Blog was down for a bit… an attack


This afternoon the blog was down for a short period.  I figured it was just the higher than usual traffic stressing out the poor server.

I am informed that it was an attack that caused the problem.

What’s the old phrase?

“If they are shooting at you, you must be doing something right.”

I wonder how that fits with Zuhlsdorf’s Law.

Years ago in the corridor of the Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio, where I once worked, I asked Card. Ratzinger how he took the constant unfair criticism.  I had read that day a terrible article about him in an Italian daily.

He said, “If I don’t read an article like that every week or so, I have to examine my conscience.”

I guess if the black hats are not shooting at you, maybe you are not doing what you ought to be doing.

In the meantime, how about taking a few second and going to VOTE for this blog today?

Click HERE

And the problem with is resolved.  So, when you need to shop online and use, the first thing that should pop into your head is, “Hey! I’ll use the search box on Fr. Z’s Blog! That will help him out a little!”

In any case, please say a prayer to the guardian angels to help out in the matter of the server and of my own sometimes frayed patience.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, My View and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Matt R says:

    Hi Father,
    I can’t see the Amazon search box; I see the text but not the actual box. My ad blocker has been disabled for your site, so I’m not sure what’s up. Thanks.

    [Give it a try now?]

  2. Christopher says:


    I cannot see the Amazon search box either. (Internet Explorer 9).

    God Bless.

  3. Christopher says:

    Also to note Father, the title for the blog is ‘Fr. Z’s Blog (olim: What Does The Prayer Really Say?)’.

    God Bless.

  4. LarryW2LJ says:

    Fr. Z,

    Is there a patron saint of electricians? I’ll start praying for your server problems to be solved.

  5. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z wrote, “I guess if the black hats are not shooting at you, maybe you are not doing what you ought to be doing.”

    Exactly! Your post reminds me of my parish priest’s comment during yesterday’s homily where he said he sometimes gets a phone call from someone who is upset and is leaving the (conservative) parish (for a liberal one). He responded by saying that means he must be doing his job!

    If you are over the target, expect flak.

    Dear Fathers, do not scratch those “itching” ears in your congregation. Preach God’s truth.

    2 Tim 4:1-5
    1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
    2 preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.
    3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings,
    4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
    5 As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.

  6. acardnal says:

    Christopher, Matt R: If you are using “AdBlock” or something similar, you must disable it to view Father’s Amazon search box.

  7. Christopher says:

    acardnal, it has appeared. I do not, however use ‘AdBlock’ or any similar software.

    God Bless.

  8. acardnal says:

    I see Father’s “Amazon search box” just above his “Mystic Monk Monthly Coffee Subscriptions” icon on the right hand side near the bottom. A little above his Monthly Donations Gauge. My
    “Ad Blocker” is turned off to view it.

  9. inexcels says:

    It seems appropriate to repeat a comment I made earlier, that if your best argument is to silence the opposition, it doesn’t say much for your own position. Hackers are pathetic.

  10. Dear Fr. Z. I sympathize with your troubles especially when they are caused not by gremlins but by ‘gurriers’. I went and voted for your blog but then I noticed that the another blog is not far behind yours ‘These Stone Walls’. I went along to have a look and then realised that it is run by a priest who, it is claimed, was falsely accused, convicted and imprisoned 19 years ago: Fr. Gordon MacRae (incidently the Gaelic original means ‘son of grace’). Might I suggest that you consider forgoing winning the award this year and send us all along to vote for this priest and boost his stats as well. Each and everyone of us clerics could at any moment be the victim of a false allegation and worse a conviction. Any priest accused today will endure trial by media whether he ever faces trial by jury or no. Just a suggestion. :)

  11. Scott W. says:

    It seems appropriate to repeat a comment I made earlier, that if your best argument is to silence the opposition, it doesn’t say much for your own position. Hackers are pathetic.

    Hackers are indeed pathetic, but I would need to see evidence that their motive was to silence opposition as opposed to hacking for the lolz.

  12. mamajen says:

    Yay! I’m so glad that Amazon fixed things for you! I recently signed up for a Prime membership and still have a lot of baby shopping to do. Will try to remember to use your search box every time. [Prime is really helpful. If you do a lot with amazon, it pays for itself lickety-split. And being able to stream a movie or show once in a while when I travel is a plus.]

