Support » Fixing WordPress » Site was hacked again, same timeframe as last year

  • First, I have a full site backup…

    Is there a host that offers security solutions? The only installation I need is WordPress.

    Last year, we thought it was an outdated vbulletin it was confirmed in the logs. I stripped it out. I suspected my webhost then – nothing personal. I am not on a shared server, however. I also am not denying it might be my computer. It’s curious this attack seems to happen every year at the same time – my husband’s birthday.

    The site advocates free thinking, technology and is very vaguely opposed to religious fascism, and this time came under attack from Islamic religious fundamentalists, probably due to an article documenting the destruction of ancient Elamite, Akkadian, Assyrian and Sumerian archaeological sites/relics. (the year before it was claiming Phillipines origin, and the year before we had a massive DDOS from China after criticizing their suppression of scholars and the I Ching)

    Because of the specific nature of the attack I am of the opinion it was not a local attack, since malware tends to be very general – I’d have to open and download an attachment from a criminal attempting to hack the site. I do recieve mail on the server.

    Everything was wiped, by the way, and just a few files left up which I removed..nothing special. I havn’t taken a look at the logs yet.

    I have a full site back up, and my wordpress was completely up to date.

    I wrote a letter to my host and I am thinking about switching – but to who? No one seems to advertise security solutions packages.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • I’m sorry that your site was damaged again. Having a dedicated server helps shield you from others who are not so good as you about keeping everything up to date.

    You present server may not be using all the security available. Are you running a LAMP or a Windows server? Do you know what security and hardening is provided by your hosting company?

    It’s also wise to run a virus scan on any pc you use to control your sever. The payload of desktop malware is often involves the theft of FTP and other server credentials. This harvested information is then use to attack a server.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    Thanks for the reply, it’s LAMP.

    I do not know what security and hardening is provided by my hosting company. The company is 9th Node and they do not provide any security solutions up front, aside from a promise to keep the server updated.

    Phishing is a huge concern of mine, I run no less than 5 different virus, malware and adware programs on the two pc’s with access to the server – Spybot, Malwarebytes, Ad-aware, AVG, Windows Defender…and more recently i was not accessing the site…in fact on one PC which I trust alot less the user had not been logged into the site for over 2 months. So this is the only point of entry.

    This may be completely unrelated, but over the past month

    I also noticed our Comcast account was behaving very weirdly, some stuff got reset that should not have, username p/w was reset to my business account, and then the xfinity wifi was shut off to customers. I found an unknown device that did not match anything in the office – seriously i checked every little thing, and it reconnected two times in the modem after I had banned it!

    Wow! Too bad about all the creepy stuff happening at about the same time. Sounds like you work hard to keep your desktops safe.

    LAMP is good and I should have asked if you use cPanel. If you do, there’s some quality free security add ons. And there’s some words you don’t often find together (free security).

    The first is cPhulk, for brute force protection. It can lock out cPanel and WHM logins, SSH (shell/root access) logins, FTP logins, and IMAP/POP3 (mail) logins. These core services are locked out after too many fails from a single IP address. The cfd/lfd cPanel plugin is a good firewall. ClamAV and Rootkit Hunter are free cPanel plugins that do a OK job of finding malware. As a note neither malware options offer full time (meaning live) protection. I run them once a week.

    Ask if these are available or if not, ask that your host add them for you. There is a fair amount of set up in the beginning but not so much on going care is needed.

    Good luck with your site.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    Yeah, we have the brute force protection – hell it even locks ME out half the time. I think I’ll have to switch hosts before these are added – most of the time when I talk to them they act annoyed with me, now they’re just ignoring my ticket and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.

    Someone from FireHost is calling me tomorrow to talk about hosting, but it starts at 200 USD a month. I’m considering hosting at our office instead, so I can have control of the server a little more but I don’t have enough experience yet to be able to handle it all.

    Comcast itself may be more professional since they are a big company with horrible over the phone customer service and really good on site service.

    I don’t know if its proper to give recommendations on the forum but I [moderated]

    Does your cable provide you a static IP? If yes, you can whitelist your IP and never be locked out again.

