Reply To: SSI Website down for MX Monday Tuesday

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Don GrilloDon Grillo

Hello Sky Soaring members,

I have spent the last several days eradicating a virus that had infected the website. The virus called the Favicon.ico virus has been around for a number of years and can infect a website that has vulnerable software code where the virus can get in through an open back door and inject itself into the website core files.  In our case it had gotten in some of the core files and into our uploads directory where all our club files are stored.

The virus never infected our SSI files but created new files that ran the virus code. What the virus did was to use the server that the ssi website is hosted on, it then sent out advertisements (yes, commercial ads) to other infected websites which in turn also sent out advertisements. A big circle where tens of thousands of websites are infected all sending out advertisements.

The good news is that all the corrupt files have been found and removed. It was a time consuming effort and also required the help of our website hosting service.

Please make note; Your home computer or device that you use to connect to was never at risk of getting this virus. This was an internal virus that resided deep inside the core website files.

I have hardend our website so that (hopefully) it will not be infected again.

We use a common and widely used content management system called WordPress for our website software. It uses third party software called plugins for many items. An example is our photo gallery and message forum. All this third party software is vulnerable to attack. The answer is to not run third party software. That is not possible for our needs but it can be reduced so you may see some changes in our website soon.

I will post a notice after discussion with the BOD about removing some plugins, like the Links Page and photo gallery.

Sorry for the long explanation and that you weren’t to board with all this.


Don Grillo