Additional resources: hacked sites

Additional resources: hacked sites

We understand that having your site hacked is extremely frustrating, and that the cleanup process can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of great articles, blogs, tools, and companies that can help you restore and secure your site. For the record, StopBadware does not curate or maintain these resources.

Two options you should consider:

  • Ask the community. StopBadware previously operated an online community forum where webmasters could seek help removing website malware. As of February 2015, this forum is no longer in operation. However: Google has an excellent, popular forum for people seeking help with hacked sites. A number of knowledgeable security professionals spend time on the forum answering webmaster questions about how to find and remove badware. The forum is free for everyone, and all posts are public and searchable. Find help here!
  • Get help from a professional. We get a lot of questions from webmasters who need urgent help cleaning up a hacked website. If your issue is urgent, we highly recommend you consider seeking professional help. We understand that many small website owners can be hesitant to pay to clean up their websites; if you need to get your site off a blacklist very quickly and you have minimal technical expertise, hiring a pro may be your best option. StopBadware does not make recommendations or endorsements, but one of our former community moderators has a good list of website malware removal vendors here. You can also use a search engine to find a reputable company.

A * denotes malware removal or security vendor. StopBadware does not endorse specific products or services. We link to the following sources for their information only!

General resources

  • Google's Help for hacked sites series. Google's new informational series has comprehensive, step-by-step help for webmasters of sites that have been hacked to spread malware and spam. They classify site diagnostic and clean-up stages according to webmasters' level of proficiency, and there are a long list of articles and over an hour of how-to videos to help site owners deal with hacks. If  Google has blacklisted your site for malware, or listed it as "compromised" because of spam, you should use this as one of your very first stops for answers to key questions and crucial next steps. 
  • Google’s Webmaster Central forum. Google Product Forums are platforms for discussing issues and sharing questions about Google products. The Webmaster Central forum has a category for malware and hacked sites. Find help or read Google’s FAQ about malware and hacked sites.
  • Redleg’s blog. Redleg is a security expert who has long been a contributor to several webmaster forums, including Google’s Webmaster Central forum. Redleg is one of StopBadware’s community forum moderators. His blog has a few useful tools for finding website badware and offers a wide array of help articles for webmasters cleaning up hacks.
  • A Guide to Website Security from Malwarebytes*
  • Securelist’s general guide to recognizing and defeating website infections*
  • Sucuri’s information on understanding htaccess attacks*
  • You may also want to read this excellent guide to basic PC malware cleanup from Blaze's Security Blog. Important to remember: If a machine you use to update your site is infected, it can compromise your website even after you clean up a website hack.

Free scanners and tools

There are several free scanners and other tools that StopBadware’s community members use regularly. StopBadware does not endorse their makers or speak for their accuracy. It’s very important to remember that NO scanner is 100% accurate, and your site may still be infected even if a scanner detects nothing.

Other guides to understanding and removing Google’s malware warnings

Hacked WordPress sites