Friday the 13th was an auspicious day for this blog.

If you’ve read any of my posts, it should come as no surprise that I love numbers. I also want to know what the numbers represent. WordPress, the framework for this blog,  provides a very nice app that lets me know how many people have visited my site on a daily basis. Every time someone looks at a page or a picture the stat counter increments by one. I wanted to know more.

WordPress uses plug-ins to add functionality. After a short search I found a plug-in that logs all the visitors by time, IP address, location and exactly which pages they visit. This was great. Exactly what I wanted.

When I started it up, I noticed I had a visitor on line. Except that the plug-in was showing me as the only IP address. I noticed a check box that said show bots and found out Google was visiting my site. I realize that Google does not search the entire Internet the moment I enter a query. My course with Udacity had even shown me how a webcrawler operated. I just never thought it through. Even better when I compared the two stat counters, I realized my old stat counter did not count Google bots.  All my visitors had been real people!

So far my website has been visited by Google bots, MSN bots, bots from Germany, Russia and even China. I had no idea there were so many search engines indexing the web. Needless to say, the number of bots visiting my site far exceeds the number of human visitors.

Friday the 13th I noticed I had new two visitors to my site. The strange part was that they did not go to any of my posts. Instead they went to a very specific location trying to spoof a plug-in named Tim Thumb into accepting an update, timpatcher.php. I was fortunate because I don’t use that plug-in on my site.  I wish I had known that before I panicked while I was looking at my logs. WordPress has tried to warn everyone about the vulnerability and Tim Thumb has been updated to remove the vulnerability.  I hadn’t been too concerned about this issue because there was so much else I was trying to get right and I thought I was too small for anyone to bother with.

I admit,  I don’t know that they were trying to hack my site, they could have been very nice people trying to patch any vulnerabilities in Tim Thumb. Somehow I doubt that.  My guess is that this was more of a drive by attempt to hack. If you can have bots to index websites,  you can certainly have bots to hack the websites. I just had never thought about it.

In the on-line games I play you will often encounter griefers. These are people whose sole purpose in life seems to be making your gaming experience miserable. The more miserable they can make your experience, the happier they seem to be. It’s usually easy to avoid these people but the game is never quite as fun after your first encounter with a griefer. Fortunately these people are in the minority. Two more things that real life has in common with RPG games.

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