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Bloggers, beware of the hackers: it can happen with you too!

Indian Bloggers

32 hours of terror, agony, distress and dismay— we experienced the hell that day! Very few of you might be knowing that The Style Symphony was hacked on 11th March, early morning at around 2 a.m. I was online and thought it was due to net problem as I was not able to login the dashboard and the homepage was not getting refreshed for quite some time. Later, I was able to see the homepage but got shocked as there I found a devil’s icon and the poor me took it so lightly, thinking it was some kind of server error. Since, I was able to access the comment section, I replied to several comments there and switched off my laptop.

In the morning, I discussed this with my daughter Maitreni only to realize that our TSS was hacked. Our homepage was redirected to a site called “Cute Hackers Club” where we were threatened to the most disgusting levels. We were intimidated to be killed, kidnapped and were even asked for ransoms. That was indeed horrifying, as whenever we refreshed the page, we were getting newer and more sorted messages to tyrannize The Style Symphony and Maitreni. Those constant browbeating and demeaning demands in English and later in Hindi were so cheap that we can’t even share those screenshots too (it’s against a writer’s/blogger’s ethics and dignity).

Those 32 hours were quite hard on me, I was so distressed and shocked that I roamed here and there endlessly throughout the day at home without getting any work done. Even proper food was not cooked in my kitchen that day. Maitreni remained too depressed to even get up from her bed. My 16 years old daughter Anindhya, who claims herself too busy to even visit the blog once, checked all the 270+ posts of TSS without even missing a single one just to ensure whether our content was safe or not.

But hard times bring forth courage and strength and that came through some good people who offered unconditional support to us despite even not known to us properly.  Noted blogger Uttpal K (UK) provided Maitreni constant emotional support while Ankit Chugh offered help too. Prasanna Dasari even changed his dp praying to God for the quick restoration of TSS. But the problem was resolved by Avinash Mishra whose tireless efforts, strenuous endurance, and sleepless night made our next morning brighter than bright and we got the access of our blog back around 10:30 am on 12th March.


Why was TSS the target of hackers?  

Neither did we know who the Hacker was nor did we have any clue about his motive. But seeing the kind of threats and language, the types of ransom demanded, we could easily guess, where the problem had arrived from. Even some of our known bloggers could predicate that this was nothing but kind of revenge for a post I had written a few days back. My poem A wailing soul:Humanity weeps in Haryana and some other similar posts written around women’s day might had disturbed the peace of mind of some people and I was being blamed for writing provocative and bold stuff.

Was it so? My poem was a natural overflow of my heartfelt pain caused by a fateful incident, where 10 innocent women’s sanctity and life was crushed by some ferocious people in utter disgusting and barbaric manner. The poem was not at all intended to blame people of a particular caste, creed or state, but was an attempt to disrobe sick minds of criminals. If writing about such inhuman incidents provoke hackers, I care a damn. No one can sensor my words if I’m talking fair and legal (keeping in mind all lawful points). I belong to a lawyer’s family and very well know that no one can violate my ‘freedom of speech’ and cease my ‘right to express’. And through this post, I proudly proclaim that I’ll continue writing in the similar manner in future too.

Calling out the cutest of them all, The Cute Hackers Club!

I don’t know what your real intention was! Was it just to threaten us or ‘twas for seriously damaging us? I do not know even the technical aspects of hacking and all, as I’m a simple paper-n-pen person whose main purpose is to express, that too, by restraining myself lawfully. Writing a poem on suppressed women is not at all a crime but hacking a website, threatening two ladies in utter cheap language and asking for ransom is surely a crime. The law of India never differentiates between ‘Cute’ and ‘Ugly’ hackers. The legal action has been taken by the law. The tech part of the blog has been taken care by Maitreni and Avinash and I will continue doing my job— writing and writing, whether I have to intentionally expose what I feel is wrong, or unintentionally provoke those whose deeds are wrong.

So, dear Cute Hackers, let’s do our jobs. Please try to act ‘cute’ in true sense— do something positive and let me do my job, to tell you the truth. Let’s try and make this blogosphere cute and beautiful!                                                                                                                            Amen! 🙂

Sangeeta Mishra

  • By the Way, How did you solve it? Would be really nice for all other bloggers in such situation !!!

