A Complete Guide on How to Fix a Hacked Joomla Website
If your Joomla website is showing a dark background with unknown links, ads, or it is redirecting you to the spam, your site has been attacked. Yes, these are several signs which reflect a hacked website, or if you are lucky enough, you will get a message from your host support about the infected files and attack. In this post, you will know about how to fix a hacked Joomla website and make it more secure to prevent attackers.
There is no need to worry as you should know that Joomla is the second most popular CMS, which is often targeted by the attackers. All you need to do is follow the steps given below, or you can take help from your support team.
Identify the Hack
- Now you know about the signs that a website has been hacked, it’s time to locate the malicious payloads and infected files. You can scan your hacked site by visiting the SiteCheck website. After examining the site, check the warning message generated by the scanner and write down the locations and payloads.
- Now, check the modified files, including your core Joomla files. The easiest and quickest way to confirm the original Joomla core files by using diff command in terminal. You can also check your data through SFTP.
- After this, inspect your Joomla user accounts, including the administrators. Delete all the suspicious users, which is created by the attacker to avoid any future attack.
Fix the Hacked Website
- As you have found out that your Joomla website has been converted into a malware website, it’s time to cure it. When the scanner has detected the malicious files, locate these files in your Joomla website server, and remove the malware. You can replace malicious files with the clean and latest backups or official sources of legitimate files.
- After cleaning the files, you need to clean the hacked database tables to ensure a clean website. Login to your database admin panel and search for any malicious content like weird links, keywords, etc.
- Go to the database table, which contains suspicious content, and remove them manually. Also, remove any uploaded database access tool, and test the website to verify if it operational or not after the changes
- An attacker always creates multiple back doors to re-enter into your website. These doors are included in the files that look like legitimate files of Joomla framework but located in the wrong directories like /components, templates, or modules. Delete these files by comparing them with the well-known core files.
- Generally, webspam authorities like Google, Yandex, McAfee, etc. block your hacked website to ensure the safety of surfer. You need to request a review after you or your team has fixed the hack. Ensure a cleaned and risk-free site before you request the review as Google allows only one review in 30 days.
- Don’t take a sigh of relief after fixing the hack as now you should fix the issues that caused your Joomla website to be hacked. Always keep your software up-to-date as it is one of the primary reasons which cause infection that leads to the hacking of your site. You should update all Joomla files, including components, modules, plugins, and core files.
- Reset all the passwords to ensure robust security against the attack, which can cause reinfection. You can change your passwords by logging into your site and click the Users menu item and change the password. You can use the same step to change the passwords of each user account.
- Reduce the number of administrators and super-administrators accounts in your website system. You should only give access to the people who are in the job and need to access the things. Joomla offers you two-factor authentication on user accounts, and you can enable it by following the steps mentioned below.
- Enter into your Joomla Website and choose User’s Menu item.
- Open user account and click on Two Factor Authentication and enable 2FA for each account.
The Final Words
Securing a website is not an easy task as you have to be cautious every time to protect it from bad guys. You can also pass on this task to some famous companies like Cwatch, which does the job for you and provides you the best service.