Hacked off

Fuck you (Fuck you), fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So, please don’t stay in touch

Bloody hackers…

I went to look at something on my website the other day and I ended up somewhere else! I’m not quite sure what the page I ended up at was meant to be but it was obvious that my site had been hacked. It happened before about 4 years ago and I ended up re-doing the way my site was ran and based it all on a WordPress installation. Now I was worried that all the hard work I had put into doing the site was all going to be lost. I looked at the old pages I had uploaded and they seemed to be working ok so it was obviously something to do with the WordPress installation.

I guessed that the best thing to try and do was to re-install everything using the back ups I had downloaded. The only problem was that I hadn’t done a back up for nearly a year but having said that much of what I’d done was from the time before the last backup so I would lose some but not all of the site. Ot was better than nothing. I tried with the last back up and it threw up an error message. I used the one before and it did the same. I then contacted GoDaddy my website host for help. The man there suggested download a back up and the running it through the virus checker on my mac and if it was fine then uploading that file. I did and again it threw up an error message. I gave up for the day!

The next day I rang GoDaddy – the man there was very helpful and told me that they could sort it all out for me! He explained that they could apply a malware checker but I’d have to have it on both sites and eventually the came out and told me that the cost would be £93 for 3 months – I just laughed! There’s a small (cynical) part of me that wonders if the malware wasn’t added deliberately so that they can sell their virus checking service! I mean if one in three people bite then that is a lot of cash – almost like a sales drive! Anyway the issue was soved when the line went dead.

I then took a deep breath and reset my site hoping that the errors caused in the back up were because of the virus. After the reset I tried again but again I had the error message. I spoke to GoDaddy again and was told that I could re-install my site manually but it was tricky! Anyway to cut a long story short I found a webpage that was very helpful and was able to get it all back up and running to the state it was in in May last year. Obviously some things were missing but it was working. I had to install WordPress on the site and then go into phpmyadmin on the control panel and import the old mysql database. This gave me the layout and text of the site (although I had to re-intstall the theme.)Then I had to manually upload all the images into their various places in the wp-content/uploads directory. Once I’d done that it was all running ok. I did the same for the second website and then did a back up of all of the site (who know if this would actually work if I need to re-install it).

Once I’d downloaded that I got to thinking about what was missing – the thing that pissed me off most was the loss of the comment John Otway left on my site! Although I later found I’d also lost the tribute to Jubbly the crazy cat and a few other webpages. I then thought – sod it, in for a penny, in for a pound and used the back up I made yesterday! I figured that now I knew how to reset it I knew I could do it again so if it went wrong I just start again. I went into the phpmyadmin and imported the mysql database from yesterday and to my delight it all worked. I still had to upload the rest of the pictures but so far it’s running ok. I’ve changed the passwords on the site to computer generated ones which should be harder to hack. So hopefully we should be ok going forward.

Now I have to question the support given by GoDaddy – this is the second time I have had them attempt to sell me a solution rather than help me resolve an issue. Then the advice that manually restoring the site was a bit tricky – I mean what sort of technical support is that? The only thing anyone did that was helpful was to suggest I download a back up yesterday – I would never have considered that as the site was hacked but in the end it saved a lot of content on the re-install!

I must do back up more often!