What happens if my site gets hacked or injected with malware?

If your site is acting oddly it doesn’t always mean you have been hacked, but being aware of the possibility is important. There are ways to identify if you have malware or another virus, it is also possible for hackers to breach your data.

Your Website Won’t Load

Getting Server errors (HTTP 500) is an early indicator of something wrong with your site, whether it is malware or an internal issue. After discovering server issues you may also want to look for 401 Unauthorized or 403 Forbidden these errors are related to access issues. If you have not recently changed passwords or permissions this is a good indicator of a potential hacker.

You Can’t Log Into Your Admin Dashboard

If you cannot log in to your admin dashboard such as WordPress, first try resetting your password, if you do not receive the emails or see an error message “Error: The username ‘yourusername’ is not registered on this site” there should be a concern as a hacker may have changed the passwords and associated emails.

You Get a Malware Warning Message When You Search for Your Site on Google or When Attempting to Load Your Site

Google Safe Browsing services scan sites for malware and will warn users before they enter a site, if your site is being warned against with this alert, there is a good chance you have been hacked.

Sudden Change in Performance

Even with malware present your site may still load, but irregularly long load times or timeout errors can often be a warning sign, this is usually a sign that your server is being overloaded. This can be caused by a hacking attempt, a faulty plugin, or something else as well.

You’ve Been Notified of a Problem by Your Security Plugin

Security plugins can help you in the fight against malicious programs and hackers, a good security plugin will log who signs in and where they signed in. If for example, an unknown user appears in the security logs, realizing that you did not authorize a user by this name to have access to your site, you become aware of a security breach.