When someone hacks a website, what are their aims? Well some might just do it “for fun”. They can so they will. Once on they make a few little changes and then go elsewhere, little damage done.
The show-off hack
Others are trying to show off and will maybe replace your home page with a huge announcement that your site has been compromised. Not fun, but if you have backup files easy to repair. Just remember to take a good look around the site as these people will usually also leave a back door into the website so that they can keep doing the same trick.
The dangerous hack
Lastly there are the hackers that want to gain from hacking your website. These will usually take control of part of the website and try their best to cover their tracks. There will not be any big splash pages saying they have been there.
Instead, they load up extra pages to your site and change existing pages. They are trying to get links into their site or maybe optimise some of your pages for different (an usually adult) keywords. If one of these hackers gets you your file logs might be the first time that you spot their activities.
But these people sometimes go a step further. Maybe they will load pages that are used in Phishing Scams or are able to install viruses onto your visitors’ machines. If you are not careful, the first you might know about these people is when you realise that you can no longer access your website as Google is blocking it.
Repair your site
With your website down you have a lot of work to do. You have to delete all suspect files, change every password and then inform Google you are safe again so that they can reassess your website.
Make sure that you delete any suspicious looking files. In all honesty, if you can then the best course of action is to delete all files and all folders and reload the website from known safe files. If you can’t then make sure that you check every file that can be executed is still doing what you expect it to be doing.
But worse still in all of this, if you are storing customers’ details and your site has been hacked in any way, then that could be what the hackers wanted. So you have to warn your customers that you could potentially have lost their data.