It’s depressing how prevalent internet vandalism has become.
I accidentally linked from this blog to an experimental online editor that I have been developing in PHP. Today I followed the link and discovered my mistake.
But instead of the test material, the editor was full of spam. Some evil person had followed the link to the custom editor, and manually — for it could not have been done automatically — filled it with spam.
Probably they were some hireling from a poor country, to whom poisoning the internet is merely a means of earning a living.
But it still sickens. There’s no means to indicate who did this, for I never intended anyone but myself to use it. But … how selfish, how wretched.
Nothing is lost — I had nothing there but test data, which I keep offline. But it depresses you all the same.
UPDATE: This led me to wonder about an old project to translate Eusebius’ Chronicon, which I launched online back in 2007 and was then overtaken by events. I couldn’t even remember what the URL was! But, after some poking around, I went to look. And … yup … it too had been vandalised. I shall have to find a backup of the database, pre-vandalism, and roll back. In fact I shall have to take it down.
A few years ago that just did not happen. You could have pages with an “edit” button on, and people did not vandalise them. No longer, it seems.
The internet criminal is now omni-present.
UPDATE: And here an article exhorting us, Turn on Google’s 2-step verification. Now:
You should read the story of what happened to my wife when six years’ worth of email — and associated photos, research notes, book drafts, calendar info, contacts, attached-file data, memorabilia, etc — were all zeroed out by a hacker, who was using the “Mugged in Madrid” scam and was probably operating from West Africa.