November 30, 2020


What a week. We were hacked yet again. Our host site could not figure out how to restore our pages. Joe Stallard, our noble web master, spent the better part of three straight days trying to get us back up and running. There will be extra jewels in his crown in heaven for this.

Saturday Ramblings went by the wayside—there was no way for me to post it, and even if I had, you wouldn’t have been able to read it.

But we are back, thanks to Joe’s persistence.

Thanks to each of you who wrote to me personally to let me know we were down. If I didn’t respond, it was because I was busy relaying messages from the host site to Joe Stallard. And repenting for using language unbecoming a monk.

Keep praying for us. We need God’s help more than ever.



  1. I felt bereft when I couldn’t get through…No Rebekah Grace, no Eagle, no Dumb Ox, no Martha, let alone no Chaplain Mike & Jeff…as well as everyone else.

    What is suddenly so fascinating about this site that hackers are so interested? Is this a financially based hack or a malicious one? Can stuff like that be found out? Anyway, tedious hackers, be off! Don’t make me come over there….

    • I KNOW!!!! I felt like I couldn’t get through to my “family” and I didn’t like it. Nope. Didn’t like it one bit!

      And just fyi……I don’t need anyone telling me how this place and all the monks here shouldn’t be my family……

    • Well I did get in my weekly mention of John Piper yesterday!! 😉

      • I missed it! Me & JP are like this *mimes fisherman making a huge ‘it was this big’ gesture*.

    • According to Joe, the hack came from automated “bots” that search the web for vulnerable files. We had a few stuffed back in the closet, and it used them to find a way into the house. We’re still having a couple of issues. Since the restoration, you may notice some funny characters and letters appearing in some of the older posts. You may also not see images. We’re trying to figure these things out.

      If you come across any other strange behavior with the site at your end, please let us know.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        OK, so this wasn’t a deliberate attack-hack.

        “Once is happenstance;
        Twice is coincidence;
        Three times is enemy action.”
        — Attributed to Ian Fleming (James Bond)

    • Would it be any good putting up a note along the lines of:

      Dear Idiots,

      You may as well save yourselves the time and effort attempting to gain our personal details for financial scams.

      We’re Christians – we don’t have any money. All you will get – should you manage to obtain names and addresses – is to have our post re-directed to you so that you will be inundated with appeals from various charities for donations, subscriptions, mentions in your will, and appeals to engage in 24-hour prayer vigils to Save Civilisation (Yet Again).

      Thanking you in anticipation,

      The iMonks.

      • I love it. It’s like playing sermon tapes down the phone to heavy breathers.

      • cermak_rd says

        Well, not everyone is a Christian here, so maybe:

        Dear Sirs or Madams, We’re not wealthy. If we were, we’d be looking at paid p**n or on our yachts, not looking at a website dedicated to intelligent discussion of theological matters and practical ministry. We’ll pray for you whether or not you leave us alone, but really, it’s a bother to us and a waste of effort to you, so perhaps there are better targets out there.


        the iMonk community

    • cermak_rd says

      Yes. I look forward to Saturday ramblings after my internet fast on shabbat. Saturday night or Sunday AM, it’s one of the first sites to which I browse.

  2. Thank you, Joe, AGAIN!

  3. David Cornwell says

    It is very difficult for me to imagine the motivation that causes someone to do something like this. As “The Shadow” use to say, “Evil lurks in the heart of man.”

  4. one often hears that the devil leaves you alone if you keep quiet. keep up the great work guys

  5. No Saturday Ramblings! My weekend was wasted! Oh the tragedy, oh the humanity!!

  6. It is good to see this website back. Though I must wonder who dislikes this site so much.

    • Hmmmmmmmmmmm……let’s see… Desiring God Ministries out of Bethlehem Baptist? How about Mars Hill in Seattle? John MacArthur and Grace To You? (I meant to say No Grace to You ;p) And probably becuase of my comments Campus Crusade for Christ could be a culprit!!!! 😯

      • One more Mike says

        It’s the vast evangelical conspiracy trying to take down our little rebel alliance. They’re well funded by sales of CCM and Jesus junk, but God is on our side, though we often feel like he isn’t and they won’t win.

      • “How about Mars Hill in Seattle?” Eagle, What? Do you mean the graduate school in Seatlle? (Though they have renamed it)

    • They likely don’t dislike this site. It is just an opportunity to infect people’s computers and/or collect email addresses yhat are REALLY used by people. And since so much of this is automated they can afford to go after lots of “low value” sites and make it a numbers game.

  7. Can this be prevented from happening again?

  8. I’m just a lurker at this site, I think I’ve only commented once. But I read the posts and comments nearly every day. I greatly missed it when the site was down and am so glad to see it back.

  9. Glad the site is back and I like so many others felt a real loss when it went down. This is a special place with intelligent, challenging and gracious hosts and commenters.

    Many thanks to Joe for persisting and surely going above and beyond.

  10. My nerves were shot. And just now I had to force down a bowl of chocolate almond ice cream to recuperate.

  11. I missed everyone! So glad you are up and running! Saturday morning was blah without being able to ramble!

  12. I’m glad to see you guys back. I was worried when the site when down without notice.

  13. So when you say “vulnerable files”, can you explain that briefly (Joe?)? I have a personal web site that is hosted elsewhere. It’s merely hobby-related and nothing as interesting as Internet Monk, but I’m definitely curious about the idea of automated “bots” being able to attack a site. Is it an thing directly (as it, it could have happened regardless of the hosting service) or does it have more to do with the hosting service itself?

    Anyway, I’m glad you guys are back up and running. I’m sure it’s frustrating having to spend time on such things.

    • Josh, this site runs on the WordPress blogging platform. The “vulnerable” files were several old, out-dated copies of WordPress and some very old forum files.

      The older the version, the easier it is to break in. Some of the old files on this server had just been laying there for over 4 years – totally unused. Over time, anyone seeking a way into the site would have come up with a number of ways to break into these old versions.

      If you are using any of the blog platforms (and specifically WordPress), keeping the site up to date is your first line of defense.

      The iMonk site is constantly kept up-to-date. Each new version of WordPress that is released is automatically updated. At this point, there don’t seem to be any known security issues with the current version of WordPress.

      And yes, the hosting service you use has a major part in your site’s security. Some of them are really awful and security is not much of a priority with them.