Thursday, May 17, 2012

I was Hacked!

Dear friends,
If you have stopped by to visit me in the last couple of days you may have noticed I was gone. Poof! Just like that, no Lola Nova, no explanation, just gone! Oh it gives me the shudders just thinking about it!

I was HACKED!!!!

The result of my being hacked was that my Google account was deleted, my blog removed, all of the contacts in my email account were sent a scam phishing email saying that I was stuck in Madrid, had been attacked and needed money! I know many of you received this email, and for that I am truly sorry.

I simply woke up one morning and went to send an email and everything was gone! I'll tell you that I let out a scream, then I double checked everything, then I yelled NO! loud enough for the neighbors to hear. I will admit I had a full on freak out. Then I hid under the covers unable to move for the rest of the day.

I was able to send a recovery request to Google. I had to provide them with a whole lot of details to prove that I was hacked, that I am indeed the owner of my account and then the process took some time. This morning I was reinstated and my blog is back!

I am indeed grateful beyond words to have my shiny place back. The downside is that all of my emails were lost and there are significant repairs needed to my email account, but I'm working on it.

I can not tell you how devastating this whole thing has been. It has truly opened my eyes as to how vulnerable many of us are. My job today is to research my security options. I suggest to you my blog friends, to do the same. I also suggest saving important emails to a separate file on your computer - that is what I'm going to do. Yes, we all have good intentions on backing things up and making sure we are not victims of hackers and computer failures, but I know I get busy and my intentions don't always get the follow through they should.

If I come across any helpful sites or resources on how to protect ourselves, I will be sure to share them with you.

Lastly, I want to thank my readers - my friends, many of you turned into detectives and found me on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and let me know you had received bogus emails, asked if there was anything you could do, did research to find ways to help me, and were so very kind and supportive. Many of you sent kind notes and hugs! I'm getting misty eyed just thinking about this lovely community and family that have gone to such lengths to show me I am cared for.

Extra special thanks go to Sherri, Deb, and Tif for putting on super sleuth hats and sending lots of support.

I might need a couple of days to recover from the shock of it all, but I am so very grateful to be back!

Big love to you all!


Rachelle Blondel said...

Thank goodness for that, so glad to see you back Alex Rxx

LissyLou said...

Aww bless you. I'd be really upset if that happened to me too x

Sherri B. said...

My sweet, sweet friend, I can't tell you the joy I have in my heart right now just getting home and seeing you on my Dashboard, I have never been more excited seeing a new post...ever..!!!! This is the best news, let the celebration begin! xxoo

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Gosh, what a nightmare! I missed that you'd gone but I'm so glad you're back.

For what it's worth this is what I do.

Once a month I do an export blog backup, which saves the content of my Blogger blog - pages, posts, and comments - as an XML file on my C drive, and an export template back up, which again saves to my C drive as an XML file. If you don't know how to do this you can find instructions on Blogger help.

I then email these XML files to my knitsofacto yahoo email address, and cc them to a parallel yahoo email address that I keep purely for the purposes of back up.

That way even if my blog was hacked, my hard drive failed, and my main email account go down I would also have to lose the back up email account before I actually lost everything. All I realistically stand to lose is the small amount added since the last back up.

Clearly that doesn't help if my Google account were to be closed as yours was. But if necessary the content of my blog could be imported from the XML file to another blog on another platform if the need arose.

Hope that helps x

harmony and rosie said...

So pleased everything is restored, what a nightmare for you .. not to mention a wake up call for us all, it could have been any one of us. Thanks for the advice, you are so right to back up.
So very good to see you back with us.
Kate xox

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

Oh no!!! So glad they were able to recover everything for you. I woke up this morning to an email from google saying that someone attempted to hack into my account. Of course just in case I didn't click any email links and just went directly to change all my passwords.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about that! I was kind of worried, since I couldn't imagine why you would delete your blog without giving notice before, BUT I am just so glad now that you are back! Glad you have everything back!


Debby said...

I did get the Madrid note and was going to send you a message.....just got it yesterday. It happened to me a couple weeks ago. I lost all my yahoo email contacts. I chaaaanged my password and it seems okay BUT I keep havng people tell me that they sent emails that I am not getting. My blog so far has not been hacked. It is so upseting. Glad you are back and okay.

Flaming Nora said...

Hurrah! You are back!!

Jennie said...

That is terrible Alex!
I'm so glad that everything is getting sorted -
aargh! XXJ

vintage grey said...

So sorry for this happening!! It is really sad that this can happen!! Glad you are back, and that you were able to recover everything, except emails. Many hugs to you my dear!! xo Heather

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

thank goodness you got it back!!

bec said...

I was 'nearly' hacked about a week ago- the first I knew about it I received an email from Google saying someone in Madrid had tried to log in numerous times. I quickly changed all my passwords. I only wished they'd picked your up quicker and all that didn't happen for you! I was suprised mine was picked up, I even had people on twitter ask 'are you sure that's Google emailing you'- scary times for sure! Glad it's all sorted now.

teddybearswednesday said...

how awfully scary and horrible. I had my email hacked into a year or so ago and it's so frightening.
so glad you have been able to recover your blog.

liz said...

A nightmare. So glad you managed to sort it all out. Have a good, restful weekend. Liz xx

Leanda said...

What a complete nightmare!! So glad you managed to get your blog back.

Kate said...

Yikes, how terrifying.
You poor thing.
So super pleased you are back.
I so need to go and back up right now. xx

silverpebble said...

Oh we are so, so glad to see your precious blog is back. Hip hooray! Gawd that must have felt dreadful. I'm not surprised you hid under the covers.

I know you're super busy but I was wondering whether you would possibly take a commission for a prairie dress. All my fingers are crossed (but I totally understand if it doesn't fit in!).

Anonymous said...

Dear Lola,
So very happy to have you back!
Love Bethany

Unknown said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you were able to recover your blog, and I'm so sorry that happened to you! Any security advice you can give would be much appreciated.

Colette said...

Wow how frightening, glad you were able to get it all back.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Goodness what a nightmare for you!! I'm just back from my holidays and found 'the' email in my inbox, so glad you got it all sorted and are back with us.
It beggars belief what some people will do!
Vivienne x

Mom L said...

Welcome back! I do not understand the mentality of someone who will interfere with another person's life just to prove he can do it. Does he cackle while he's ruining your privacy? Anyway, good luck with obtaining new security.

Nancy in Iowa

june at noon said...

Oh, dear. I've been reading too, too much about this lately. Glad you were able to restore things and hope you get the rest sorted. Ugh!

Heather said...

I'm very glad you were able to sort most of it out. What an awfull shock you have had. The advice you have been given is a lesson for us. Hope you feel better soon.

Tas said...


When my computer died last year, we learnt the hard way about doing backups. Luckily nearly everything was retrieved and we back up now.

BUt I have made note after note on my to do lists to back up my blog...still haven't done it.

Thanks for the wakeup call and I am glad that not too much damage was done at your end.