Nov 30 2009
Update: The site is now online again. We used a cached version of the site to make a new static site. This means no comments and no wordpress but a more secure site that's cheaper to host. We are still interested in any submissions you have, so click the about link at the top to get in touch.
JohnTowery.com is down because the SQL database got corrupted. So
corrupted, in fact, that I can't even start SQL to fix the corruption. I have never ever had this happen in all my years of working with SQL.
Minor corruption occurs occasionally, but not corruption this severe. I
don't know of any time this has happened to anybody with the rare
exception of people manually editing databases and messing up while in them.
While I can't 100% rule out random chance or a server error, it's pretty damn unlikely especially since other users on the server didn't
encounter this problem. This means that the site was hacked by somebody. This isn't that strange as the wordpress version was fairly out of date but most hacked wordpress sites are either turned into ad/spyware distributing servers or defaced, not just plain shut down. I never upgraded the wordpress installation as there wasn't anything mission critical or sensitive on the server.
Because we don't keep logs, it's impossible to tell who did this or how
it was done. It's worth noting that John Towery himself is good at
hacking and also knows that we don't keep logs (although I don't suspect him, he's got better things to do with his time). I'll be getting the site back online asap, which will probably be in a week or so. All files on the site (such as the pdf files, etc.) are still there and people can still grab them but anything associated with the blog will be down until I can get around to fixing it.
No sensitive information could have obtained by the attacker as nothing
sensitive was stored on that server. Thank you to the person who pointed out the site was down, it would have taken me months to figure it out on my own.