Non-functional Website

Experiencing slow website than usual. Site being displayed as unsecured in the browser, Constant website crashes and unresponsiveness. Website redirecting to different web URLs

What to do

This could be because of a website attack.

Contact a trusted techie e.g. those working in public interest technology to diagnose the problem. Also seek legal aid as perpetrators of the attack can be investigated, arrested and charged

More information on the threat

If you suspect that your website has recently been hacked, it is imperative to look out for these signs;

In certain instances, search engines may warn users that your site has been compromised. The quickest way to find out is to conduct a Google search for your site. If the description under the site has the text “This site may harm your computer” this may be the first warning of a possible attack. Alternatively, you can use certain tools such as a clearing house search to determine if your site was blacklisted by Google or other search engines. Additionally, you can use security scanners that scan your site remotely for malicious software.

Redirects: In certain instances, hackers may want to reap off the site’s revenues by redirecting traffic to other sites.

1.  Therefore if accessing your website leads you to another site, this may be a sign that the website has been hacked.

Defaced website: Another common indicator of a hack is if the website looks different from its usual design. In certain instances, attackers may deface your website with unusual texts or fill it with random unrelated popups. This is the most obvious sign that your site is under attack.

2.  Other signs that your site has been attacked can be found here.

Once you have ascertained that your website was hacked, you can take the following steps to recover from an attack

Inform your hosting provider of the attack and request details about the hack including how they believe the site was compromised.

3.  In most instances, your web host may know how to fix the problem much better than you would.

Turn off your site: After informing your host, the next step should be to take your site offline until the problem is solved. Although the site will not be operational, it is advisable to quarantine it to allow administrative tasks to be carried out.

4.  Additionally, taking the site offline will protect unsuspecting users from any malware or viruses that potentially infected the site.

5.  Locate the source of vulnerability that was used to attack your site. This can be done by first checking your home PC for viruses.

6.  Once you have ascertained that your PC was not compromised, you can move to check the servers. A good option is to check out Google’s Webmaster tools that offers different ways in which the source of the attack can be identified.

Restore backup: Once the cause of the attack has been identified and been with, you can upload backups of the site after removing all files from your web hosting account. If you don’t have a backup, you can contact your hosting provider to provide you with a backup of your website.

7. Even if you find no evidence of an attack on your site, you can take the following steps to secure your site.

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