How Do You Know If Your Site Has Been Hacked?

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on March 8, 2012
Posted Under: Hacking

So, how do you know if your site has been hacked?  


Since the invention of the computer, hackers have been doing their level best to get into them for various nefarious reasons known only to themselves.

In the beginning, credit card information was their primary target however these days, they inject malicious code into websites to destroy competition, deface a website, promote their own websites, promote their own products, steal personal information or
just screw with you.

Learning how to know if your site has been hacked is important in order to minimize the potential damage to your site and your site’s visitors.

There are many telltale signs that could indicate that your site has been hacked.

Among them are the following:

When you click on a domain and Google serves a pop up indicating that you are entering a potentially dangerous site, it’s a good indicator that your site has been hacked.

If you click on your website and your web browser tells you that there is malware on your domain, your site has been hacked.

One of the most common and obvious signs is when you click on your domain and an unfamiliar website opens.   Often the site is in a foreign country and language.

When your website is redirected to another site it is a sure indicator that your site has been injected with a dialer.

Another sign is when your website looks perfectly o.k. but when you click on some of your outgoing links, they redirect you to another web site other than where you intended.

When this occurs, you can be sure that malware has infected your entire site.

Another common indicator that your site has been hacked is when your site theme, usuallyin WordPress or Joomla, loads incorrectly or begins to look “weird” or unusual.

This is an early indicator that you site has been infected.

Finally, when you start getting emails from your subscribers telling you that they have received Trojan or virus warnings from your site, you can be 100% sure that your site has been hacked.

Usually websites that have not been regularly updated are prime targets for hackers but any website on the Internet can be hacked.

Once you have determined that your site has been hacked and you are sharing web hosting, you need to immediately follow these steps to get your site back online.

If you can log into the control panel of your web hosting provider, immediately change your password.

If you can login by FTP with your new password and you have a backup copy of your website, you can upload the backup copy by FTP and download any new pages that could have been added to your site by the hacker.

This can also be accomplished through your control panel if you choose.

Once you upload the backup copy of your site to your web host, you will need to contact them and let them know exactly what happened.

Normally, after they go through your website logs, your web host’s abuse department will contact you with additional information on which files were infected, how extensive the
infection was and how the hacker gained access to your site in the first place.

In the event you are unable to login to your control panel or by FTP access your site files, you need to immediately contact your host provider.

Depending on your service provider, they should be able to restore your account to its original state.

Often it’s a good idea to take a screen shot of your site when you first had an indication that your site was hacked, especially if it was a redirect to another site, and send it to your webhost.

Sending the screen shot to your web host along with any pages of your site that were added by the hackers, will help them ferret out how the hackers gained access.

Since your site has been hacked, you will probably already have a Trojan or a virus downloaded to your computer when you tried to access your site.

You should immediately run an antivirus or malware program on your computer to clean up any malware infection.

It’s important that you run a FULL virus scan on all disks you had attached to your computer when you accessed your site.

Malwarebytes or an equivilent program will do the job nicely.

Now that you know that your site has been hacked and what to do about it, I’ll bet you just can’t wait to see how to prevent it from happening again.

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