    There’s something to be said for having the ability to house your own hardware but you usually loose the higher bandwidth and especially the backup bandwidth that comes with a datacenter. You should be able to find remote support to do the tasks you don’t want to do.

    Go luck with your choice.

    I don’t know if its proper to give recommendations on the forum

    Nope, sorry, pretty clear here –

    I’ve moderated the post above, but if this thread becomes a pile-on discussion of hosting, a moderator will, indeed close the thread per the above forum guideline. Nothing personal – the topic just gets too spammy :)!

    Thread Starter ningishzidda



    I do not get a static IP

    I’m not going to talk more about hosting companies, but I am wondering on how to do the transfer, I have all the files transfered off the site pre-hack, is the only thing I have to do once I get moved to my new host is transfer them back? I am guessing there is a guide somewhere but I can’t find one. Ive never done a restore from a blank slate before


    You also need a backup of your database – hopefully that wasn’t hacked too?!

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    This time it looks like they did not get into the database, which did happen last time – everything was wiped. the backup is going smoothly and the site is starting to populate again. I’ve found two files in the root that were created yesterday, last night, when no one should have been on. One is called and Samping, I believe these might be scripts that were uploaded by the criminal.

    These are the only two files on the server.

    Apparently there has been a rash of Islamic extremists hacking sites all month, i did a search for the file names and found tons of links about church sites being hacked, and some actual hacked sites, example:


    Here is an example of a hacked site with a Muslim tag I found just searching for these files:

    I reported this all to the FBI of course. Our site in particular has never been religious or especially interested in Muslims, as an aside, but that will change now, im probably going to block the entire middle east except Israel and the Islam-dominated areas of the pacific rim just to be safe.

    When we got the DDOS attacks from China for criticizing its imprisonment of I Ching scholars, it worked really well to block the whole country.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    found some more, all ISIS/Muslim affiliated, or claiming to be, within the past few weeks:

    So they’re not targeting anyone particularly religious, that last one was just a site that sells handmade pet products.

    What a bunch of assholes.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    Shit I just realized we have a ton of Hebrew art on our site. Now Im pissed off. Going to go tell a Rabbi about it.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    Thanks for all of those links. I’ve done the hardening one before.

    The site is still getting hacked, although not as badly now and I am looking through the error log from the hacker activity today.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    They appear to be attempting an alteration of Acurax and Next Gen gallery. I don’t need Acurax so ill uninstall it but I do need Next Gen gallery.

    Thread Starter ningishzidda


    Here’s what I did:

    Deleted Social Media Feather by Acurax because it was specifically targeted by somebody this morning. I cannot afford to lose Next gen gallery as i think most people will agree, so I installed Wordfence after finding it highly rated during a search for the outdated Sucuri (more below)

    I reinstalled WordPress.

    Global settings on the sidebar somehow got set to allow users to write, so I set them not to be able to write, which would have prevented the sidebar from getting hacked to show google ads.

    I am tired of the footer constantly getting hacked by less malicious hackers to point to yontoo, (for some reason any new updates to wordpress like to set the value to allow users to write again, after ive disallowed it) so I’ve disabled user registrations and deleted our vast collection of members – they wernt really adding that much of value to the site anyways. I do not need them. This will prevent user uploads at least.

    I think the culprit for the first hack may have been Next Gen Gallery as the majority of the attempted attacks this morning seem to have been directed at it. Looks like there was a WordPress update between then and now, too so I wonder if that was it.

    I also uninstalled Wang guard since I don’t have any users anymore.

    Sucuri was reccomended by those links, but it is outdated with current version of wordpress, so I disregarded it. I installed Wordfence instead which came highly reccomended.

    By the way, that security company/webhost I called was a joke. The guy called me and couldn’t tell me anything useful about what their security company did, just a bunch of flashy sounding rhetoric in an email after the useless phonecall. He said “What really makes us the best is we learn every time we get hacked.” I was like “erm, yes that is the thing to do after making a mistake or getting attacked, you learn from it” The tour through the free plugin Wordfence is much more impressive with actual information. The math is easy free or 350 a month, or 200 a year for three site keys from the Wordfence plugin, or 350 a month. Looks like it’s all the same stuff.

    I uninstalled my cache program because Wordfence includes one.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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