  13. KAS says:

    what is the olim in the header just in front of the blog name What Does The Prayer Really Say? stand for or is it not supposed to be there? [Olim is a Latin word.]

  14. mamajen says:

    I’m just noticing the “olim” thing, too. When my blog was hacked a while ago the hackers added their own text, so I hope that’s not what has happened here. [Nope. I am moving slowly away from the blog’s original name.]

  15. eulogos says:

    I wrote to Amazon, twice, and complained that they suspended your “associate” program. [That was nice, thanks.] The first time I got a form letter and a “does this solve your problem?” button, to which I answered “no” and wrote another letter. Maybe they listened, or maybe it is just a coincidence. They did not write back to me. I’d like to think I helped. [Maybe you did. I spoke at length with a nice gal at amazon who was very helpful. I have a good contact person there now who can help if there are future problems to resolve.]

    I’ll try to remember to search from here. I have a Prime membership and buy quite assorted things there as I really don’t like going shopping. Hibachi? Lunchbox? Desktop fountain? Leather lotion? Amazon. [Great! I, too, hate shopping. I never go to stores and browse. I get my determined thing and leave. With Prime, and the free shipping, I also save a lot of time and, it turns out money.]

    Susan Peterson

  16. APX says:

    And the problem with is resolved. So, when you need to shop online and use, the first thing that should pop into your head is, “Hey! I’ll use the search box on Fr. Z’s Blog! That will help him out a little!”

    Unfortunately, it would appear that when I went on an shopping spree and thought I was ordering my new 38 volume set of Fathers of the Church writings set through your blog I wasn’t. It hurt when I found the set online somewhere else for $300 cheaper, but thought to myself, “At least I’m helping a priest in need of funds”. [I am working with amazon on the back commissions. Not all is lost.] Then I read your thing was down and it really hurt some more. At least it will pay for itself in the money I save on not paying overdue fines at school or having to drive to school to do my theology homework only to find out the one set the school has was signed out by one of the other 400 students doing the same assignment.

    Fortunately, though, your Mystic Monk link was working when I went of a coffee shopping spree.

  17. OrthodoxChick says:

    I just binged (I no longer get “scroogled”) the word olim and found a few different meanings. I don’t know Latin well enough to know if any one of these is more precise than the others. Here’s what I found:


    ?lim (not comparable) that time, once upon a time day, at some (future) time
    3.often, for some time

  18. mamajen says:


    I believe the definition that fits in this case is “formerly”. This blog is going to teach me Latin yet. Glad to know it wasn’t the hackers! [Nope… the Chinese were foiled this time. That was my doing.]

  19. Luvadoxi says:

    Hi Father–I see the search box. Do I need to enter a Keyword? [For example the name of an author, title of a book or movie or gizmo. If you type in, for example, kindle jesus of nazareth, you will get links to the Kindle version of the former Pope’s books and maybe some other things. Check it out. Once you go into amazon through that search box, amazon will keep track that you can from here. So, if you surf around from the Pope’s books and eventually to buy golf clubs but not the Pope’s books, I should still get a small commission. NOTA BENE: I can never see who bought what. Ever.]

  20. NoraLee9 says:

    Olim: Formerly or Once Upon a Time

  21. JacobWall says:

    I hope the “moving slowly away from the blog’s original name” doesn’t mean abandoning the WDTPRS posts. I really appreciate those.

    However, I fully understand that they are no longer the “main point” of the blog, but simply one of many excellent items. Hopefully the change in name is simply a reflection of that fact.

  22. acardnal says:

    Well, if you plan to foil the Chinese hackers, LCWR, NSR, et al, you probably will have to change your blog name and IP address every month or so, I think. [And to think that I have been reading Tom Clancy’s newest (link on the sidebar) Threat Vector, about Chinese hackers waging asymetrical cyberwar on these USA.]

  23. acardnal says:

    I am waiting for “Threat Vector ” to come out in paperback o/a Dec. 3. It appears it will be around 900 pages or so. [This is the sort of book I really like on Kindle. You can listen to the text to speech. You can synch between devices. You can remove it when down and save it in your ‘cloud’. You don’t have it collecting dust after you are finished. Kindle versions are cheaper.]

  24. The Masked Chicken says:

    I was going to make a comment about olim, but I figured if I waited, someone would post.

