By Carl Zimmer | May 13, 2009 11:44 am

Should I take it as a compliment that somebody took the time to hack my online archive of articles? It’s still pretty irritating. Whatever the twisted motivations of the hacker, my web guardians and I are now figuring out how to repair the mess. My apologies to anyone seeking an article.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: General, Writing Elsewhere

Comments (16)

  1. Well, let’s see. You write extensively about evolution. You take on George Will and other anti-science folks who don’t do fact checking. You glorify tattoos. And so on. You seem to be a perfect target for right wing hackers. Not that I know of too many such hackers, but there must be a few.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of this. Please tell us you have them backed up somewhere?

  3. eduard

    It could be a less sinister hack: some bot bit decided the traffic to your site was worth hijacking, and went and did it, indifferent to whatever content may lie within.

  4. synergy

    Any idea who it was? I hope you have backups. Good thing the bookcover poll is elsewhere! 😉


    Ugh! That has got to be very annoing!

  6. Right-wing hack used to refer to people like George Will, Bil l O’Reilly etc. Seems there is a new definition.

  7. jb

    Looks like the server itself forgot how to present php. May not even be a hack.

    Have your provider check out their install.

  8. jb–Unfortunately, it is definitely a hack. We even know the IP address of the hacker, who got into my account at and even put some files there.

  9. Most service providers keep backups, even if they don’t say they do. Here’s hoping you’re on tape drive somewhere.

  10. Trimegistus

    “Right-Wingers” — the new all-purpose scapegoats. Server crash? Right-wingers did it. Can’t get a table? Right-wingers stole them.

    Here’s a hypothesis: maybe you were hacked by mindless, knee-jerk leftists who have to shoehorn every incident into their personal set of political stereotypes.

  11. jb


    Well, that’s a shame. Sorry to be wrong, sir.

  12. Just about to log off- but like Michelle asked, does the mag back up data? It’ll right itself…

  13. I feel for you, Carl. It’s been going around–they got my author site, another author’s site that I designed, and sites for three writing groups I host on the same server. And guess who had to spend all day cleaning up the mess…

  14. Well this is an ugly bummer. As much as I’d like to see my own productivity on a par with Carl’s, I wouldn’t want it made to seem so by decreasing his apparent output. May the files soon return and the perpetrator caught and similarly … .well, DELETED would be a bit strong. But hacked, whacked, smacked, or something.

    Best to you, Carl, and keep ’em coming.

  15. Why did I say mag?? I meant to say site (it was late, honest! Lol!) and yes I can’t access this either withouth that command box thing.

    Good luck either way Carl!



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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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