Spammed

Yesterday had the potential of being a good day. I’d had a decent night’s sleep and was looking forward (?) to shooting myself in the leg. And that begins the tale…

Remember the tiny vials I ended up with when my prescription for B-12 was filled?

Tiny Vial

I made all of my preparations the way I was supposed to—washed my hands well, laid out the syringe, prep pad and the itty bitty vial on a clean paper towel. First, I unwrapped the syringe, then popped the top off the vial. Opening a prep pad came next, and I wiped the rubber stopper on the vial. That might not have been necessary since it’s a one dose vial and hadn’t been used before but I did it, anyway. I drew up 1 ml of air, inserted the needle into the stopper, injected the air and, NOTHING. The force of the air pushed the plunger out so I started over. I don’t know how long it took me to draw up 1 ml of cyanocobalamin but it seemed like at least 10 minutes.

Then came the scary part. I’ve never liked self-injecting but I hadn’t done it in so long, it was worse than it had been before. I took as many deep breaths as I could without setting off a coughing fit, prayed, held my breath, let it out, held it again—well, you get the idea. I finally just went for it and plunged the needle into my thigh. It hurt so I knew I had the wrong spot but I was already committed. I pulled it out just a tiny bit and pushed the goosh into the muscle. There was the tiniest bit of blood when the needle vacated my tender flesh.

I wanted to get some advice about filling the syringe from the mini-vial but I didn’t want to bother the pharmacist. Just as I was putting a bandaid on my leg, the phone rang. It was an automated message from the pharmacy that my prescription was ready.

It couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. I called and told the woman I’d picked the prescription up the day before but I needed some instruction. How the &*()*&%! (I didn’t say that) do I fill the syringe easily? Well, she said, that’s why people go to the doctor’s office for their injections. She proceeded to tell me that I needed to inject 1 ml air into the vial (yeah, did it) but when I start drawing the goosh out, I have to have the needle barely inserted with the vial held upside down. Oh, joy. If I didn’t have a tremor in my left hand it would be okay but it’s going to be a trick to do it. My angel will have to hold my hand steady. I don’t see any other way.

Plans are made to be changed, remember? I checked my email. All of a sudden, beginning at 9:15, spam comments from my blog started filling my inbox. I emailed merm and DD. Well, they both were at work and couldn’t do anything at that point but merm figured the site had been hacked. I ran the exploit scanner and, of course, it didn’t find anything. I wonder why I even have it in my Tools. Here’s what it says:

DISCLAIMER

Unfortunately it’s impossible to catch every hack and it’s all too easy to catch false positives (show a file as suspicious when in reality it is clean). If you have been hacked, this script may help you track down what files, comments or posts have been modified. On the other hand, if this script indicates your blog is clean, don’t believe it. This is far from foolproof.

For the paranoid…
To prevent someone hiding malicious code inside this plugin and to check that the signatures file hasn’t been changed, here are the MD5 hashes of these files. Compare them with the references on the plugin homepage. You’ll get extra points if you check this file has the actual md5_file() calls.

Fortunately, my spam blocker was only letting a few of the hundreds of spam comments through. When all was said and done, there were something like 3500 pending but 123 of those were the ones that slipped the boundary.

Watching the numbers of comments grow was unnerving and I got little to nothing done. It did help to hear from merm that my site wasn’t the only one affected. So…I hadn’t been hacked. I’d changed my password, anyway. She told me to just leave the spam alone and the spam blocker would take care of it when it came back online.

In spite of her reassurances, I couldn’t make myself go to bed. It was almost 1 a.m. TT when I gave up.

This morning, I assessed the situation. I started casting about for help and found a nice little plugin, GASP (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin) that helps to keep the spam from ever getting through. The thing is, if you want to leave a comment now, you will have to check a little box to verify you are a person and not a spambot. Simple and painless. No big deal. Comment away! If it hadn’t been for that, the numbers of spam comments would have been higher. I was still getting the message that there was a problem with the spam blocker but with reinforcements, the numbers were stable.

By and by, the spam blocker came back up and the numbers started dropping. It was an hours-long process but it eventually got back to where it was originally.

I’d planned (there that is again) to go over and feed the critters first thing this morning but after getting to bed so late, it didn’t happen. When I got there hours after I intended to, my CIL had been there and done it. Praise the Lord!!

This afternoon, I went to the Apple House and bought a peck bag of Fujis, a box of Kennebecs, two butternut squash, three acorn squash and two green tomatoes. It was a struggle getting everything into the house but I did it.

I’ve had more of my fortune cookie tea. The sayings of the last four are:

  • Sing from your heart.
  • Compassion creates understanding.
  • Empty yourself and let the universe fill you.
  • Socialize with compassion, kindness and grace.

Twinkle isn’t eating as much as she was and her hip bones are sticking out again. If I take her to the vet, I’m afraid it will do more harm than good. It takes days for her to get over being boxed up, poked and prodded. I think I’ll just let her be. It would be nice if I could do a weight transfer.

It’s a relief for SOME things to be back to normal. And I’m glad I can holler at DD and merm when they aren’t.

4 Responses to Spammed

  1. Mary Jane October 22, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    And I can holler at Tommie when I need help! Glad you got it back to (almost) normal.

    What keeps a spammer from checking that little box?

    • Tommie October 22, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      The help you need is usually something Tommie can handle. Server problems are a different matter.

      There are automated robot spammers (spambots) that aren’t smart enough to check a box. I’ll be sunk if they learn how to do that, too. A “pro” version of GASP does a lot more but the free one is all I need right now. Another way to keep ‘bots out is by using CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) but I prefer to keep it simple.

  2. Mary Jane October 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Don’t know how you can shoot yourself, especially with the different tools to work with. Glad you can do it!

    • Tommie October 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      It ain’t fun and it ain’t nearly as easy as with the larger vials. I guess I’m glad I can, too.

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