about it, but don't pin too much hope on it. Anyway, you can try. See post How to contact Blogger Support. Read the updates.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good News. I email Blogger and told them what happened and today they told me I could go back in and create a Blog with my old sftow address which I did. I put a redirect on it to my new site. It is working just fine. All the articles in newspapers and other blogs that mentioned my Blog are linked back to my original site. Thanks to Blogger for listening.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good News. I email Blogger and told them what happened and today they told me I could go back in and create a Blog with my old sftow address which I did. I put a redirect on it to my new site. It is working just fine. All the articles in newspapers and other blogs that mentioned my Blog are linked back to my original site. Thanks to Blogger for listening.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How we can password protect a blogger blog post with different passwords. I want to do this for 1000 subscribers. I will be using same at Indian stock market tips blogspot site

    ReplyDelete
  10. Blogger itself does not offer password protected post. For that you will have to use Wordpress. Alternatively you may want to try encrypted blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My articles are are getting hyjacked and sleazy companies are redirecting them to their sites. If you Google Bigger Fatter Blog you will see what I mean. Articles I wrote appear on google, they have my blog name Bigger Fatter Blog but they are linked to other really stupid and worthless websites.

    I suspect google is being manipulated by these slime and I suspect that this is a problem that I cannot remedy other than finding a clever geek who can nuke their sites.

    If there are any geeks out their wth a sense of justice please nuke crooked and sleazy websites. Think of it as being super geeek.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Proud FA,

    My condolences. To other bloggers. Hope you realize now the importance of having strong password to avoid having your account hacked. I am now more confident of my method for creating easily remembered strong password. Contact me if you are interested in my free Password Tips and Tricks.

    ReplyDelete

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