  • Thanks for sharing it Mam. We all should be more careful after reading your painful experience. A Blogger could not imagine his world ruined to nothing. I am happy that you guys are back.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Upasana. It’s indeed the most painful experience for a creative person if his/her creativity gets hampered. And we suffered a lot during that period. All thanks to the cooperative bloggers, that we came back through that traumatic phase.
      It’s truly overwhelming that you felt our pain and extended your good wishes. Means a lot. 🙂

  • U K

    Awesome take on this and salutations to you courageous ladies. Proud that you all are a part of my extended family. 🙂 Any help, any support, anytime is what I have promised Maitreini and that will stay forever. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Mr. Uttpal. Your support and wishes mean a lot to us. This lovely extended family is indeed precious. We’ll always cherish this. 🙂

      • U K

        Yes. 🙂 No hackers can stop us from speaking out.

  • I’m so sorry.
    I don’t know why people do these stuff.
    WordPress security is very important these days, that’s why I have enabled SSL on my blog. I had faced the same problem in 2014. One Afghanistan hacker hacked my blog. From that day I am very concerned about security.

    • Thank you so much Chandan. Your concern and information mean a lot. Though I don’t know anything about these safety measures, yet our team is working hard on these. Your information about SSL is indeed helpful. Thanks again. 🙂

  • Im so sorry to hear that Sangeeta, wish there was a way to complain against these guys and make them pay for the troubles they have caused. Glad it is sorted but yeah it calls into question how to have safety installed that such a thing doesnt happen again..

    • Indeed it was a horrible experience Vinay, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂
      Since I’m not a tech person, and literally know nothing about the safety measures of the sites, but I know my blog is with safe hands now, who won’t let it happen again. 🙂

  • Shilpa Bindlish

    so horrifying to know that it may happen ..But feels positive to know that ur “support system” (the cooperative blogger friends) is so strong that they will not let anyone harm TSS.. Take care!

    • Indeed it was a shocking experience Shilpa, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • Amit Agarwal

    Must be a traumatic and agonizing experience…glad it’s over.
    All the best!

    • Indeed it was a shocking experience Amit ji., but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • Oh My!! So sorry to hear that and glad that all is well, now. Don’t lose heart, both of you. Keep up your spirits. Happy Blogging!!

    • Indeed it was a shocking experience, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂 Your encouraging words were indeed needed at this tough time. 🙂

  • This has got me worried! 🙁
    Glad you could recover the site.

    • Indeed it was a shocking experience Indrani, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • Jyotirmoy Sarkar

    it was really very horrible incident. now good to know that problem is sorted out. you and your daughters really have courage,have to admit it.

    the guys who stood beside you,given moral supports and solved your problem are really very good. hats off to all of you.

    • Indeed it was a shocking experience Jyotirmoy. But thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂 Your kind words mean a lot. 🙂

  • Felicia Nazareth

    I had visited your website on 11th and found the Cute Hackers thing. First it came as a bit of shock and thought of messaging you regarding this but then I thought your blog was undergoing some changes and customization. (I feel very dumb and stupid right now to not realize this). I am happy everything is sorted and TSS is back. You guys are really strong. Love and regards.

    • Thank you so much Felicia for your concern and support. The strength do comes in with such love and support like our fellow bloggers bestow upon us. Your kind words mean a lot. Your wishes were indeed needed. Love and hugs. 🙂 <3

  • Good that it’s over. Losing a website that you built from nothing is a pain.

    • It was a shocking experience Mr. Kr., but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • Saru

    This is horrible and scary. Thank God you are back. Please take triple security measures henceforth.

    • It was a indeed a horrible experience Saru, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support. We have taken all sorts if precautionary measures possible from now on wards:)

  • Deepak Amembal

    Must have been agonizing. Glad to know all well now.

    • Indeed it was a shocking experience, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • Purba Chakraborty

    Oh my God!
    This was really terrifying. Hats off to your courage and strength, Ma’am. The way TSS sorted the problem is really worth applauding.
    I am happy that all is well now. Love you TSS 🙂 <3

    • It was indeed a terrible experience Purba, but thankfully it got sorted.
      Your motivating words really mean a lot.
      Thanks for your wishes and support. <3 🙂

  • That’s absolutely terrible. Glad that the blog has been restored.

    • It was a really terrible Somali, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • That should have been so terrible; didn’t know about such a thing! I am really glad that you are back now.

    • It was a shocking experience Teny, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • I could understand what you have gone through. It happened with my company website also long time ago. Later, I got to know that it was due to wordpress.org template. Since then I haven’t used wordpress.org yet. Recently, I started thinking to shift my blog to wordpress.org but your incidence tells me to rethink.

