530 website visited by happy Russians
By Susan Thacker 530News –
The Great Bend Tribune and 530 News appear to have drawn the attention of someone in Russia.
The website www.gbtribune.com features a live traffic feed that shows who is looking at the site. As I write this, there have been visitors from Claflin, Norton, Overland park and Hays, all in the last five minutes. In the last 10 minutes, hits have come from as far away as Mountain View, California, and in the past hour we’ve seen someone from Ottawa, Canada and someone from Rome, Italy.
More than 1,000 recent visits to the Tribune site and to www.530news.net came from somewhere in Russia. All carried the message, “Congratulations to Trump and all Americans.”
The Washington Post reports that senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. And what better way to celebrate than by sending a message to central Kansas?
As Americans move more of their information online, the majority can expect some form of cyber assault. Last year, Barton Community College’s Dean of Information Services Charles Perkins described attacks on the college’s servers from the “dark web.” Most were fended off with layers of security, but some were costly.
“We were hit with a ransom letter,” Perkins said in June. Every Adobe file on the affected computer was encrypted by the attacker, and the college was given 72 hours to pay a ransom or the files would be lost.
However, Barton has been dealing with cyber security for years. The computer was shut down. Once the problem was isolated, everything was started from safe backups.
“It took us out for eight hours,” Perkins said.
So, for the new year, I’m changing all of my passwords and checking the security settings on things like Facebook. Maybe this should become a regular task in the spring and fall, along with keeping smoke detectors in working order. Change your clocks; change your batteries; change your passwords.
One week into the new year, we are still receiving gifts of food and there are still Christmas lights on some houses. There’s no uniform code for how long the lights should stay on; some keep them through January but others turn them off much earlier. Our guess is that they will be gone as soon as there’s a warm weekend. Who wants to be on the roof when the temperature is below freezing? As for goodies, they are welcome all year long.
Susan Thacker is the news editor at the Great Bend Tribune. She welcomes suggestions for topics of community interest for the Tribune or her 530 column, “Life on the Ark.” Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.