I Was Hacked


We’re nearly back, ladies, gentlemen, and things in between!

I have restored most of the posts and comments. I haven’t uploaded the old images, so no pictures. The site needs lots of work, tweaks, adjustments. But it’s there!

Ha ha! Thanks to those who hacked me, I was able to move servers, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Look to this space for more information.

Update I was hacked shortly after our paper “Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model” became generally known. The posts and comments from my WordPress database were wiped out. Nothing else in the database or on the site was touched.

Except…backups. Every time I asked Yahoo (my old host) about them, they temporized. How could site-wide backups disappear. From me, I can see, but from Yahoo itself? Not so easy, that.

Like I said earlier, I forgive my hackers. You’ve done me a favor (what it is, I shan’t tell you!).

The pictures that used to appear above and in posts I have. But. Inside each post is a link which no longer points to the right place. I can fix this through a far-too painful grep session, then try to overwrite the new database, or skip it. I’m skipping it. I’ll go back and fix those posts which receive traffic, leaving the rest picture-less. Worse things can happen.

I have about 30 posts to back up. I’ll put most of these up over the course of a week or so. I don’t want to overwhelm subscibers with emails. Your comments to these posts are, sadly and forever, lost. But you can make them anew! I tried waiting for Yahoo to see if they could restore a snapshot of the database, but one day turned into two, into three, which today turned into a “snag” and then a soulless announcement that “more information” would be available within “24 to 48 hours.” Since this was doubtful, to say the least, I made the move.

I lost no emails nor any files. Only those two tables.

I have to fix all the little things with the theme that I had before. This will take a day or three. I’m in no rush.

More later.

Update Any WordPress.com experts out there? My new registered blog is “wmbriggs.com”, whereas the old one was “wmbriggs.com/blog”. All the site stats and, more importantly, blog subscribers are registered under the later. I looked around on WordPress.com but couldn’t discover a way to make these the same. Ideas? (Besides emailing their support.)

Update Now is also the time to ask for theme tweaks and minor changes.

Update If you’ve emailed me over the past five days, please email again. I lost these.


  1. Mr Test

    Can you see me? I can see you.

  2. Wade Michaels

    Just remember my predictions for 2015 were the Big Ten tearing it up in Bowl Games, for Greece to vote for spending, for a storm to hit the east coast and them to name it things like ‘Snowmageddon’ and ‘Snownado’, and lastly, for you to be hacked.

    That is all.

  3. Irene

    welcome back! Sorry for being a stranger but hope to visit more often now — and keep those hackers away! 😉

  4. Tmitsss

    Glad to have you back

  5. roger conley


  6. Briggs


    You’re right! We lost all the predictions!

    Rats. We’ll have to redo, if people can remember. Yahoo still hasn’t responded.

  7. Testing…

    I’m sure it was just a coincidence that your blog had a little accident just after you posted on your new paper.

  8. DAV

    A man without backup is a man alone. Topic of the same came up recently in a old development list I’m party to. Not surprised Yahoo wasn’t backing up your stuff. They probably hate backing up their own let alone yours. You should ask your new host about their backup policies. Probably the same as Yahoo.

    You might want to automate backups with a cron job if you leave your machine on 24/7. I backup my development system fully once a week with daily incrementals.

  9. Briggs


    Backups are now automated and no longer rely on my laziness.

    Restoration will take another day or two, given all I have to do.

  10. An Engineer

    So, that’s how we do freedom of speech in the modern era.

  11. James

    Glad that you are back.

    My only worthwhile comment to re-post is: “Correlation is Publication”.

    Will there be a one-act about the hacking at a later date?

  12. DAV

    A bit OT but speaking of automation, I’m upgrading to the latest perl on one of my machines. The base installation went well but now I have to migrate all of the added packages to the new version. There’s a tool for doing this.

    However, the one thing I hate is an installation process that can’t ask all of the questions up front. There’s nothing like starting a 3 hour process and find when you return the system prompted “I’m ready to start now. OK?” about 10 minutes after you left and has been waiting patiently for a go-ahead since.

    The only thing worse than this is a process that periodically requires a response just to be sure you are devoting your time and attention to continuously watching a machine saving you time and labor. The perl migration process is like that. (Supposedly I set an option to eliminate these but apparently that doesn’t apply to all of them).

  13. Ima Debatin' (@ImaBannedd)

    Good seeing you back.
    Wish you luck with the restoration work.

  14. Scotian

    This seems appropriate. 😉


    I’ll never remember my predictions. What a shame such insight has been lost to prosperity. Since you are asking for improvements, is there a way of activation the double tap enlargement that works for most sites on the iPad?

  15. John B()

    Great to have you back!

    I should be emailing soon

    Thanks for your work and perseverance!

  16. Jonathan S

    Glad you’re back!

  17. Godfrey's Dragon

    Theme nitpick. Your hyperlinks all show up in grey, which makes it difficult to read them on a pure white background. Perhaps a darker color would be in order?

  18. Bert Walker

    Take the hack as a complement.
    They, whoever they are, hacked your account because they could not refute the perfect logic described by the collaborative effort in your recent publication. Consequently they resorted to the personal attacks in numerous blogs and the hack.
    I can only imagine how frustrated they are. Their world view is unsupportable by objective measures and evidence opposing it are ubiquitous. Their cognitive dissonance must be overwhelming. Unfortunately I think their decompensation still has some way to go.

  19. Jeff Wood

    Many posts are above my head, so I rarely comment. This is to say I am very glad you are back. Rationality seems to be in short supply, and Bert’s comment is probably on the money.

    Keep in mind Voltaire’s dictum (I probably paraphrase): Those who would have you believe absurdities will have you commit atrocities.

    Hacking attacks are one step short of book-burning, and then there is a next stage…

  20. swordfishtrombone

    Mr Briggs, excellent to see your blog back online.

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