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Help! My Joomla Website Has Been Hacked!

Darn it.

So you think your Joomla website has been hacked. In all probability, if you have not made any changes to you code, uploaded any plugins, or changed your theme, you are on to something.

Joomla hacks are very common, and in previous versions, there have been many reports of hacking by popular Joomla exploits, especially with Joomla versions lower than 1.57. However, like any other website, there are always some vulnerabilities.

I would like to impart some common Joomla security measures that can help ward off any unwanted attention to your website. But first, you may be wondering how you can tell whether your Joomla website has been hacked.

See if any of the following signs apply to you:

  • Automatic redirects to other pages
  • Strange content or links on your website
  • When opening page on the website, the browser asks for permission to download a plugin
  • You cannot login to your Joomla backend anymore
  • Your pages and posts have been deleted. This indicates that the database was hacked
  • Your website has been sandboxed by search engines
  • Your webpages are displaying database errors
  • You see a ‘file not found’ error when trying to access a webpage. This may be due to a page being deleted
  • When checking the source code, you see some strange JavaScript
  • You see some extra files in your website directories
  • Your template files have been recently modified (index.php, .htaccess, etc…)

What To Do

This is not an exhaustive list, but if you experience any of these on your website, you can contact us through JoomlaHelpLive’s custom ticketing system. Many of our clients come to us with hacked Joomla websites, as we are experts with anything related to Joomla. Once your website has been hacked, there is no easy way to recover, but once we get your website back to normal, there are preventative measures you can take so that it doesn’t happen again.

How To Help Prevent Another Hack Attack

Hackers has many ways to attack a website. One way that has worked very well with Joomla 1.55 and lower versions is an exploit software that will decipher the password. This is called ‘brute force’. It is always best to upgrade to the latest version of Joomla, as well as upgrade any plugins and themes.

The length of a password is more important than its complexity. Complexity is so that other people cannot remember your password easily, but a longer password will help prevent brute force software from deciphering your password. Also, Brute force software will assume that your username is ‘admin’, so be sure to change it in the user account manager.

Installing Joomla For Maximum Security

1. When installing Joomla, there are certain security settings that can be tweaked to help boost security:
2. When installing the database, change the ‘.jos’ table prefix to something else.
3. Never use root for the database username. Instead, login to phpmyadmin, and add a new user with all administrator privileges unchecked.
4. Set the database username to the user you added in phpmyadmin.
5. After the installation is complete, change the default username (admin), to a username that cannot easily be guessed.
6. If you are to install any extensions, check the vulnerable extensions list on the Joomla website.

Where To Go From Here

When you submit a support form to JoomlaHelpLive, a dedicated manager will contact you within 1 hour to ensure that your website is back to normal promptly. We understand that a hacked website can be a rather stressful situation, but our team will help put you at ease as we are experts in this kind of situation. We will let you know what went wrong, and how it might be prevented in the future. Let us know how we can help!

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