Vridar Housekeeping and Security Update

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Tim Widowfield

For those of you who may have noticed a little glitch just before midnight (Central Daylight Time), with a “Server Unavailable” warning, that was me.  I updated our WordPress instance to the latest version, which is supposed to fix many security issues.

If anyone out there is still getting unwanted pop-ups, let us know, and please give us as much detail as you can.  I want to be sure we haven’t been seriously hacked.

Sorry for any problems you may encounter here, and thanks for reading Vridar.


Note: If you have more information you’d like to pass on, like screenshots, please send them to us:

Tim: widowfield [at] gmail [dot] com

Neil: neilgodfrey1 [at] gmail [dot] com

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Tim Widowfield

Tim is an RV Park host who lives with his wife and multiple cats in a 20-year-old motor home. To read more about Tim, see our About page.

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  • Bee
    2015-06-09 05:59:30 GMT+0000 - 05:59 | Permalink

    I am getting a screen that purports to be a Facebook business, giving me a free gift. If I just give them my name and address. Or in other words, tell them who I am.

    A common phishing scam, or trying to ID anonymous users.

    • Tim Widowfield
      2015-06-09 06:33:58 GMT+0000 - 06:33 | Permalink

      Is it still happening? After the upgrade just now I ran some security checks and didn’t find anything.

  • Tim Widowfield
    2015-06-09 08:30:43 GMT+0000 - 08:30 | Permalink

    UPDATE (3:30 AM CDT): I have disabled Sweet Captcha, which seems to have taken away the pop-up ads. We’ll never be using that crap ever again. My sincerest apologies to our readers.

    Others have noticed this issue, and aren’t very happy about it:


  • Greg Pandatshang
    2015-06-09 15:40:43 GMT+0000 - 15:40 | Permalink

    Thanks for regulating, Tim. I’ll miss sweet captcha, though. I don’t know if it’s useful, but it’s always been a distinctive part of the Vridar experience.

    • Tim Widowfield
      2015-06-09 15:59:20 GMT+0000 - 15:59 | Permalink

      I’ll miss it, too. And I suspect the writers of Sweet Captcha didn’t realize the banner ad company they were using had started posting shady ads.

      At the moment, I’m looking for an alternative. Comment moderation is real hassle in WordPress.

  • CJ O'Brien
    2015-06-09 17:04:04 GMT+0000 - 17:04 | Permalink

    I believe it was Sunday night, I was on my iPhone and I clicked through to go below the fold on a post and I got a persistent pop-up purporting to be from Apple regarding malware with a toll free number at which to “Call Apple”. Persistent enough that Safari was non-functional until I deleted all cookies and data. Rather a pain in the butt. I haven’t experienced any problems with the site on a PC.

    • Tim Widowfield
      2015-06-09 17:33:47 GMT+0000 - 17:33 | Permalink

      Yeah, I wasn’t able to track down the source of the problem until I opened Vridar.org on my phone. After that, I used the developer tools built into the Windows version of Chrome to emulate a mobile device, which enabled me to see the URL it tried to open (a URL that was blocked on my PC).

  • Tim Widowfield
    2015-06-09 20:26:24 GMT+0000 - 20:26 | Permalink

    UPDATE — No more CAPTCHAs for now. Apologies to anyone who was trying to comment and had trouble solving the Super Captchas. Turns out they keep out robots and humans.

  • Neil Godfrey
    2015-06-11 11:12:36 GMT+0000 - 11:12 | Permalink

    Note: If you have more information you’d like to pass on, like screenshots, please send them to us:
    Tim: widowfield [at] gmail [dot] com
    Neil: neilgodfrey1 [at] gmail [dot] com

    Make that to Tim only. My contact with email and the blog is very higgledy piggledy lately and will continue so for some more days yet while I’m traveling and can never be sure what my next connection is going to be like, or when, etc.

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