Friends help friends recover their hacked sites

March 12, 2013

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By Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead

If you've ever helped a friend recover their hacked site, you know it can get fairly complicated – beyond just the technical issues. First, recovery might involve answering your friend’s general questions like "Why would someone do this to my site?" Second, you might wonder “What’s the process to have the ‘This site may harm your computer’ warning label removed from search results?” Our new Help for hacked sites series includes articles and 80+ minutes of video to help you, and to help you help others. In the overview video, these common questions are addressed:
  • Why would someone ever want to hack my site? (often asked by our trusting friends :) )
  • How was someone able to hack my site?
  • What's the process for fixing it and how long will it take?

Overview video: How and why sites are hacked

Help for hacked sites also provides more detailed information on specific issues, such as background on the malware infection type Error template or Server configuration if your site was hacked to distribute malware.

To avoid ever needing this resource yourself, please implement a security and maintenance plan for your site if you haven't already.
  • Be vigilant about keeping software updated.
  • Understand the security practices of all applications, plug-ins, third-party software, and so on, before you install them on your server. A security vulnerability in one software application can affect the safety of your entire site.
  • Remove unnecessary or unused software.
  • Enforce creation of strong passwords.
  • Keep all devices used to log in to your servers secure (updated operating system and browser).
  • Make regular, automated site backups.
We’d like to thank the developer community for sharing tips on site recovery as well as replying to forum questions to assist others with hacked sites. Special thanks to Redleg and Denis Sinegubko for their amazing contributions.

Maile Ohye is a Developer Advocate on Google's Webmaster Central Team. She very much enjoys chatting with friends and helping companies build a strategic online presence.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor