We have written many articles and posts on website hacking, what they are, how to restore your site, what to do to prevent an attack, and so forth. Today we are going to be succinct and right to the point.
If your site has been hacked, contact your webmaster immediately. If you do not have one or cannot get a hold of them, contact us at 707-794-9999 (Pacific Standard Time). Do not wait! You do not want Google or other search engines to notice the hack. That would be very bad news for your site’s ranking.
You can also call your hosting provider. You may have a program in place to help restore your site to a clean version from a previous date. If so, do it ASAP. Note though that most restore programs replace infected files with clean ones but do not delete files added by the hacker. That is a big issue.
If you cannot do a restore right away, replace your homepage with a temporary page. Make it simple with a message like “Our website is going under improvements and will be back up very soon”. You do not want your visitors to see the hacked site or hacker’s message.
After the site is restored and 100% clean (files + database if you have a content management system), install right away a SSL (if you do not have one already), a security scanning program and firewall (we like SiteLock), and update all usernames and passwords for your hosting account, your server, your FTP access, your CMS, your email, etc.
Once everything is 100% perfect, make a complete backup that should be securely saved in your local hard drive. Backup all of the folders and files that make up your site and export a copy of your database.
Sign up for or have your webmaster create an automated backup program.
Run all scans available with your security program. Review the results and make any adjustments they recommend.
Block countries you do not business with from accessing your website.
Sit down with your webmaster and discuss what else can be done to secure the site. Once a site has been hacked, the hacker or his script will return usually within weeks if not days. Other measures that should be discussed are: Updating your editor in your CMS, make sure you have the most up to date version of your CMS, double login, CAPTCHA, etc.