We’re Back Online!
I just wanted to update everyone on the fact that we are back up and running. It was a stressful time as this has quite possibly been the worst hack that I have ever had to deal with. It cost a lot of money and took a long time to find the right people to fix the site.
What Exactly Happened?
To the best of my knowledge it was a perfect storm of events that caused the downfall of the site for so long. The first was that hackers managed to breach the site through the event calendar and then they flooded the site with close to 800 gb of malware. During that time, a number plugins started to malfunction causing the site to crash. Attempts to replace the broken plugins failed and I couldn’t even access the admin panel to change anything. At some point, one of the malfunctioning plugins flooded the database with data and our service provider disconnected the database.
I initially contacted the team that rebuilt the site but they would not touch the site due to the malware. It also took them about 2 weeks to tell me this. Then I hired a new developer who promised to have the site back up and running in no time. After doing much of the work myself with regards to deleting files and calling our service provider, the guy quit after doing exactly nothing besides making me wait for about a month. Finally, I found a team that could handle the task and in a few days, they managed to resurrect the site and get it back up and running.
Is Everything Alright?
The site is pretty much the same but we lost the event calendar possibly the interactive map. I have replaced with an updated version of the calendar and am attempting to plug in all of the recurring events that populated the previous one. I will also be putting up a new version of the map as well. There is currently a post on our facebook group that has been dedicated to crowdsourcing the dates, location and events. If you’d like to help, please visit the page and provide us with all of the information about your event.
Other than that, things are pretty much the same as they were. The bus routes will take longer to update as I need to find a better way to display them and/or at least find a way to update them to accommodate the new routes. At the moment I haven’t got a clue how to do this.
What’s Next for Ulsan Online?
Basically, I am going to do my best to add more information and content. During the past couple of years I have struggled with a lot and sadly parts of the site got neglected. Now that I have finished my masters degree and completed a number of ongoing projects, I can get back to writing the articles that will help you all. Also if you want to contribute, please drop me a line at email@example.com and we can discuss your idea or article.
I am going to be updating a lot of the articles and I could really use your help as well. Some of the information is getting really old and updates are needed. At any rate, I will be making a strong effort to update the site a lot more and provide more useful articles than just restaurant reviews lol!
One thing that I just want to bring to light is the topic of funding and fees. As I said before, this hack took it’s toll on what little money the site has made. The reason that we charge fees for advertising and job ads is for bills and maintenance. A few people have commented negatively about being charged for advertising and a few others have tried to get a little sneaky and post ads on the sly. The bottomline is that it takes real money keeping the site running so that there is a bank of knowledge there for people to use. Yes, some of the information is a little dated but it is still there to help people and can provide a starting point. When businesses or people object to paying a minor fee to tap into the network of over 8,000 people that we’ve built up over the years it means that there are less funds available when these hacks take place. It means that I end up paying out of my own pocket when there are people using the community to line theirs without even thinking about supporting the very site that enables them to do so.
To put this another way, when a recruiter sends me an angry message about why his post got deleted, it annoys me. The reason is that for every teacher they place in a school, these guys pocket about a million won. We only charge about 5000 won for a job ad that also gets included in our monthly email as well. They are getting angry because they have to pay for a job ad that costs about the same as cup of coffee at starbucks. Yet with one teacher they’re are making about half that teacher’s monthly salary.
The same goes for restaurants that spam the site or get people to post “recommendations” on their behalf. Our advertising rates are extremely reasonable and highly effective. Yet some feel that if they can just spam the facebook group and get away with it. Trip Advisor has a strict policy against this and so do we. Imagine what would happen if you did the same sort of thing at their restaurant or bar. What would they do if you walked out without paying for your meal because that is essentially what they are doing here.
With that being said thank you for all the support and I will continue to add more content here as I go. If there is anything that you’d like me to add to the site or if you’d like to help out please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org