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News from Wintercorn about Joomla!, WordPress and other tech subjects

hackerIn the wee hours of Wednesday morning, a host of prominent Twitter accounts were compromised and, as a result, began spouting swastika-laden propaganda in support of Turkey's president Recep Erdoğan ahead of a referendum next month which could consolidate his power. So now's a good time to check your own accounts and make sure you close the backdoor that let this happen to other people.

popupsWe all hate popups, especially on a mobile device, so it's nice that Google has started to penalise sites which show interruptions. Thanks to new regulations, any mobile web page that uses interstitials or pop-up ads will see their Google ranking tumble. 

The new rules have only been in place for a short while, but there are no reports of widespread impacts yet – likely because Google did give a significant warning period for people to adjust their web sites.

In summary, if a web page puposely hides content behind an ad or forces interaction with an ad, Google doesn’t like it. For now, these changes only apply to mobile versions of a site, so desktop pages are safe. But get rid of popups on desktop also, they're really annoying for everyone.

ddosRecently security consultanct Brian Krebs' website was hit with a giant Distributed Denial of Service attack designed to take his website offline and disrupt his work.
 
The botnet was made up of nearly 400,000 benign devices such as CCTV camers, video recorders and routers which were all internet connected as part of the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) and used weak passwords such as 12345, admin and password to bombard the site with 665 Gigabits of traffic per second beating the previous record of 363 Gbps.
 
This is entirely the fault of the device manufacturers who don't enforce stronger passwords or hard-code the default passwords in to the device making it unable to be changed.

trafficThe answer seems to be that no one really does.  How about this: internet traffic is half-fake and everyone's known it for years, but there's no incentive to actually acknowledge it.

With very few exceptions, no media property big or small, new or old, online or off, can truly tell you how big its audience is. They may have never thought about it that way — after all, we all get as close as we can to what we think is a reasonably accurate estimation, though we have no way of confirming that — but all these numbers are actually good for (maybe) is relative comparisons. What does it really mean when someone says "a million people" saw something? Or ten or a hundred million? We don't know, and neither do you.

A very interesting article on a matter we all know is subject to wild speculation and guesswork but we don't want to discuss it.

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