Oh yes! Another Hacked Website.

Last Update: June 16, 2018

Oh yes!! Another Hacked Website


I have blogging for well over 12 years now. Last night I got a message from my downtime website software telling me that one of my websites was down.

So I typed in the url, and and low and behold I got a warning on Google Chrome that this site has been hacked, and the red warning screen.

For many people, getting their website hacked can be the turning point that makes them quit blogging.

Fortunately I am not so easily put off, and thankfully dealing with these hackers over the years. Has actually helped me to understand exactly,what to do when one of my websites get hacked.

One thing that can make a big difference is who you are actually hosting your websites with. I have at least 6 different hosting accounts. With many of these hosting companies I have had different issues.

Here are a few of them .

Liquid Web - My sites spent more times down than up. Never again.

Bluehost - Some of my plugins will not work on Bluehost this drives me mad

Hostmonster - If your websites get hacked, instead of helping to restore your site. They send you to some other company to fix your site. They charge you a fortune that way Hostmonster can get a nice commission.

Hostgator - Livechat can be slow, and it can take hours till they hand you up to the right department, but when they do at least they help you to restore your website. To the way it was before being hacked, that is if you are on a dedicated server with them. Not sure about their other packages.

WA Hosting - Has been very good and support is quick to fix your site, only downside I find is that some plugins will not work properly with it.

Hostinger - Has been very fast compared to all the other hosting accounts, but I have not yet had dealings with them when a website was hacked yet.

My worst ever hacking experience was at a time when I had 650 websites, I had a huge dedicated server with Hostgator and I had 350 of my websites hacked or defaced in one night.

Luckily Hostgator support worked all night while I slept getting them all secured and restored. So when I got up in the morning they where all fixed.

A few things I have learned from these experiences are

1. It's better to have your websites/blogs on multiple hosting accounts, that way all your sites will not get hacked at once.

2. Bigger more powerful servers even dedicated ones are not necessarily faster than a cheap $20 per month shared hosting account.

3. When your dedicated server goes down, the hosting companies do not care it's up to you to get on the ball and contact them to get it back up.

4. When a shared hosting goes down multiple people complain, so they will normally get it back up and running again fast.

5. Don't do paid advertising or send out emails with links to your site. If your hosting is weak or playing up. As it could cost you a fortune in wasted resources.

6. Be specific with customer support.. Assume they are idiots, tell them exactly what the problem is and what you want done. Otherwise they will be there all day messing around, and will not solve your problem.

7. Remember customer support get paid for sending messages and fixing websites. They are in no rush, You lose money while your websites are down, and also look bad to your customers and social network too.

8. If your hosting company refuse to fix or restore your websites there are many gigs on Fiverr available to fix a hacked website. Or remove malware or a defaced website. Big companies will charge you a fortune for this maybe hundreds of dollars. If you are careful when ordering the fiverr gig, it is possible to find someone to get your site fixed for $5.

There are a lot of other things you can do too but I will not go through them all here as this post could last forever. :-)

If you haven't already feel free to visit my websites and add me on the social networks .


To Your Successful Blogging

Sotiris Bassakaropoulos





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Carson Premium Featured Comment
Hi Sotiris, thanks for sharing your experiences with hosting, I think this post will help many people as they have questions about how web hosts deal with the issues you've faced.

In regards to plugins running on the WA network, we are always willing to look into allowing plugins that you may feel you need on your website. That said, we are also strict with the rules as many plugins are very poorly designed and programmed and can lead to hacking, malicious activity, or phishing, due to their poor security. So, if you ever have a plugin that you would like to use on the WA network that is not currently on our whitelist, just reach out to our SiteSupport team to ask about it!

Carson
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Elijah1916 Premium
Carson, how about being able to login outside WA platform?
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Chrissies Premium
Edu has answered this in his training:
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MozMary Premium
Hi Sotiris, you've described a problem I have with one of my sites, it vanishes and I have to contact the hosting company who then 'fix things' but it alarms me how often it happens and in particular that it was up to me to notice it was 'down' especially when they boast of being a 'managed wordpress' hosting

and it often happens after I've spent all day working on a killer post, I post it and next thing boom the website isn't there, I've other sites with the same company and they don't vanish like this one, though as I understand there can be many servers, they absolutely refused to give me any explanation but it's left me very nervous

on these occasions the hosting company admit they had to fix things
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sotiris1 Premium
Yes indeed, some are good but many hosting companies can be a nightmare to deal with. Often you get people on the live chat that know less about your hosting account than you do, but sometimes you get someone who is really clued up. It is also important to ask the right questions and give them exact directions if you have even an inkling of what is going wrong. The most problems I have generally found is created by Wordpress Plugin conflicts.

So if your site is not working the first thing I would do is go into your cpanel if you can and deactivate the plugins. You can always activate them again later.

Turn the plugins on one at a time. Then see if your website is okay the plugins may be fine. But if you reactivate a plugin and it starts playing up again. Then that plugin is probably the culprit so you may need to find an alternative one.

Next time you have a problem ask your hosting company exactly what was wrong and take a note of it. That way you can learn for future reference. My rule is if the hosting company continually has problems then it is time to change hosting accounts.

You can always get someone on Fiverr to move your websites if you do not know how to.

Hope you get it sorted soon :-) Keep me updated.
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sotiris1 Premium
You may also want to change your username from admin to something different go into wordpress users and change the username to show a nickname instead of your actual new username. Create a long hard to think of password u will remember and change the password. And lastly install Wordfence or Securi security plugins on your blog or website.
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MozMary Premium
That info is essential for peeps not on the WA hosting, but my website that keeps vanishing is here! So the admin, security, plugins don't feature so much - I've 5 websites here but just one causing repeated issues that left me nervous, it was new but the most successful, literally going down when I posted an article costs on that one so not happy that it has happene so often or the lack of explanation, none.

I had wondered if you'd ever been hacked on this hosting because they have some extra security layers, I notice when people move their sites out to other hosting they immediately get hit with a bunch of stuff till they tighten up
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sotiris1 Premium
I had a problem with that happening it turned out to be a piece of SEO software that I bought logging in to check my website stats. As soon as I turned it off it stopped happening. Definitely something weird going on did you try changing or disabling any of the plugins? My mum had her website here hacked once, but support got it fixed in a very short period of time.
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CarolMeador Premium
Thanks for this information, Sotiris. Carol
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pitofly Premium
Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Balloons29 Premium
I use Namecheap. It has been fine so far. The one problem I have encountered is that WA doesn’t let you change DNS. I nearly finished registering for Cloudflare and Wix (to connect my WA site to Wix domain) when I was warned off changing DNS. Maybe this is common for third-party hosting. Can someone enlighten me?
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nightwatch Premium
My domain name is registered at NameCheap as well. It's a couple of months since I built my site on SiteRubix so I'm fuzzy on the details. But I created the site on SiteRubix using the "On a Domain I Own" option and then changed the nameservers on the domain in NameCheap to ns1.mywahosting.com and ns1.mywahosting.com.
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KatieMac Premium
sorry to hear this and am glad you got it all sorted, I suppose it is everyone's nightmare and hoping it will not happen to me, thanks for your advice it is very helpful
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haroda Premium
Thank you for sharing your experiences. They are very helpful. Wondering if you ever host on godaddy.com or virtualave.net before?

I found godaddy.com has great service but I got myself on the wrong wordpress account that cost me so much time just to have my website up and running properly.

Virtualave.net is a simple hosting website. They have served me well over the years. The only thing is that they do not allow me to have third party SSL. I have to purchase the SSL only through them or their vendors.
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MarkBa Premium
Thanks for your very useful post.

~Mark :)
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DebbieRose Premium
That was very informative. Other than Bluehost and WA, I wasn't familiar with the other options. Still sounds like WA is a great deal, especially considering all the features provided.
Debbie
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suzzziq Premium
Sorry this happened to you:(. Thank you, though, for the feedback:)
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verazhelvis Premium
Thanks. All really sound advice, but I pray it will never happen to me...though I will save this post..lol.:)
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Elijah1916 Premium
Very interesting experience you have. Have any dealing with Namecheap yet?
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sotiris1 Premium
I haven't used name cheap yet.. Thank you :-)
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derekmarshal Premium
With 350 sites it is statistically inevitable that some or at least one will get hacked. not even gonna ask what ya doing with 350 sites!
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Elijah1916 Premium
Not to talk about how he copes with them all.
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HowardJaros Premium
I moved everything over to WA and so far so good for the past four years. I know Kyle and Carson have worked hard to beef up the website security for us.
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MSnargrass Premium
Thanks for the advice and sharing your experience.
All the best,
Marcus
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AlejandraB Premium
Sorry to read about your hacked site.
Thanks for sharing this article, I will bookmark it.
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jtaienao Premium
Thank you for sharing your experiences and also your helpful advises. I can’t even imagine having as many websites as you do but as you suggested, not hosting them all with the same provider is the islets thing to do.
Jerome
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emerald860 Premium
So sorry this happened to you (again!) I've been lucky. I've never been hacked so far. I only have a few sites though. Number 6 is my favorite. I wish I could get all the time back I spent with technical support at Hostgator and GoDaddy. My sites are hosted here at WA now and I haven't had a problem. Thank you for sharing your experience! Alanna
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sotiris1 Premium
My mum had some of her WA sites hacked once but support sorted it pretty quickly.. Which is great.. :-)
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RayAleksandr Premium
Thanks Sotiris for great info. I'm trying to spread my sites over multiple hosting accounts too. Your post's very useful!
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DrTad Premium
Thank you for sharing.
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CowboyJames Premium
Thank you for the information. And the advice from your experience.
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WaynePro Premium
Wow, Sotiris, some people have had the bad experience of one of their sites hacked but you have had multiple sites attacked! Thanks for sharing the information.

Wayne
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sotiris1 Premium
Thank you Wayne, It's all sorted now happy to say :-)
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joejr49 Premium
Sorry to read about your hacked site. I feel rather small with my 4 websites here at WA... :-)

I am going to do back-ups on all 4 today, in several place. Thanks,also, for all of the tips.

Best wishes and good luck,

Joe
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sotiris1 Premium
Sounds like a plan Joe, if your stuff ever disappears you can always google wayback machine and probably find the most of your content again there.. :-)
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davidbanciu Premium
You had 650 websites hacked? Do you own a hosting site?
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ownonlboss Premium
More likely his clients and a bunch of his own sites. Although one can grow that big I suppose.. even with own websites. Just need some ghostwriters if you got 650 sites hahaha.

Nah I really think this is like a hosting site - or rather a bunch of client sites. Pretty sure that those 650 are not hosted here, or he would have to have a rather big amount of WA accounts.

Steven
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sotiris1 Premium
I had 650 of my own websites at one stage not including sites I made for clients. I culled them down to about 200 of the best ones. A few years ago..
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sotiris1 Premium
I have a dedicated server as well as multiple shared hosting accounts which I resell hosting on.
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ownonlboss Premium
Good to have an experienced person here at WA. We can learn much from you on that topic.
I spread a good deal of my sites too, but have quite many here at WA currently.
Other than WA I, I use linode currently. Haven't experienced any hacks as of yet on these. On one other side I one had an unsafe upload field through a customer support site that gave me a bank fraud site somewhere. Up came lots of warning emails and threats from customers of banks. Terrible story and we got blacklisted for email fraud for a while. Managed to fix the leak and unblacklist the email server and life was good again.

Other than that I have had experience with truly bad shared hosting. I know the plugin problem, I've seen it too. Plan is to move those sites once they are getting big to a better hosting.

Thanks for the tips, I bookmarked your post.

Steven
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edensbox Premium
I have had a lot of friends who sites got hacked at one time or another. So far, I have been lucky. Knock on wood.
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