music, technology & life in pasadena, california


A few nights ago as I was settling in after a gig, I received an email from a friend who had just visited my website. He told me he had encountered a graphic on my home page that purported to be from Google’s Safe Browsing initiative informing that there was danger of downloadable malware and other viruses. He made a screen shot and sent it off to me.

I looked at the graphic he sent and something didn’t add up. The site it recommended you visit to allay your fears wasn’t Google at all, but a sound-alike name. Not wanting to visit my own site just yet for fear of the worst, I Googled for the URL and sure enough, it was something that was suspicious and had been reported in the past. At that point I logged in to my host, looked at my file list and described the situation to a support person via live chat. He recommended I take a look at a few key files to see if code was altered in any way. Within minutes, I found additional code, not put there by me, in several files.

I deleted the code, which I could see was not malicious but some type of spamware, which via the graphic my friend had emailed, would send visitors who clicked on the fake Google link to another site with spam advertising. A little more Googling seemed to confirm that the attack was Russian in origin. But how did they get into my site? The support person couldn’t answer that one. My password isn’t easy or very common, but I changed it anyway and will probably do so on a daily basis from now on.

It’s getting harder for people to defend themselves against cyber attacks and the bad guys are getting more resourceful all the time. We have to remain more vigilant than ever and make sure we’re up to date on all our anti-everything software. If you do see something strange around here, drop me a line and let me know about it, would ya?

March 20, 2009 | Link to this entry


There’s hope for classical music yet…

In her Golden Globes presentation, Susan Sarandon said that actor Brad Pitt was nominated for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Britten”.

March 2, 2009 | Link to this entry


Paul Viapiano is a guitarist working in film, television and live performance based in sunny Pasadena, California.

You can email me here.

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