My Blog was Hacked!

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Well, I guess it was finally time - my blog was hacked!

A couple of weeks ago I sat down to write a blog post (the Pez post just before this one). This was a sponsored paid post, and for a new-to-me PR person, so I really wanted to get it done well and in on schedule.

So I went to the login page for my Wordpress admin dashboard and was greeted by a completely blank screen with four "j"s across the top.

"Shit, that's weird," I thought. So I refreshed the page. Same result.

I checked the site and it looked fine, but I couldn't even get to my admin dashboard to check the back end. Then, like magic, I did get a log in screen, but my password didn't work. And I wasn't getting the password reset emails.

My blog was hacked!

Obviously I did get my blog back, and here's how.

1. I logged into my hosting panel at GoDaddy to check the mysql database. In there I went to "wp_users" and on browsing saw that someone had changed the email and password. So I changed them again to my specifications.

2. I called GoDaddy to report the hack. They walked me through a full database restore to 14 days prior to the hack.

3. I installed a security plugin - Wordfence for security and scanning/repairing hacked files is a must!

4. I deleted all extraneous plugin and theme files from my server, and made sure all those tables were gone from the database as well (while that should happen automatically when you delete a plugin from the wp dashboard, it doesn't always work that way).

I caught this hack early, so they hadn't yet changed anything significant. On our other site, Zombie Killing Stoners, they replaced our page with an Islamic Front home page. That was a little more complicated.

(photo by Yuri Yu. Samoilov)