Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hijacked by evil spammers

Sounds like a great title for a B movie sci-fi flick. Ah, if that were only so. Nope. Instead, my website was attached by a malicious visitor. They attached a virus to pieces parts of my website so that when ever anyone visited they would then be infected with the malware.

First of all, I use and they've been great to work with. If not for them, I probably would have been blissfully unaware of the problem. Needless to say, I got an e-mail from them regarding my site. I went to my site and lo and behold, my anti-virus program stopped me from going any further so at that point, I realized I, indeed, had a nasty virus and not the kind that can be easily dealt with by taking aspirin and vitamin C.

Arggggg. Okay, after saying a few choice words, I promptly called godaddy. The first thing we did was reset passwords for both my user account and my ftp. I also arranged for their security guys to do daily probes of my website to help insure this doesn't happen again (oh, at a minimum fee but I felt the cost was worth it).

Anyway, I spent all day Friday trying to figure out where the evil code had been installed on my website but as I know just enough to be dangerous, I couldn't find anything suspicious on my main pages. I did, however, have a ton of files that were out of order and not necessary so I figured I'd clean up the site first and go from there.

The next day I got a more helpful e-mail from godaddy and one of the tips they had was for me to do a google search using the phrase "what is the status of". I did and the google search showed warning labels on three of my pages. In so doing, it told me where to search. So, once again, I went into my site and cleaned house some more. I got rid of all my pdfs (as this was the source of most of the malicious stuff) and I have disabled my links page as this was another area of concern.

Now, the real question is: how long will it take before google allows folks to go back to my site?  And was I able to get it all.

So - advice to those of you that maintain your own websites. Change your ftp password often. If you don't really visit the site very often or make changes very often, I suggest a sitescanner service. I don't know how this person found me, but ....they did and if they found me, they can find you too.


Beth Trissel said...

This is terrible! I also use GoDaddy. Glad to hear they were of help.

Ciara Gold said...

Thanks Beth. I'm currently having to rebuild the entire site. Whaaaaa.