For those of you in the studio audience that were not aware, Mana Punk is a fairly small and streamlined operation consisting predominantly of two people: my wife and myself. Every job required to get a small publishing house and RPG game system off the ground gets split between the two of us; from accounting to advertising, editing to layout and design, website maintenance and digital data archiving. You name it, one of the two of us does it, and this is an aspect of small business ownership that both of us knew and accepted when taking up this challenge at the start. One thing that never occurs to you however, when approaching the day-to-day operations of a small business, is that of “CyberSecurity”. Our website is currently being run off a WordPress foundation, something that we have been quite happy with in the past as it afforded us a cheap but effective platform to launch from. WordPress lets you set themes, automation, data backup, forums, user interaction… the works. It is has been a wonderful foundation to start with and has been very good to us to say the least. Unfortunately when we accepted WordPress as our primary website platform, we also accepted a great deal of unwanted attention from SpamBots and Advertising Agencies.
A problem that we have had as of late, a problem that has been demanding far too much of my day-to-day attention, has been an onslaught of ‘spambots’. These automated menaces basically trawl the internet searching for any website running specific types of back-end software, usually back-end software that is known to have vulnerabilities in security if not properly maintained. This means that any website running WordPress has automatically turned into a pretty significant target for these spambots. These waves of attacks manifest in the form of huge numbers of ‘new user registrations’ to our website; new users that have nonsensical and seemingly random email addresses tied to Hotmail, Mail.RU, and Yahoo.Co.HK, etc.
While I would love to fool myself into thinking that Mana Punk has a broad, ‘international appeal’ that merits more than 100 users an hour registering on our website on a regular basis… I completely realize that this is not in fact the case and we are under stead assault by spambots.
I fully, if rather reluctantly, welcome my new job title as “Head of CyberSecurity”. Hopefully it will not impact product development any further than it already has.