Site Hacked Statement: It has been a fun few days, to say the least. Over the weekend we started to see a drop off in numbers visiting the site, we thought it strange but assumed it was just because Internet traffic was low at the time.
The site first went down on Monday evening and we contacted our hosting providers Fat Studios. They then informed us to check our emails as it looked like we had been hacked. The hacking was deliberate and targetted. The next 48 hours saw the service on the site suffer terribly as those involved were trying to gain access to the site.
At the same time, we were getting emails to say our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts were having issues as somebody was trying to access them. Fat Studios assured us that this was being dealt with. The continuous attacks happened for approximately 48 hours until their servers eventually gave in.
Our website is on its own server but the server couldn’t take anymore. The server eventually crashed around 3:45 am when we were all asleep. The attacks eventually targeted the SQL database which is where all the data is stored.
I checked with the team who confirmed the website was down. I contacted Fat Studios who were already on the case. The hackers locked us out of our own site and sent me emails demanding a ransom. The fee was £4000 with the message – “You report fake views, we stop your site views”
They told us that they would be deleting content each hour until the fee was paid. We, as a result, have now lost ALL our news articles, some football stories and music-related articles. Luckily GS Chaggar and his team (Fat Studios) managed to save Desi Grills, Music and Entertainment related articles. Any articles you click on displaying an ‘error message’ have now gone.
Eventually, Fat Studios found the bug and got us back up and running by 10.30am this morning. The Police now have all the emails we were sent and other relevant information as they delve into the matter.
I guess fake views and the Punjabi music industry do have a close connection, we will continue to report on these and later today we will publish a league table of fake views to highlight this issue. Over the years the Punjabi music scene has become a swamp for fake hype and fake views, Now thanks to YouTubes new charts we can see what are officially recorded figures and what are not!
The buying of non-organic/fake views has damaged the scene so much that nobody actually knows what the size of the market is now.
What number is the average number for a good video? What number dictates the song is a hit? We are all over the place as the Industry has been way too self-indulgent over the years. So to those that tried, you just made us more determined.