Home page (index.html) hacked

  grumpy-git 10:37 09 Feb 2009

Just had the shock of my life to see my home page overwritten.

Won't say what it said or what it advertised, as I don't want to "promote" whatever it is.

Have just e-mailed my web host informing them of time & date the page was uploaded. Probably a good idea to change my password as well.

Any other suggestions? Are these sort of incidents a 1 off?


  Kemistri 13:55 09 Feb 2009

It's a shock when it first happens. There are three common possible causes, and you need to investigate them to prevent a repeat:

Your FTP password may been grabbed one of the examples of malware that are design specifically for that purpose. No security software has 100% detection - it's not practically possible.

If you have a shared server, as most people do, someone else's server space was compromised to an extent that allowed access to your account, which can easily happen if the host's own security measures are not good enough. This can be spotted if other sites with the same host are also hacked. If you can find evidence for this, move to another host.

Your PHP scripts are not up to scratch security-wise and someone with the skill to do it was able to exploit that. Similarly, your php.ini file may need some adjustment. If you have any PHP programs on your server but you don't have a php.ini file, you need one!

The last option is the most common method of hacking websites.

  grumpy-git 14:38 09 Feb 2009

Kemistri, thanks for the reply

Yes, it is a shared server.

I've also changed my ftp password as well as my ISP log in password. Using upper & lower case & numerics, so nothing comparable to a normal word.

No php files in root of web space, but do have phpbb & Coppermine software installed in their own folders & they seem OK. Also, that software is the most recent version, I always update when new versions are released.


  Kemistri 16:24 09 Feb 2009

PHP doesn't have to be in any particular location to be vulnerable, but at least you have the latest builds. That is vital with any open code.

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