A recent survey by insurance agent Hiscox, found that just over half (51%) of companies in the UK had experienced a cyberattack in the last year. Forty-six percent said it took them more than two days to return to ‘business as usual’. For many businesses, the time that lapses between the detection of an attack, and eventual elimination of the threat, can equate to significant damage in terms of lost custom, low productivity, costly fixes and a bruised reputation. If you are reading this wondering ‘Has my website been hacked ?’ take a look below for key indicators and what to do next.
The sooner you can establish if your website has been hacked, the better. Sometimes there are tell-tale clues that a breach has occurred, however sometimes it’s harder to tell – in fact you may not realise it at all. Begin your diagnosis by seeing if your site shows any of the signs listed here.
Has my website been hacked ? What to look out for
Peculiar performance: Have you suddenly noticed that page loads on your website are taking much, much longer? This could indicate a hack – for instance the hackers might be using your server to send lots of spammy emails, which is in turn slowing down your systems.
Bothersome blacklisting: If your website has been hacked, search engines like Google might have already discovered the breach, and blacklisted your site. This means your website will show up against a warning in the search engine. Some browsers let users know if they are at risk from a potential threat associated with your website. You might even find that your web host has detected the breached website, and simply taken it offline.
Suspicious spikes…: Are you suddenly getting many more visits to your website, or to a particular page? This may be the result of a fantastic marketing campaign – in which case, good for you! But it could also indicate that hackers are exploiting your site for their own purposes, pushing people to their site, using your web domain.
..and dubious dips: As well as big rises in traffic to your website, sudden decreases compared to what you would usually see is an indication that your site has been attacked. This might be because your prospective customers have already seen the warning messages on their search engine, or more worryingly, they might have tried to click on your link and immediately been redirected to somewhere unpleasant.
Catastrophic code: Hackers often break the code of a website when they’re getting up to no good. This can leave visible clues, such as stray bits of code that you know shouldn’t be there, pages not looking right, fragments of code appearing on the website pages themselves, or strange words nestled in existing text where you might not immediately see it.
Untrustworthy users: You might find that your content management system has gained a new authorised user who you don’t recognise from your company. If this is the case, it could be a sign that a hacker has added themselves.
I don’t have any of these so has my website been hacked ?
Maybe! However it would be unprofessional to say for sure without checking. Website hacks can go undetected for weeks, and the bad news is that hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses.
The good news is that we can find out for sure, and it’s a completely free service. If we find evidence of hacking, we can fix your site for you within an hour.
My website was hacked so how can I stay safe in the long term?
Of course the better alternative to checking for existing hacks, is to have the peace of mind of complete protection from the get-go. Our SharkGate software provides full, ongoing protection, helping to guard your site from all known and emerging web application threats.
Are you asking ‘Has my website been hacked ?’ Want to take your company’s security up a step? Take a look at our new Premium service – offering a dedicated account manager, a daily security review and other VIP features.
Find out more about OneHourSiteFix and SharkGate here.