    • Avinash Mishra

      Hi Ravish,

      WordPress is the best platform If you really want to shift here. It gives you convenient way to design your portal, it gives good way to optimize as far as search engine optimization is concerned and many more features. It has vast support community.
      Don’t use cracked WordPress themes coz it may damage your portal as it has lots more chances to security breach in the form of cross site scripting. For the sake of security, hire a good web developer and ask him to develop a WordPress theme for you. Or you can use premium themes like Thesis, Genesis, Etc.

      On the behalf of WordPress community I welcome you.


      • Thank you Avinash. I know that you don’t accept appreciations and gratitude. But still, thanks for being there. God bless. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your understanding Ravish. We are now safe and happy that good people are there for our help and support.

  • Jyothi D’mello

    One can only imagine the nightmare you went through. Glad all is sorted out now SangeetaJi. You make each one of us proud for standing true, tall and proud xx

    • It was indeed a nightmare Jyothi. But thankfully there are some good souls always standing beside us through all thick and thin.
      Thanks you so much for your kind words and wishes. 🙂

  • Dear Sangeeta ji and Maitreni, I am really shocked to know about this horrific incident! Kudos to you and those helpful people who courageously stood by you in the stark times. No matter how wicked the intentions of such hackers be, it can never distort the power of our words! We bloggers are always together in this fight! God bless!

    • Thank you so much Jyotika for your motivating and kind words. ‘Twas indeed a nightmare, I could ever forget. But such incidents bring forth good people to our rescue and support, which bestows us courage and fighting spirit. Your good wishes mean a lot to us. 🙂

  • Piyu

    So glad all is well now. Quite scary to read this. Salute the way you and Maitreni handled the situation!

    • It was a shocking experience Piyu, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • This is terrible. I know the kind of sleep Desh and I lose over the blogs if anything small also goes wrong. Happy to hear all is well. I find it really pathetic why people go after personal blogs!
    All is well that ends well Sangeetaji. May TSS live for eternity! 😊

    • Indeed it was Archana. Though the problem is sorted yet it’s giving me uncontrollable stress. Thanks for your good wishes and support 🙂

  • Seema Kotian Gopal

    Sad to hear this has happened with one of our blogger family members. Thank god that everything is back to normal now.

    • It was a shocking experience Seema, but thankfully it got sorted. Thanks for your wishes and support 🙂

  • bushra

    This is really very shocking. Kudos to you Ma’am and Maitreni too for having the courage to come out of this. ..and you are right, such type of losers only encourage us further and deepen our motivation to blog. This post reminded me of something in the same lines that happened with me during the Indimarathon. Everyone who pulled me back, unknowingly put that rage in me to NEVER stop. 🙂

    • It was indeed a pathetic experience Bushra. Thank God that we, somehow, managed to come out of such horrifying situation. Your Indimarathon lead is a landmark achievement for all the women in the blogging fraternity and we all are so so proud of you. Glad that we are connected. You are such an achiever. Kudos… Hats off.
      And thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

  • Thank God… All izz well now.

  • manjulika pramod

    This sounds too scary. I can totally understand how you must have felt. Thank God the blogger fraternity helped you fight it out. We are indeed a lovely community.

    • Indeed it was scary Manjulika. But the best thing about this incident was the support we received from good people from blogger fraternity. Thank you so much for the understanding and for being the part of this lovely family . 🙂

  • It’s a duty as symphonite to pray Sangeeta ji, it saddened my heart too. But, i don’t know how could they dare to threat TSS with such notices, it’s hard to digest. And a legal action must be taken in this case, can’t ignore such hacks and notices. We are in a republic country and have all the rigjt to speech. Nothing and noone has the right to violate this freedom, we are not under any dictator rule. TSS will never back down from anything. Not this hack, but from any such threats. We all are with you. There is a need to reach the Cyber crime for revealing the filthy mind behind this. And those persons must be punished as per law, as they threatened to kidnap and kill. This isn’t a joke, so please bring the culprit to public . When you know who they are, make another post. So that this won’t repeat in future, cute hackers or whatever they are. There is justice still alive and they will see the hell like punishment, maybe jailed. Supporting TSS forever. We need them to show tothe world as they tried to suppress a honest and good post and the voice of a truth. Awaiting for the justice Sangeeta ji, Amen!!

    • Thank you so much Prasanna. Your wishes and prayers paid off and our problem has been sorted. But, still, justice is awaited. The way you have supported TSS through all thick and thin makes me grateful and humbled. The shock was of such impact that we are still not recovered from it. But it’s our good-luck that people like you are there to offer emotional support in hard times.
      Thanks once again.

  • Anjali Sengar

    Oh god! Its horrible.. Happy that you guys are out of this terrible suiation..

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