Our mission at Sucuri is to make the internet a safer place and that entails cleaning up hacked websites. We have teams who actively research website vulnerabilities and who are eager to share with you some tips on how to clean your hacked website.
We are happy to help the community learn the steps they can follow to get rid of a website hack.
You can find all our guides to website security in a section of our website dedicated to providing concise and comprehensive tips on different areas of website security.
There, you will also find guides on how to clean the major CMS websites. You can access them here:
This year we decided to create a guide that can be used by anyone who has a website, no matter if you use a CMS or not.
A Guide to Fix Hacked Websites
Our content, web design, and development teams have put together a brand new guide to walk users through the process of identifying and clearing a website hack, as well as ensuring post-hack actions are taken.
This guide will offer an appropriate foundation for resolving a security incident.
Read the Guide Now!
Get Help or Contribute
We look forward to receiving feedback on the guide so we can continue to improve it. These guides are integral to our vision of becoming a constant in the evolving landscape of website security. We can’t do that without you, our community of loyal blog readers.
To make this guide even more valuable, we welcome insights from everyone. If you find it useful and want to suggest an update, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with us by emailing: email@example.com
If you have difficulty with the guide and want a hand we are here to help you. If you are ready to add a complete website security solution to your websites and not worry about being hacked anymore, take your time to learn how we can help you fix and prevent any hacks.
Teens are curious. It’s fun to meet and date people they don’t see in the hallways every day. It feels good when someone swipes right and finds them attractive. Flirting is fun.
These are just a few reasons many teens are exploring Tinder these days, the dating app popular in the twenty- and thirty-something crowd.
While Tinder isn’t new (launched in 2012), app trends among teens change constantly, and this is a recent one. We’ve got a lot on our digital radar as parents but apps that match (underaged) users within a defined geographic area get popular, it quickly shoots to the top of our radar. So, let’s take a look.
What’s the Big Deal
Tinder allows users 18 and over to register for nearby “matches” but because Tinder links to Facebook accounts for verification, underage users can easily input a false birthdate to circumvent the rules.
To tweens and teens, chatting with people nearby sounds fun, but to parents, the app opens the door to anything from pedophiles to bullies to stalkers to abuse. From a parent’s point of view, when the dating pool widens, so too do the risks. High school students are not immune from abuse. In fact, according to LoveIsRespect.org, every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner; one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
Tinder allows users to connect three main social accounts: Spotify, Instagram, and Facebook, which can easily put personal information into the hands of the wrong people. Users are also encouraged to give the name of their High School and their workplace to further refine matching.
While our first thought is physical danger, using dating apps too early also threatens a child’s emotional health and confuses their still-developing social and interpersonal skills. The risk of heartbreak, betrayal, and emotional abuse can be devastating for kids who aren’t ready to date — let alone wisely discern an endless pool of possible matches.
Too, there’s no shortage on Tinder of teens making it clear that they are just looking for a “hookup” or a “good time.” So, allowing tweens into that arena before they are ready can carry huge emotional and physical consequences.
Dating apps can also distort your child’s understanding of a worthy partner and reinforce looks-based relationships. If choosing a mate is as natural as swiping left (don’t like) and swiping right (like), then the hope of someday meeting “the one” could become a whole lot more difficult, if not impossible. And how much easier can your child’s uniqueness and worth be overlooked with just a swipe? Using dating apps before you are ready is an emotional wreck waiting to happen.
Monitor apps. Check your child’s phone for the Tinder app icon (see below). Don’t forget: Kids hide apps behind vault apps that may look like a game, a calculator, or a safe. So, do some clicking. If you discover your son or daughter is using Tinder ask them why and have them walk you through how they use it personally. Discuss the reasons against using the app, listen to their reasoning, decide on a family plan moving forward. If they are under 18, consider having them delete the app.
Factors such as age and maturity will, no doubt, affect every family’s dating app plan. My daughter is almost 18, a high school senior, and heading to college in a blink. So, my conversation will be dramatically different from the parent of a 13-year-old.
Discuss the bigger picture. In a swipe right culture, values can quickly vanish. If you allow your child to date, discuss his or her relationship values. What makes a person attractive? What character traits do you desire? What expectations do you have of a relationship?
Look beyond profiles. Advise your teen to do some sleuthing and look beyond a person’s Tinder profile for red flags revealing inconsistencies in truthfulness and character. Tinder warns: “Bad actors often push people to communicate off the platform immediately. It’s up to you to research and do your due diligence.”
Set up ground rules. Face-t0-face meetings with a stranger outside of Tinder (or any online platform) should be in a public location. Your child should always drive his or her vehicle and have their phone fully charged. Make sure inform you of who they are meeting with and where.
