Why have I been hacked?
Having your website hacked or defaced can be a very stressful time, but don’t worry as websites are being hacked all the time and it is very unlikely that you have been targeted specifically.
It is more likely that the ‘hacker’ has searched the internet using common tools to find websites that have a certain security flaw and then exploited it. This issue is compounded if your website is running any sort of scripts.
The 1st thing you need to do is act – it is irresponsible to keep a website on-line if it could harm visitors.
You need to get professional help – either from us, your web designer, your hosting company or any other web professional. If your website can be restored to it’s former glory from a back-up copy then great, but sometimes websites cannot be restored and the files that have been ‘hacked’ need repairing.
You also need to consider the PR impact to your business should your website be hacked… Not only does a hacked website look un-professional but you may also pick up a penalty from the search engines such as Google and Yahoo! if you do not act quickly enough.
How do you know your website has been hacked?
Good question – sometimes your anti-virus software will pick up on something when you visit your own website, but sometimes the only indication is when you see a message in Google’s search results for your website that reads “This website may harm your computer” – this is obviously very bad for your business. Once Google discovers that your website contains a virus or malware and flags it as dangerous you then have to act quickly to remove the offending code and then tell Google that the site has been cleaned, if you don’t then you could find that your website is dropped by Google.