    In terms of asymmetrical cyberwarfare, it is the U. S. that is at a disadvantage. There are whole villages in China that do nothing but practice hacking. Imagine if the entire Microsoft campus started hacking the U. S. infrastructure or imagine if the entire state of Montana started hacking the Pentagon. China is massively behind the U. S. in terms of the computing power per person that it can bring to hacking, but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in numbers.

    What do the Black Hats use to protect their servers at Black Hat conventions, where bragging rights go to whomever can take them down? They either use homegrown software or OpenBSD. There has never been a successful exploit against OpenBSD. It is audited every day to remove possible attack vectors. It is the most secure server software outside of the Pentagon. It takes a lot of work to use it, so it is not a realistic operating system, here, but just thought I would mention it. At Black Hat conventions (no, I have never gone to one :< ] ) they have competitions to see who can "pwn" a computer (usually a laptop) by remote. It usually take about 8 hours to pwn a Microsoft box and the last I heard, no one could pwn a properly locked down Apple laptop by remote (they offered a $15,000 reward) and it took actually having physical access to the laptop to do it. On the other hand, they stopped allowing Linux (and BSD) operating systems to enter the contest because no one was ever able to gain access to a properly locked down box.

    My suggestion: hurry up and by Fr. Z a bunch of Apple computers. A tower of Mac Minis is not only pretty small, but a lot more powerful than people think.

    The Chicken

  25. jhayes says:

    Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit

    “olim” = “someday” or “in the future”

  26. Matt R says:

    Aha! I saw it down at the bottom. Thanks Father.

  27. jhayes says:

    Fr. Z’s Blog (olim: What Does the Prayer Really Say)

    “olim” = “formerly” or “used to be”

  28. poohbear says:

    Yea! on the amazon search return. I use it all the time, and when its time to buy textbooks, it makes it a little less painful knowing I’m helping you out. [Thanks! Every little bit helps.]

  29. OrthodoxChick says:

    Thanks to all who pointed out that olim = formerly. You would think I could have figured that out from the context. I’m having another one of my ‘sharp as a marble’ days today. First, I couldn’t find Basil when it says where to find him right on the sidebar. Now I can’t put 2 + 2 together and come up with 4.

    Just one of those days, I guess…

  30. akp1 says:

    So glad the Amazon box is back – I’d still been going into amazon through your wish list – just in case that worked – glad to be able to make use of it through your site again. [Thanks!]

  31. tilden says:

    Does it work with Amazons European sites? I like to use [Good question! I added a search box for at the very bottom of the blog.]

  32. Darren says:

    Hmmm… just visited the site of Coalition Ecclesia Dei to see if there are any Latin Masses in a certain area, and: “Forbidden You don’t have permission to access / on this server.” Hmmm… another attack?

  33. APX says:

    I was wondering, do you have something for Their selection isn’t as good as, but when they do actually have what I am looking for, it’s nice to not have to pay international shipping rates, or wait forever for CBSA to go through my packages and decide whether or not to charge me duty fees. [It doesn’t quite as well for me, but I put a search box on the bottom of the blog.]

  34. acricketchirps says:

    Ah! Like: Rex Olim atque Olim.

  35. The Cobbler says:

    @acricketchirps: Is that The Once and Future King?

    Relatedly, I once heard that every word in Latin has three meanings: the basic meaning, the opposite of the basic meaning, and an obscenity. It’s probably an exagerration, and a real stretch when talking about Church Latin and not just ordinary Latin, but sometimes the language insists on being confusing like that. Or rather, humans insist on being confusing and language reflects it. (Heck, if I hadn’t grown up speaking English I’m not sure I’d ever make heads or tails of it….)

    @Chicken, is there anything you don’t know about? I’m learning about network technology and computer security myself lately — not in depth yet, but still more than just general concepts… I’m using the method of study where you learn by reading things you find when trying to look up other things.

    @Scott W.: I don’t think causing trouble for kicks is mutually exclusive of taking out or at least making heck for people they dislike… in fact, I think if you wanted to hack for kicks, you’d probably pick either people you dislike or targets that would net you some kind of resource to put toward whatever else you felt like — or both. (The latter is, by the way, more common than most of us would think. People don’t just want to get into your computer to mess with you, they want your credit card numbers et cetera. People don’t just want to steal from you, they want to steal from you so they have dough to fund larger illegal projects. So on and so forth.)

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