Item the First – Website Hacked (and Cleaned)
At some point over the last six months, all of my web pages at DreamHost were hacked by an unknown attacker. As near as I can tell, the hack redirected visitors to sites chosen by the attacker. I believe I’ve managed to clean out all traces of the attack, but if you see anything strange, please let me know. My apologies to anyone that was affected by this. Luckily, DreamHost notified me of the attack and I was able to quickly clean it up. It has now been running cleanly for about a month.
In addition to redirecting some users, the other effect of the hack was to hide my site from search engines like Google (and from my home IP address). This meant that KeatingSearch.com completely disappeared from most search engine results. I saw this sudden falling in the rankings, but was attributing it to Google’s changed indexing practices. Oddly (for the attacker) this effect of the hack meant that fewer people visited the compromised website, which meant that fewer people were redirected to the attacker’s chosen sites. Since we’ve been back up, KeatingSearch.com has moved back to the first page of results for queries such as “Keating Genealogy”
Item the Second – Obituary Abstracts
From this point forward, obituaries currently copyrightedÂ will be abstracted. When available, a link will be provided to the original website, and I’ll provide a citation regardless of whether it is online or off. I’ll also be slowly converting existing articles containing obituaries to abstracts. While copying the text of obituaries is a common practice in genealogy (and generally overlooked), obits are covered by copyright law. While I’ve never been asked to remove any of the obituaries on the site, I want to keep things on the up-and-up while still providing the data from the obituaries to the reader.