Friday, July 25, 2008

Google Warning Removed

update 1/2009 - this post appplies to the former ButterHomes.com website (http://www.butterhomes.com).  The current website you're reading (ThePhoenixAgents.com) has never been hacked, hijacked, or seen any other nefarious activity..

Apparently there have been quite a few people whose websites have been hacked in a similar fashion. I don't know how somebody placed their own code into my site, but I do know what problems it caused and how I was able to fix it.

Here's what Google was reporting. (click the icons to see a larger views).



















Having my website hacked feels very unnerving, frustrating, confusing, and aggravating. It's almost as if I was personally violated. Not only did it cause me to lose 3 days' work while trying to fix it, I lost a great deal of traffic over the last couple of weeks, which is potential business. All things considered, I was lucky on this one. The code was not malicious in its intent, thankfully. My computer didn't crash, my personal information wasn't compromised, and I didn't do damage to anybody else's systems. But that's only because whoever hacked me didn't have these intentions.

Somebody placed a little bit of code into the middle of one two of my previous posts. Not a comment or an email, but into the post itself. It didn't show up in the blog view; only in the html code. Buried into the center of the post's content was a small piece of code which began and ended with the words "Traffic Statistics."

One way to find and clear this problem is to open each post in the html view, and look for this code. I have over 500 posts, so I tried something different. I exported my database to a file, opened it in notepad, and searched my entire blog all at once for all occurrences of this phrase. I was able to tell right away that 2 posts had been infected, and which posts they were.

Special Thanks! to Heather Barr for helping me to pinpoint the key phrase. Heather's anti-virus software gave her a more specific warning than my McAfee program (maybe time for a change?).

Big Thank You! to Scott Hendison for writing a detailed account of his story with the same problem, and the exact code to search for.

Another Thank You! to my friends & cyber-friends who cared enough to point the problem out to me.

Your glad that's over with Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] Google warning, traffic statistics, hacking [/tags]