Day of Rest?

It’s been a long day for me working on the Balloon Juice site.  What did I miss here?

Besides the obvious loss of all our history (sob!) I can now mostly talk about what’s still missing on Balloon Juice as opposed to  listing what I have been able to get going.

I will say, though, that I found catcake, which makes me happy.  She is hanging out with her other cake friends, duckcake, pupcake, sea lion cake…  I think we may have the whole cake family back together.

The comment system looks a little different format-wise; there are boxes around the comments instead of just a horizontal line between them.  Not sure if that’s because they installed us on a later version of their theme or because we are missing the plugin they created for just for us with a bunch of specific stuff we wanted.  This isn’t the week to ask them about details, so I am just busy putting things back together in the environment we have.

We don’t have the rotating tag submission form or the site feedback form, but I’m sure those can be recreated again in time.

It is nice to have Balloon Juice looking like Balloon Juice again, and it won’t be long before we pack up camp to head back home.

Yesterday I planted the hydrangea I got in honor of my sweet Tucker, so I made sure to water that today, and I watered everything else in that bed because lots of stuff got moved around so that could get center stage.

What’s going on with you guys?



Lawsuit Filed & Site Update

From Scout211 in the comments below:

I don’t know if this has been posted yet, but Bizbudding filed their lawsuit against 365 data centers yesterday. Here is a listing of the lawsuit but you have to get an account to read or download it.

The summary from law.com, which also requires an account to read the whole thing.

The suit, backed by Glancy Prongay & Murray and Morgan & Morgan, alleges that 365 Data Centers failed to take reasonable and necessary precautions to detect, prevent and mitigate cyberattacks. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 3:22-cv-00715, Bizbudding, Inc.

ETA. The link to the filing broke the margin so I deleted it. Let me try again.

Link to the complaint.

72-page pdf file.

Above is the district court link. Hopefully this will not break the margin.

I am kind of hoping that the point of the lawsuit is to COMPEL “350” Data Centers to turn over the fucking backups.  Money in 10 years does us no good at all.

Scout211 and other attorneys who have an account and have access, what else does the lawsuit say?

Sort of related, I have been working on the Balloon Juice all day.

This is what I posted this morning:

Tuesday is the day we plan to go home to a SHELL of Balloon Juice.

We have the banner and the balloon guy. And the comment system, though I’m not entirely sure it’s functioning normally. We have tags that could rotate, but no tags. No pie filter. No forms.

It’s pretty much just the banner with the balloon guy, the comment system and tags that can rotate, but no tags.

But if they could only find 3 things, those are the 3 things I would have asked for.

I will put up a post later. Tuesday will be the day we go back.

I am happy to say that we now have 69 of our rotating tags rotating again.  Thanks to Wolvesvalley – I had enlisted her aid in finding rotating tags in the web archives.  Steep is taking second shift on that, looking for the remaining 40 or so rotating tags so I can add those back in, too.

Also, I have added the white menu bar again at the top and reconstituted those pages, and we now have everything up there again: About Us, Lexicon, Contact Us and the link to the Balloon Juice store.

I set up the footer, and reconstituted all of these pages, too:

Comment Policy
Our Published Authors
Our Artists & Artisans
Privacy Policy

I know you guys would have been bummed without the policies! 🙂

I had to reverse-engineer in order to figure out to get the On the Road form, some trial and error there, but now we have that, too!

I kept good notes during the site rebuild, so I knew we had 10 plugins that weren’t installed on the SHELL we got back last night, so I installed those, which gave us more functionality.

And we have the pie filter back, which appeared this afternoon.  I tried so many things today that I don’t know which thing brought that back, but I am so happy to see it.

Anyway, lots more work to be done tomorrow, but even with none of our old posts and old comments, I feel so much better today than I did when i saw the shell of the site last night.

I definitely shed some tears last night after I first saw the shell of the site, so I wanted to share some happy news today.

Impressive and Inspiring: The VAAC People at the Zoom on Tuesday

We got to meet most of the people from this video at the zoom on Tuesday.

The video is only one minute long, so I hope you’ll watch it if you haven’t already.

We met Danny and Rob and E.B. and Percy and Booker T on Tuesday.

Smart.  Inspiring.  Passionate.  Hopeful.  Impressive!

Each one told us their story and they were seriously amazing.  When I get time I’ll put up the video of the zoom, but this week is sapping my energy and I am not going to get to it today.

When that goes up you’ll get to meet Carrie, too, one of the people who started this organization 2 years ago.  Carrie is lovely person filled with passion; I can’t wait for you to meet her, too.

The $25,000 we hope to raise for VAAC will fund community engagement done by most of the people we met.

We are into our second $1,000 Balloon Juice angel match, with $435 of that already donated before Balloon Juice was so rudely interrupted by the ransomware attack.  Between that and the external match of 21,500 (and they are still working on matching the full $25k) you can multiply your donation by a factor of 4.

$25 funds the full cost of an hour of face-to-face community engagement.  With our angel match and the external match, 25 bucks funds 4 hours.

For this angel match, we are matching up to $50 for donations in the comments.

And when this Angel match is complete, we have another one in the wings!

Voting Access for All Coalition

Finally Some Good News

Good news from David, via John:

I got some really good news from David, not optimal news, but very good indeed.

He and his team were able to find actual hard copies of all the custom coding for Balloon Juice. He had backups of that and our data on the cloud, but was able to find a copy they had done. They will be working through the weekend to get us up and running, and hopefully by Monday we will be back.

What does this mean? What it means is that the structure and foundation of the house is there, but there is no artwork and furniture, the cupboards are bare, and I’m gonna need to go shopping for new plants. Basically, the house is still there, but the thieves kicked us in the family jewels and took them and still have them hostage.

