HostGator Wordpress Website Hacked

by amro
24 replies
Hello,


I have urgent situation here

I have like 10 WordPress websites hosted on HostGator Shared Hosting.

7 of them are hacked, and I have submitted a ticket to HostGator support, and then kept promising to respond soon, but nothing yet after 36 Hours.

I think I will lose SEO ranking for all my websites(((((((

HostGator Support told me not to login to my account till they resolve the issue!!! and I cannot see when they are going to resolve it!!!

What can I do to make them resolve the issue, and how to prevent this in the Future?

Thanks
Amro
#hacked #hostgator #website #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Hi Amro, in the short-term, I'm afraid this advice won't be helpful to you, sorry but in the longer-term it will help you to use a hosting company that isn't owned by the dreaded Endurance International Group (the customer service might be a lot better and faster!), and never to use WordPress sites that have been installed as a one-click operation through the hosting admin-panel (they might not get hacked, in future!). Good luck!

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      I've used Wordpress since it first became available in 2003. These days I always install WP Firewall and iThemes Security as a matter of course, immediately I set up a new WP site. There are a great many guidelines available as to how to set up iThemes Security most effectively

      In future:
      Step #1 – Keep platforms and scripts up-to-date
      Step #2 – Install security plugins, when possible
      Step #3 – Lock down your directory and file permissions

      Also, there's a Wordpress plugin called "Security Ninja" that identifies all your WP site's weaknesses/backdoors. You might want to buy that.

      Finally, when this current issue has been resolved - move away from Hostgator. After sticking with them for too long, I did a lot of research through Web Hosting Talk and eventually switched to BigScoots. They moved all my sites (email accounts, everything) in a matter of minutes. They are extremely knowledgeable, and as an added bonus, all my sites are now running much faster. They are a great company.

      Just stay away from any hosting owned by the Endurance International Group.

      Over many years, the only website I've had hacked was, ironically a non-Wordpress site - touch wood . .
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    • Profile picture of the author Red Eagle
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Red Eagle View Post

        Really? Care to name one?
        Arvixe?

        Originally Posted by Red Eagle View Post

        if you're going to shout down HostGator, please suggest an alternative, okay?
        "Shout down Hostgator"? That's almost ironic, Red: I was one of the last people here to shout down Hostgator long after everyone else started describing how unreliable they'd become, how difficult and unpleasant and slow-moving the customer support was, and everything else.

        Here's the thing: I still have hosting at Hostgator, I'm embarrassed to say, but I certainly won't be renewing it, because guess what? The reliability has deteriorated, and customer "service" has really become dreadful.

        From everything I've read here, and elsewhere, EIG's business model seems to be to take over previously good, previously nice-to-use hosting companies, and turn them into customer service nightmares.

        I haven't decided where to move to, yet. I still have a couple of months to decide. Possibly Arvixe, I think.

        Originally Posted by Red Eagle View Post

        Just stop blaming HostGator.
        I'm blaming "EIG", technically, rather than "Hostgator".

        I'd been happy hosting there for years and years.

        Not any more. Even I don't want to continue to do business with them, now.

        Anyway, it sounds like you know more about hosting than I do, so I'll be asking you for advice, soon enough.

        .
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  • Profile picture of the author borsaronero
    I have had some websites hacked in past, and is really hard that they (hostgator) or you can come out of the issue 100% , the only way is to have a recent backup and after change all the passwords (FTP, cPanel MAIL etc...) re-upload everything.

    Put on plug in like WPBetter Security and setup it as best.
    Also limit the login attempts.

    If you don't have any backup what you should to is to download all the files and Databases and immediately substitute the one that you can, like the basic wordpress folders and files.

    Check all the files with an antivirus first. (I know that sound stupid but it works).

    Then you should go around the web and search for the basic strings that hackers use in the DB and search for them around and understand what they are trying to do.

    In general they try to hijacked your earnings, so they redirect to some specific pages.

    And search a lot on google about hacked sites, and the strings you find.

    There are some antivirus out there with subscription you can install, but I have tried them without any results.

    At the end I take out the hacker forever, and I understood what he was try to do, but it cost me days, and the hosting that told me they was working on it they haven't properly do nothing.

    But althoug the website is not more the same as before, it still has some major issue, and it about one year that I think to reinstall it completely.

    Now I have for each website daily backups, i don't set up one without.

    But Hopefully you have a backup of the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradCarroll
    I've had this happen before. There is a good chance your content is still available in a MySQL database on your server. I believe when this happened to me, I recovered it via .PHP MY ADMIN in CPanel. If you're not sure how to do this, you should be able to find someone here or even on Fiverr who can help you out for a very small amount of cash.

    (It's possible that going into your MySQL data won't solve your problem--but it's the first place I would look.)

    WordPress is unfortunately very easy to crack, the way it's generally installed. There are some pretty decent free plugins as well as paid solutions, as others have mentioned. Security solution + weekly or daily backups (there are plugins for this as well!) should put you in good shape, even with Hostgator. I'm also a fan of Softlayer VPS and even plain ol' Namecheap reseller hosting (less than $20/month).

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author extremeboy
    after all get this resolved must move from Endurance International Group Network of hosting sites includes hostgator They are shit on support,bad customer support Now i hate them alot.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
    Don't blame Hostgator for your site being hacked.

    If one account on any shared server gets hacked it's a simple matter to install a back door on all of them, so you best move all your hosting to a new account, it's easier than cleaning them up in place.

    If you don't use good security techniques on a WordPress installation you will be hacked sooner or later.

    Install Wordfence Security plugin it will prevent successful brute force attacks AND scan your site daily.


