My website, RobDarnell.com, is back up and running, with higher security and on a better server.
A couple weeks ago my site and its email accounts went down. I contacted my host and they said tens of thousands of spam emails were being sent from my account. At first, they were accusing me of sending spam, they even threatened me with a fee of 50 cents per spam message.
That pissed me off. I’d been with that host for years. I thought they were a great webhost. Before them, I’d been through a few other hosts that I was not happy with. They charged too much and they had shitty customer support.
But the last host, their prices were comfortable, and whenever I had a problem they were very helpful. So, them accusing me of sending spam and threatening me with a fee was a slap in the face. They even said, “We won’t charge you this time, because it was your first offense.”
After a couple of back and forth exchanges with them, I got them to stop accusing me of sending spam. It was assumed that I had been hacked and they were blaming me for getting hacked. They said I should have managed my site better. But then, as we continued discussing it, they said the spam was sent from webmail.
I can’t manage the webmail platform that the host had in place. I don’t have access to their webmail platform. I can’t install security features or anything to their webmail platform. Unless a hacker had my password, it would not have been my fault if webmail was hacked,
It started to dawn on me that I hadn’t seen any signs of spam being sent from either of my email accounts. I checked those accounts a lot. If tens of thousands of spam emails were being sent from my email accounts, I think I would have seen some sign of that.
At some point, they started saying it was six thousand spam emails that were sent, when they had previously said tens of thousands. The more they said, the more I felt that they were full of shit.
I don’t think I was hacked. I’m aware that one of my email addresses and my website was targeted in a spam attack. I think my host shut me down because my email account and website was targeted by Russian spambots, not because spam was being sent from my email accounts.
When these bots attack, they cause an overload on the server and that gets problematic for the host. I did have a security feature on my website to deflect spam comments, but it broke down the day before the host shut my site down, so the spambots got through. The spam folder in the email account was often filling up.
My old host said they couldn’t host my site anymore and I really didn’t want to stay with them after all this. My brother helped me get my site back up. He’s good at this stuff. He designs and manages several websites.
When my brother was going through my database, he found thousands of spam comments that he had to clean out before transferring the site to the new server.
Things seem much better on this new server. For one thing, on this server, I’m able to use some security features that I couldn’t use on the old server. WordPress works better on the new server than it did on the old server. I like the email platform that we have here much better than the one that the old host had. And so on..