I spent yesterday afternoon helping a customer who’s WordPress website was hacked. She’d done everything right. Her login was not admin. She had a tough password. The WordPress software was current. Despite all these efforts her website was hacked.
The website owner emailed me later and asked, “What the heck is the matter with people?” It’s a good question. Hackers are oblivious to the heartache that they cause small business owners.
There is a silver lining though. As I worked the issue I went, as I always do, to my friend Google. With every new discovery I’d type in a symptom of the hack. Password changed. Website title changed. 404 page rewritten. Eventually I found a forum post discussing a similar hack. About a dozen people worked this issue five months ago. They talked about where the hacked code was in the WordPress database and in the WordPress files. They documented what worked and didn’t work. They discussed possible causes. All of their hard work saved me hours of time. Because of their advice, I was better able to fix the problem. And hopefully, with their help, I’ve managed to lock the hacker out.
Next week I’ll write more about the hack and what helped. Maybe it will save someone else time and money. In the meantime, I’m so grateful for the help of my fellow bloggers and developers. They remind me about all that’s right with people.