    Follow ALL of the suggestions here Hardening WordPress « WordPress Codex
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    Robin



    ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by RobinInTexas View Post

      Don't blame Hostgator for your site being hacked.

      If one account on any shared server gets hacked it's a simple matter to install a back door on all of them, so you best move all your hosting to a new account, it's easier than cleaning them up in place.

      If you don't use good security techniques on a WordPress installation you will be hacked sooner or later.

      Install Wordfence Security plugin it will prevent successful brute force attacks AND scan your site daily.


      Follow ALL of the suggestions here Hardening WordPress « WordPress Codex
      I have found Wordfence to be the best security plugin as well. Also, I have had two occasions where my WP installations had been hacked and I was able to clear it up almost right away using Hostgator's live chat. I always get friendly and efficient service from their reps and I think Hostgator is an awesome hosting service.

      I never understood how people can blame the hosting service when their WP installs get hacked. I think usually it's their own fault because they don't protect their installation properly.

      Also, it is the responsibility of the individual to take full backups of all of their files. Anyone not doing that can only blame themselves when those files are lost or compromised.
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    • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
      Great tips,one of the drawbacks of using shared hosting.
      Originally Posted by RobinInTexas View Post

      Don't blame Hostgator for your site being hacked.

      If one account on any shared server gets hacked it's a simple matter to install a back door on all of them, so you best move all your hosting to a new account, it's easier than cleaning them up in place.

      If you don't use good security techniques on a WordPress installation you will be hacked sooner or later.

      Install Wordfence Security plugin it will prevent successful brute force attacks AND scan your site daily.


      Follow ALL of the suggestions here Hardening WordPress « WordPress Codex
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    The hackers are probably getting in through another account on Hostgator, or through another php based program on your account (help desk or something similar). They've probably done a MySQL injection attack and compromised the databases - which can be fixed via Cpanel. I don't understand why Hostgator don't want you to log-in, though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Arvixe
      36 hours for such a high priority situation?

      Do they not offer any form of backup control in your control panel like R1Soft? From that you should be able to restore your site to a point where it is working. If you manage to do this ensure you check your account thoroughly otherwise it will just become compromised again.

      Are you using addon domains or separate hosting accounts?
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    • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
      Originally Posted by spearce000 View Post

      The hackers are probably getting in through another account on Hostgator, or through another php based program on your account (help desk or something similar). They've probably done a MySQL injection attack and compromised the databases - which can be fixed via Cpanel.
      Doesn't matter how they got in. Once someone gets access to the WordPress admin panel on most shared hosting setups,.it's a simple matter to use the plugin install feature of WordPress to install a php routine that will add a backdoor to each and every addon account under the same cPanel. They then can do anything they want to any of the addon accounts.
      I don't understand why Hostgator don't want you to log-in, though.
      You could be making the tech's job more difficult if two people are trying to find and repair hacked accounts at the same time without coordinating their actions. Would you want to be under an automobile jacked up and working on the engine while someone else decided to change a tire on the rear?
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      Robin



      ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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  • Profile picture of the author moinuddin
    are you able to login via admin panel ?
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  • Profile picture of the author renhoek
    Hey thanks for all the security suggestions. I have never had an issue yet (I use ace-host.net for over 10 years) I think if you are running a website the security responsibility is on the person who installs the WP files. If you read the TOS for most hosting companies they say they do not support the scripted installs from fantasico or whatever. I only have backed stuff up but I am going to set up security measures after reading your story .

    Its kind of like hard drives. When I was doing service I said " It is going to fail, just a matter of when". Being prepared goes a long way.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnZ
    The only thing you can do right now is to wait. In the future, back up all of your files! Since you're using WordPress, install a security plugin like Rename wp-login or Better WP security. These things happen quite often... Have your website backed up and consider switching a different web host.
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  • Profile picture of the author hometutor
    For mini-sites I've switched from wp to straight html. I got tired of Wordpress telling me what html could do. No database issues and there's enough plugins out there now for regular html sites where wp is not really needed.

    Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author vishwa
    Make it in your habbit to take your own back ups. Don't ever rely on hosting providers. Always use a security plugin for WordPress (I use Wordfence) and change your WordPress username admin to something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliatez
    I used to be in your situation, when using a shared hosting package, all of your sites would be attacked. In this case, follow these step:
    1. Export the Mysql file from the Myphp admin, Download the wp_content folder
    2. Delete all the old source from current folder
    3. Install the latest wp version and import the old Mysql file, upload the wp_content folder
    The hostgator team just identify the vulnerable files in one of your websites, they DONOT fix the prolem for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author AppKirk
    I stopped using hostgator when they were acquired by a different company.

    I have a server with StormOnDemand and an account with cloud flare as CDN to make sure my niche sites are NEVER down.

    I know it costs a little extra but its worth it. The support is great and the servers are rock solid.
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  • Profile picture of the author LuckyIMer
    I used to be with them and left after the services became like crap.
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  • Profile picture of the author BWHadam
    why not restore an old backup copy to get you online. 36 hours is too much. not a professional way to to tackle an online business.
    wish you good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
    HG support is still very good. I recently got a 2 page long reply to a ticket about how to speed up a site and it was only on shared hosting. It was not all a 'canned' response. Much of it discussed problems particular to that site.The wait time is occassionally longer than 3 years ago but the quality of the responses is top notch.
    I do find the 1st byte time on site loading is longer than I would like.
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  • Profile picture of the author a2hosting
    We recommend a security service to our customers called 6Scan for these instances: 6Scan – Plans & Pricing
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  • Profile picture of the author garymarkets
    that sucks man
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