I am remaining positive that we will eventually get our data back, but right now it is the target of a tug of war between the mba’s and lawyers at 365 data centers, the mba’s and lawyers at the as yet unnamed third party vendor/macguffin, and the hackers. I’ll let you decide which is worse, and personally I am hoping for something like the shootout at the end of Reservoir Dogs with the jewels remaining safe.

As for the data, the absolute worst case scenario is we use the tarball crawl we have, the internet wayback machine, and/or hopefully one of the people involved in the 2019 redesign have backups. I will be trawling my computer for files later. But hopefully it will not resort to that. Personally, I wish the fuckers would just pay.

So good news, mostly. Yay!

Also, Water is Wet and the Sky is Blue

Letter from “353” Data Centers sandwiched between a prologue and an epilogue from John.

It appears that the good people at 365-3 Data Centers have decided to admit what we all know, and have informed us that it is in fact a ransomware attack. I’ll attach the letter they sent to David at Bizbudding:

Facilities: EWR, LGA, IAD
Date: 5/25/2022

Thank you for your patience over the past 10 days while we worked to regain access to the impacted cloud management systems and to restore your services following the security incident of May 14, 2022.

We are now able to confirm that the May 14th security incident was a ransomware attack. We are also able to confirm that neither 365 Data Centers nor our customers were the target of this attack. The intended target was a third party whose data is stored in a dedicated environment on our cloud platform. Unfortunately, for our valued customers and 365 Data Centers, the cyber-attacker broadened the ransomware attack.

While our investigation continues, an analysis and evaluation to date by our systems team and cybersecurity experts has revealed that, aside from the targeted third party, no data was taken from the 365 Data Centers cloud environment and there are no on-going threats in the environment.

We worked tirelessly in tandem with our experts and government authorities and positioned 365 Data Centers to initiate restoration. Unfortunately, the resolution of the third-party circumstances is not in our control and continues to prevent us from moving ahead in our recovery process.

While we continue to monitor the third party’s resolution of the cyber-attack, 365 Data Centers believes that at this point in time the prudent path forward is to rebuild the affected cloud platform. This will be conducted along with an all-out effort to retrieve all data within the existing cloud environment that can still be accessed. 365 Data Centers will work with each customer who prefers to go in this direction to restore your service on a rebuilt 365 platform tailored to your current needs at our expense. In the event the ransomware attack is resolved on all fronts, we can initiate restoration of the existing cloud environment in parallel.

If your preference is to work with us to restore your service on a new 365 platform, please inform Steve Oakie, 365 Data Centers’ Chief Revenue Officer.

We are saddened by the impact this incident has caused on our many years of collaborative hard work with you to build your cloud services. Our entire organization is sorry for the significant inconvenience that this has brought to you and your business.

We will continue to be transparent by providing factual and accurate data as soon as it is verified. We appreciate your ongoing support and patience as we navigate this complex situation.

Bob DeSantis James Cornman
Chief Executive Officer Chief Technology Office

John again:

Well, that’s nice to know. I have no idea if the notification of a class action lawsuit convinced them to be more forthcoming with their customers, or if it is all just a big fucking coincidence this came out today.

David doesn’t know exactly what this means and will be seeking clarification with them tomorrow, and I have no idea if the previous repeated assurances from 365 that our data is still safe are still there. It’s a mystery wrapped inside an enigma inside a riddle inside some unnamed 3rd party vendor’s fuckup and most definitely not 365 Data Centers, that’s fer god damned sure.

Hopefully we will know more, and should our data be safe and accessible, we will move forward. If not, I will have some decisions to make about how we proceed with a new website. For now though, y’all keep enjoying your unplanned vacation at the cottage, and I’ll keep trying to figure out if the tornado just ripped off some shingles, did major structural damage, or if our home simply no longer exists. Personally, I feel better about the news today because AT LEAST I FUCKING KNOW SOMETHING FOR SURE. I feel like I have been sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office for two weeks because he doesn’t have the balls to tell me I have cancer. Now we wait for the oncologist to chime in. I know I can fit in another metaphor and some mangled imagery here so I will just let you all know I’ll be here until the cows come home and we’ll be giving 110 percent and working harder than a dog to get things back to normal and to keep a stiff upper chin and don’t let the bedbugs bite.

President Biden: Executive Order on Policing at 4 pm (LIVE)

The President signs a historic Executive Order to advance effective, accountable policing and strengthen public safety; The President and The Vice President deliver remarks.

NPR: Biden has a new executive order on policing, 2 years after George Floyd was killed

President Biden will sign an executive order on Wednesday requiring new use-of-force rules for federal law enforcement and encouraging local police departments to make similar changes.

The measure is the product of months of consultations with police professional groups and reform activists. The executive order is the fallback position for the administration after Congress failed to agree last year on a package of reforms dubbed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

Senior administration officials say relatives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, will be present for the signing. Both Floyd and Taylor died during police action — Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody and Taylor during a fast-entry police raid of her home in Louisville, Ky.

The order does not apply to local police agencies.

The executive order instructs federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and Customs and Border Protection, to revise their use-of-force policies. According to administration officials, the new federal minimum standard will allow force “only when no reasonably effective, safe and feasible alternative appears to exist.”

Biden does everything he can, but Republicans in Congress refuse to do their jobs.

Open thread.

George Floyd: Two Years Ago Today

It’s been two years since George Floyd died.  No, that’s not right, it’s been two years since George Floyd was killed.  No, still not right… it’s been two years since George Floyd was murdered.

I can’t believe it’s been two years.  Two years and the fucking Republicans won’t allow a bill to be passed that will rein in the police.

Police brutality.  Children slaughtered in schools.  Gun violence.

It’s all related, and it’s a sickness.