Kids establishing online friendships is here to stay. Some of your child’s best friends will likely be found online. Dating apps aren’t “bad,” but people can be careless and abusive when using them. And, using dating apps under 18, as many kids are doing today, only invites premature risk.
Remember, a digital connection may not have been the way you met friends or love interests in your day, but it’s a natural channel today. Be open to the social shift but equally alert and willing to exercise full-throttle parenting to keep your kids safe.
Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @McAfee_Family. (Disclosures).
WordCamp Orange County, CA, 2018 will take place June 9-10. In addition to the regular WordCamp format of speakers sharing their knowledge, there is also a mini-event called Plugin-A-Palooza. This year marks the fourth contest where plugin authors will compete for one of three prizes.
First Place – $3,000 cash and 1 Sucuri Business (VIP) license
Second Place – $1,500 cash and 1 Sucuri Business (VIP) license
Third Place – $500 cash
Teams will be judged live based on the following criteria:
User Experience/User Interface
Presentation of the plugin on WordPress.org.
Teams can have up to three participants, are required to build their own plugin, and upload it to the WordPress plugin directory by May 18th. Teams will present their plugins to the judges and audience on June 10th.
Previous winners and plugins include:
Bridget Willard, WordCamp Orange County organizer, says the event encourages innovation and personal development which are important parts of WordCamps. “The first plugin that won was WPRollback by WordImpress,” she said. “It’s widely used in the community now. We’d love to see other camps doing this.”
If you’re interested in participating in Plugin-A-Palooza at WordCamp Orange County this year, you’ll need to fill out this entry form. The deadline for submissions is March 5th.
In computer science, a vulnerability is considered to be a zero-day vulnerability if it’s unknown to all parties interested in patching it, such as:
The team maintaining the project
The users of the project
Vulnerability researchers are the good guys – people who won’t take advantage of the vulnerability for their own gain and who will exercise responsible disclosure.
Let’s illustrate this concept with a small example.
Zero-Day Vulnerability Example
Let’s say I’m the only maintainer of a WordPress premium plugin with a small user base and I recently rolled out an update containing a vulnerability to all my plugin users.
In this example, I don’t have code audits by other developers, which is really bad, and this vulnerability was not picked up by neither my manual or automatic tests. To complement this bad scenario, not a single user of my plugin cared enough to audit the new code either. So this vulnerability is just sitting there, unnoticed.
Is this a zero-day vulnerability? Yes, it is!
If an attacker learns about this vulnerability, it won’t change anything since the attacker won’t be interested in the patching of it; however, they will be interested in exploiting it.
This last turn in our hypothetical scenario is actually common in real life and helps us see with clarity the enormous risk zero-day vulnerabilities introduce to our website.
As in our last example, when the bad actors learn about a security vulnerability before the project’s maintainers, users, and vulnerability researchers do, things can get ugly really fast.
Attackers love zero-day vulnerabilities because, with no security patch to stop them, the only thing in their way is the level of exploitability the vulnerability allows. Some vulnerabilities require a certain amount of privileges in order to be exploited – but then again, this depends on the vulnerability.
Attackers are really proactive when it comes to testing if a website is vulnerable or not to specific attack vectors. If this wasn’t enough, attackers are also big fans of automatization, which allows them to scan the internet looking for websites matching specific vulnerabilities and conditions.
How to Protect and Recover Your Website from Zero-Day Attacks
We can hit you all day with pieces of advice on how to keep all your software updated, how to only install what’s necessary because every piece of code added to your system has the potential to be a risk, or how to keep file permissions really tight on your web server and others. You can read about the top 10 tips to improve your website security here.
The truth is that those security best practices should be complemented with other security controls in order to reduce the attack surface even more!
WAFs (Website Application Firewalls) are great to prevent zero-day vulnerability exploitations because they leverage defensive mechanisms that allow them to block the behavior that is known to be malicious.
It’s important to acknowledge the fact that WAFs are not perfect and can be bypassed when a zero-day vulnerability exploits an attack vector that is not yet handled by any of the WAF’s rules. These cases are really rare, and part of our job as a security company is to keep our WAF always ahead of emerging threats. In fact, we’re very proud to say that when we discover a zero-day vulnerability being exploited in the wild, more often than not, the Sucuri Firewall was already blocking it.
It makes a lot of sense, however, to have a plan in case your website gets hacked.
Recovering a Hacked Website
You can read our guide on How to Clean a Hacked Website for a better understanding of the steps involved to restore your website back to normal.
Remember that recovering your site from a hack is easy when you have a dedicated security team you can count on. However, if you don’t have a plan at all, it can be very difficult to address a security breach.
If you believe your website has been compromised by a zero-day attack and need assistance cleaning up your website, we’re always happy to help.
Our researchers work day and night to be ahead of website threats so that you don’t have to worry about it anymore. If you are looking for a robust website security solution, we offer you a complete platform.