Announcements about Solo Build it!, SBI! for WP, WordPress, and other related news and announcements are posted here. You can either follow the news here, in Site Central, via the SBIX newsletter or in your WordPress dashboard (if using SBI! for WordPress).

Moderator: Debs from SiteSell

#1390228 by ken-admin
Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:13 am
Hello to all SBI'ers:

I asked our head of development to summarize info about two widely reported bugs, along with what you should do.

He did a great job, keeping it in understandable english (no geek-speak ;-) ). I hardly had to edit.

So, with that intro, he-e-e-e-e-e-re's Clayton...


Top of technology news this last week have been two very important vulnerabilities nicknamed "Spectre" and "Meltdown." Most computing devices including desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets are vulnerable to one of these flaws.

The flaws occur in the hardware of the devices - it's a fundamental bug in the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and has been present and undetected for years. Due to the low-level nature of these bugs, fixing them is difficult. All of the major computing vendors are working to provide patches for their customers.

Who is affected?

Everyone with a computer, smart phone or any device in between.

What's the impact?

The flaw could enable software to bypass any security already in place on your device to read and interact with information it should not be allowed to access.

What do I need to do?

The risk for any individual is relatively low if you are already taking the following precautions:

1. Keep your devices up to date with the latest patches from the vendor, take those windows and Mac Updates, and updates for your phone.

2. Be very careful what software you install and run on your computer - make sure the company is reputable.

3. Make sure your Browser is the very latest available. If in doubt download FireFox or Chrome

How worried should I be? What's the risk?

Since every device is vulnerable, in the grand scheme of things, as a solopreneur you're less likely to be a targeted for an attack than a large organization, as always. This vulnerability needs local access (i.e., access to your computer, tablet or smartphone). So if you follow the above guidelines to keep everything updated, you'll be in the best shape possible.

So, make sure everything is up to date at YOUR end - we're taking care of the rest. Speaking of which...

What is SiteSell doing to protect my business?

We're doing what we always do and what we're advising you to do. We've been reviewing all servers and installing up-to-date patches. We also scrutinize very carefully what software is installed on our servers and the computers that SiteSellers use for work.

As always, it's harder to take advantage of these two bugs since there's no way for users to directly access our servers. While these bugs are unusual since they're right in the chips (meaning that we'll have to watch for unusual exploits), we're confident that your business is safe.


Ken's Bottom Line:

Thanks very much, Clayton. Whoever names these things should stop watching James Bond movies. "Spectre?" ;-)

The quick wrapup? Protect your own computer while we take care of our end...

1) Update your computer's and mobile devices' OS with the patches issued by Apple, Google and other manufacturers of all devices.

2) Upgrade to the latest browser versions.

3) Some sleazeballs are likely trying to take advantage. So be DOUBLY more paranoid about viruses. Common tricks are to fake emails from BigCo's such as Amazon or from your own friends, creating a "situation" (ex., "problem with your account") when you'll click on the link without thinking.

So don't click on links in your email - my personal policy is that I don't click on an email link unless it's from a friend AND I'm expecting a link. When in doubt, contact a friend to verify it was sent or verify long headers to make sure an email really does originate from Amazon.

This applies to mobile apps and software, too. Only use trusted companies.

4) That's it. Clayton and the dev team (special mention of our sysadmins) have got you covered for everything at our end!

Hope that helps? :-)

All the best,
#1390230 by Douglas from Planet Earth
Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:55 am


You said;

So don't click on links in your email - my personal policy is that I don't click on an email link unless it's from a friend AND I'm expecting a link.

Even if it is from a friend and I'm expecting the e-mail, I still will not click the link. If the friend is infected with something it can be passed along. If I feel it's important I'll copy and paste the link in my browser or actually type it in.

Family and friends used to call me paranoid but they don't anymore. My brother recently got hit with ransomware. Who's laughing now? I know, that's cruel.


Doug C.
#1390262 by Bill from Away
Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:52 pm
And if you are not using a reputable anti-virus program (see reviews online for the best) and uploading and running the virus checker often, you are at risk.

This whole scenario reminds me of Y2K... remember that? The computer manufacturers knew about the issue, ignored it, and the billions in cost ultimately was paid by the consumer trying to unscramble a mess caused by the manufacturers. When that fiasco was all said and done, I expect all the computer manufacturers gave a collective sigh of relief that they weren't hit by a world-wide class action lawsuit!

Thanks Ken and SBI team.

#1390306 by Nancy from 90% Persistence-10% Inspiration
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:51 am
Thank you Ken and the rest of the SBI pros for the succinct and understandable explanation of the latest internet kerfuffle. And now, I know that I should continue doing as I have before, with maybe just a bit more paranoia.

Is it paranoia when they really ARE after you?
#1390828 by Adele from UK
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:39 pm
I just had two cards compromised, both new and only used at the big companies you'd expect when you have an online business. Never ever had an issue all these years.

One was wiped out, the other had declined attempts and someone trying to link a PayPal account. I am usually very very careful and you'll find me warning others what to look out for etc.

The only place that had both cards is Google, one as a primary and one as a backup for GSuite. The PayPal Mastercard is often temperamental when it comes to monthly subscription payments - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - so I added it to a new GSuite account for our new company and wasn't surprised to get a series of emails to say payment had declined. Since I doubt Google was the source of the compromise, I think one of these emails must have been a phishing email which I fell for.

Not clicking links in emails is fine, but we send out newsletters with links all the we want our customers to be clicking our links, while being wary ourselves. Long urls are not going to be typed in by customers or visitors (the police told me to do the same AND to never 'search' and click on results). These ideas fly in the face of internet use - how do you find the web page for the anti-fraud website if you don't have it, you search...whether you type in the resulting url or not is futile if the site is fake.

This experience has really made me stop, think and question a lot especially as it relates to my business :-(
#1390844 by Douglas from Planet Earth
Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:17 am


Adele said;

These ideas fly in the face of internet use

It most certainly does but unfortunately there are a lot of bad players out there where their whole purpose in life is to scam and hurt others. It is what it is and it's what we have to live with or just disconnect. Unfortunately, we are being forced to do just about everything online. As I have been saying for years, everything we do will have to be done on what I call, "the little black box."

I think it's insane as we should never have to put all our eggs in one basket or in this case a little black box.


Doug C.
#1390886 by Cat from
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 pm
Hi Ken & Clayton,

Thanks for the notification about this. My husband, who is a high-end IT professional, told me about these "bugs", but he is not always able to translate the message in a succinct way that I am able to understand all the ramifications, possible outcomes or, "exactly, what is it I'm supposed to do to prevent . . . ?"

He did express the fact that these patches are "big" and will bog down our computers' ability to process as quickly, so to expect our computers and other electronic devices to work noticeably slower than they used to, especially those with older lower capacity processors.

When I suggested it might be an opportunistic time to replace my aging laptop since I'm beginning to exceed its capacity, he cautioned against running out and buying a new electronic device to mitigate the issue, because the inventory of such items for the next year to 18 months will likely contain tainted processors and it takes that long before devices with new processors will be available in the marketplace. He suggested waiting up to two years before replacing devices to assure they contain new untainted processors.
#1391009 by Susan from Australia
Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:03 pm
Thank you to everyone for the food for thought.

I was wondering if there are few signs you can see if your device is affected by either of these bugs? I am a bot wary of typing the bug names into my search bar now.

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest