On Thursday night, last week, we suffered an unusually effective series of attacks from Chinese hackers against our database server that have brought our database and our CagleCartoons.com download site down, along with our PoliticalCartoons.com store site.
On Friday, my valiant editors Brian and Stacey Fairrington, answered over 250 calls and emails from editors to give them the new, emergency, interim Google Drive cartoon download location where we set up a temporary download site for the recent cartoons. Our new columns are available on Cagle.com, see them on the front page at the right. (If you’re a client who needs access to the interim Google Drive site to download the recent cartoons, email [email protected] and we’ll give you the link.)
Our cartoonists should email new cartoons to us at [email protected], which goes to all of us; we will manually add your cartoons to the Google Drive interim download site and we will be sending new cartoons out to the editors who take email delivery through MailChimp until we have a new CagleCartoons.com back up with a new database and server. We’re updating Cagle.com manually for now, so it may be slow to display new cartoons. Payments to the cartoonists who get paid quarterly went out a couple of weeks ago, and the royalty checks for the monthly cartoonists went out this weekend, for January. Don’t worry, the cartoonists have all been paid!
The Chinese hackers, who leave lots of Chinese language files and malware on our database server every time they break in, have been watching as we repair the server and they come back each time repairs are made to tear the server down again. We’ve tried but we can’t keep them out of our outdated system. The hackers win this round. We had to give up on the old server and we’re scrambling to re-write our management system to work with a current SQL server.
Regular readers know how we’ve had continuing problems with hackers attacking Cagle.com, mostly with DDos/denial of service attacks. Thanks to the generosity of Cloudflare, we’re fending off the DDos attacks. The current problem is that we were using an older database and server for our CagleCartoons.com syndicate site and PoliticalCartoons.com store site, which left us vulnerable. We were too complacent, since the attacks were all against Cagle.com in the past. Our old database system worked so well that I hated the prospect of the cost and hassle of recreating it with newer, more defensible code. I procrastinated too long.
We don’t keep confidential information online. No credit card information was stolen.
The editors have all been lovely about this and we haven’t gotten any complaints – at least not so far. It has been nice to see the support and goodwill from our subscription clients at a time when they could justifiably be grouchy.
I also appreciate the heroic efforts of our staff, Theo, Brian, Stacey and Rob, who have really stepped up this weekend to make things work through our database crisis.
Perhaps I’ve been drawing too many cartoons of Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh.