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Assistance with hacked/defaced websites

Giving a helping hand to a customer in hard times sometimes beats every marketing trick you could think of when promoting your web hosting services.

Most hosting providers offer a 24×7 customer service, which includes support for files, emails and databases.

However, what happens when a site gets hacked? In fact, every website on the Internet is a potential target of a hacking attack, so no one is actually fully protected against a headache of this kind. So, if a site gets hacked, it would be unfair to blame it on the site owner, to say the least.

Most hosting providers today, however, prefer not to engage with hacked sites, since this brings lots of trouble to the server, including infected data and excessive server load.

So, when a site gets hacked, the customer becomes a ‘persona non grata’, whose account is suspended until the issue is resolved.

What if the customer is not able to deal with the issue, as is most often the case?

This is where the human side of a technical service comes into play. Experience has taught us that putting more effort into resolving an issue pays off better than saving that extra effort and letting the customer go with a possibility to never come back.

This is why, we are now in a position to offer help with hacked sites within reasonable limits.

When our technical support team receives a report of a hacked site, they first try to get in touch with the customer and to provide advice on how the issue can be resolved in due time. You can find the instructions we give to your customers listed below.

If the customer is not experienced enough to follow the instructions, our technicians then take the case in their hands.

Keep in mind, however, that providing help with hacked sites is not an official service-level guarantee. As you may have guessed, this could be a reason for users who operate more vulnerable sites to move them over to us and to expect 24×7 assistance with their compromised content. In cases like this, it might be hard for us to mobilize human resources to deal with the situation.

So, providing help with hacked sites is more like putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and giving a helping hand. Like a friend would do. This is what customer engagement is all about, isn’t it?

After the website migration procedure, we now add another human touch to our (and hence, your) service. Hopefully, your customers will find another reason to feel safe and comfortable with you.

Dealing with hacked sites

instructions from the technical support team

1. Take your site offline

Take your site offline temporarily, at least until you know that you have fixed the issue.

2. Make a damage assessment

It is a good idea to figure out exactly what the hacker(s) were after:

– Were they looking for sensitive information?
– Did they want to gain control of your site for other purposes?

Look for any recently modified or created files that you cannot recognize or that you haven’t edited yourself.
Check for any suspicious activity inside your Web Hosting Control Panel, such as newly created email accounts, FTP accounts, etc.

Determine the scope of the problem — do you have other sites that may be affected?

3. Recover your content

The absolute best thing to do here is a complete re-installation of all the applications using a fresh and updated copy acquired from the respective script vendor. It is the only way to be completely sure that you have removed everything the hacker may have done.

After the fresh re-installation, use the latest backup that has been made to restore your site. Do not forget to make sure that the backup is clean and free of hacked content too.

Update any software packages to their latest versions. This includes things such as blogs, content management systems, or any other type of third-party software installed.

Change your passwords – the application’s admin password, the hosting account’s password and the FTP passwords.

4. Restore your online presence

Get your site back online and keep an eye on it for a while, as the hacker(s) may attempt to make a new attack.

To request removal from the list of reported phishing sites, use this form provided by Google:

To request removal from the list of reported malware sites, use this one, provided by

Originally published Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 4:33 pm, updated July 8, 2024 and is filed under Latest News.

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