What to do if Your Website Has Been Hacked?

Computer technologies continually evolve with newer software protection systems and, so do evolve the malware. Websites have been perennially under the threat of hackers and the malicious codes they infuse into the websites, corrupting them. As a web hosting service provider, it is your primary task to ensure the integrity of stored information of your website users post hacking. You should remember that a successful hacking attack not only involves the infusion of malicious code into your website but also puts your user database and other sensitive information out there for the hackers to misuse. Let us take a look at an effective contingency plan to counter the after effects of hacking on to your websites.

Website Hacking

Symptoms that Reveal Your Website is Hacked

Certain factors give you an insight that your website has suffered a hacking attack, and the code has been maliciously modified-

  1. On opening your website, there is threat warning from the firewall.
  2. Your website opens up sluggishly.
  3. When you try to use some of the modules, the website gives an error message.
  4. Search systems fail to index your website.
  5. Certain new code files, pages, and images are visible on your that you have not downloaded.
  6. You are noticing newer accounts with administrative access in the administration panel.
  7. Emails sent from your websites such as OTPs, and other confirmation mails do not reach the customer intended.

Recovering from an Attack

Once you have established that your website has malicious code files, you need to follow the below mentioned steps-

  1. Contact your hosting provider and seek information about the hack. They could give you certain information such as the time of the attack, and check for possible contingencies in other sites on the same domain as well, in case your website is hosted on a shared server instance.
  2. Your hosting provider must have software tools to seek out the infected content on your website and remove it promptly before the malicious virus further corrupts it. In case the web hosting service provider fails to do so, you might take help of certain anti-malware scanning software such as StopTheHacker,  to scan your website for the identification and removal of the suspicious content. Such softwares also mitigate the future probabilities of your website being attacked, using regularly scheduled scans.
  3. You must also check to confirm if your website features on any blacklists. Being in a blacklist could temporarily impact your website’s SEO and SERPs. Hence, you must log in and check for any site warnings in the Google Webmaster Tools. Once you resolve the site warnings and the hack, you would have to resubmit your website for review.

Preventing Future Hacks

It is imperative for your hosting provider to enforce lock down on your website, to minimize the probability of any future attacks. To ensure this, you should take the following steps-

  1. You should ensure to update the content management system in your website to the latest version. If you are using softwares such as WordPress, you should check that it is the most recent version of the software that you have in your infrastructure. CMS platforms regularly push out updates, which address the known vulnerabilities. Hence it is advisable to install the latest version promptly.
  2. It is imperative to keep all the website’s plugins are up to date. Plugins or extensions on your website are potentially vulnerable, like those available on many other CMS platforms, if they are not upgraded to the latest version.
  3. Admin backend must be locked down to negate any brute force attacks on your website. You could avail services such as Clef or Brute Protect, which assist in locking down your site, and provide protection from any targeted attacks on your CMS platforms and other soft spots in your website code.
  4. You must ensure that you have effectively backed up your website. Regular backups help negate the casualties incurred in the event of hacking on your website, and loss of any valuable information. Services such as CodeGuard help restore the website from the backup and ensure its normal functioning.

Bottom Line

These are the several clearly defined factors that indicate a successful hack attack on your website, but one should understand that there is no permanent solution to prevent such malicious incursions. Computer technologies continually develop and with that malware also become more sophisticated and hacking more ingenious. As website protection software developers,  we at i2k2 are aware of all the new and high technologies of website hacking as well as state-of-art website monitoring capabilities, which we implement in our services.  To learn more about website restoration post-hacking, give us a call at +91-120-466 3031 or fill our contact form, and we will get back to you.