2017 for us

Hello 2017, new challenges await but we will be ready 🙂
If there is only one thing I need the kids to know, Be Brave and Adventurous.

That applies to everyday life, pursue of our own aspirations and of course PSLE (cough!) There will always be obstacles and hurdles along the way.

Persevere and do your best, know that family is behind you all the way.

PSLE for No2 (Boon Kang) would be the most anticipated event in 2017 #NoStress haha 🙂
We do not need our kids to be top in their class, as long as they put in their best efforts.

Rest assured that Mummy and Daddy will walk together with you through rain or sun.

Family is growing so FAST when we browse through our photos! Just look at how tall No1 Boon Wee is now (1.77m!)
When you look through your Instagram and Facebook activities, it is amazing all the memories that we can packed into 2016!

Seems like we just bid 2015 adios not so long ago and 2017 is already here.

If I use the analogy of our fledgling Olive-backed Sunbird(Sunbird nest along our corridor), kids would have their own lives (higher studies, soldier and careers) in a decade and less!

Yes, kids are very noisy and quarreling with each other too, but I know I am going to miss all the “noises” when they are at home “lesser”. Truly, Days are long and Years are short.

The proudest thing which I have done for the kids is to inculcate a love for nature and sports. Sports build up their characters and make them more resilient.

I always tell the kids and my friends, there is never a “free” time.
If we parents do not lead by example when we are able and mobile, then when?

Any sports will do, just let them enjoy the great outdoors! Families will enjoy some bonding sessions too. (Links to Hiking, Cycling, and Running)

I would like to demonstrate to the kids that anything is achievable, but I got to admit 42km Marathon is a crazy harder target :p

If I can squeeze in the time and effort to attempt a Marathon (Sundown Marathon in March 2017), kids can be brave to dream BIG and own their Aspirations.

On a side note, when our family gets more adventurous and robust, our travel itinerary has more options!
We are no longer confined to city comforts (and shopping), we can do more exploration and non-mainstream activities.

Cheers to more camping and hiking trips, Yeah!

If the Mrs is reading this, I have not given up hope of having a couple trip with her. Nothing elaborate just 3D2N, we can pack the kids off to a staycation with their 大舅 🙂

After spending so much time and energy on the kids, we deserve more couple time too, just you and me

How, Meng Choo?

Bitter or sweet, all are memories from 2016.
From our family to your family, Happy New Year and may 2017 brings you Health and Happiness 🙂

My blog was hit by Malware infection

Malware infection, this must be every blogger’s nightmare. Imagine clicking on your blog, Facebook or Instagram LINKS, and you get redirected to some apps download, spam or even porn website.

SengkangBabies wish to bring you FUN, not virus. Our blog was infected earlier this month and I hope to share the cleanup “challenges” which I encounter.
cover page

Confusion, Panic, Frustration

(Most) Bloggers know how to add content and change a few fonts, but we are helpless when infected.
– We might not even realised our blog is infected. Do we know the source of infection, is it questionable plugins, un-patched WordPress, hacked passwords, or perhaps host was compromised?

– Assuming you know the source of infection or virus, you will Google for solution right?
There are so many links out there which claim to have the SOLUTION. Many are click-baits, but HELLO, how do we identify reliable websites? After getting spooked by Malware infection, I am paranoid that a website providing “solution” might inject more Malware into my blog Argh!
google for help

– Do not expect me to troubleshoot lines (thousands!) of PHP codes to find which code (or codes) is infected! I cannot even identify the strain of malware 🙁

– Assuming if you do find a reliable website, the steps to remove the Malware might require you to have some coding skills. I am quite a techie, but I struggle to find the affected codes (plural as in there are likely more than one infections).

– Enterprises and bigger establishments might have their own IT folks, but bloggers and small webshops are on our own. It was disappointing, my host could not even provide a “repair” quotation!

Good luck finding a reliable (and affordable) vendor in Singapore. Some quoted me $200 per hour (without guarantee that problem will be solved). I was literally under vendor’s chopping block.

– This leads us to the most important question. When was the last backup performed?
We might need to restore the root folder as part of the remediation steps.
And how many of you are comfortable with navigating Cpanel (Control Panel)?

Desperation, Accountability

You might ask why is it so critical to ensure your website or blog is not infected.
It is all about reputation and accountability.

Although SengkangBabies do not do online transactions, we are in the business of generating Content.
People read our content because our experience is genuine and authentic, I hope they find our tips useful.

Our stakeholders are our readers.
Our blog should not infect readers’ machines when they are researching for the next staycation.
I own SengkangBabies, and I must be accountable for the blog.

The last thing you need is to be blacklisted by Google!
You can say bye bye to your traffic and reputation.

Damage Control, Recovery

In the end, I had to pay good money to Sucuri to secure my blog (scan and firewall) for the next 12 months.

In addition, I have changed all passwords, keep WordPress and plugins updated, and ensuring my Host is backing up my Blog more frequently. All these additional steps are required to give myself more assurance, and to keep my readers safe.

Even with all these mitigations, I am still not optimistic of the future.

Malware are notorious for re-infecting websites, as they have some back-doors.
Is my blog really safe now?
Do I need to extend my contract with Sucuri to keep my blog safe?

The anti-malware sector needs more resources. The lack of responses from authorities and vendors, are as unnerving as the Malware itself! I tried at least 5 vendors in Singapore without success, someone please share your “Security consultant” with me.

– SingCert might write in to inform you about infection. Instead of warning that my website is infected, they could be more helpful in advising on next steps forward. Or perhaps NO, since Singapore Government is shutting down Internet access too!

singcert warning

** If you suspect your blog is infected, use the FREE Sucuri scanner https://sucuri.net/scanner to scan your blog.

In summary, self-hosted websites are more vulnerable, compared to blogger or WordPress.com
After your blog is compromised, you feel like you are all alone and so vulnerable.

After engaging Sururi, most of the Malware infections (injected codes) had been removed.
Suruci is like an anti-malware concierge, very proactive in ensuring that their customers’ concern and questions are answered.

Although I am impressed with their services, I sincerely hope your blog will not be infected 🙂
More reading materials available here.