How to recover from the Pharma Hack
Last week, I noticed that the traffic on my site was considerabily down. Putting it down to my not posting enough, I left it for a few days, but then I noticed that it sank even further and so, after a while started digging around on what the issue was. After a little bit of digging and self googling, I noticed that all the titles in my search rankings on Google were completely poked. Suddenly I was selling dodgy pharmecitucals.
Eish ! So I set on to try and see how I could fix this mess. Basically it looks like the “hackers” come in through a plugin on your server, usually Askmiet. They then place rouge files on the server, which write DB entries, which cause the links to change. No physical damage is done, but it really messes with your SEO.
I came across 2 really helpful articles, which both had step by step instructions on how to sort out the issue. You will need a bit of knowledge about WordPress, and access to the DB
- Pearsonfied – http://www.pearsonified.com/2010/04/wordpress-pharma-hack.php
- Sucuri – http://blog.sucuri.net/2010/07/understanding-and-cleaning-the-pharma-hack-on-wordpress.html
I also installed a couple of other plugins, which monitor files which have been changed on your server, as well as tightened up the security as well. Follow this post, for some really great tips & which plugins to use:
Once you have done all the above, and completly removed the hack, you need to get Google to recrawl your site. You can do this through Google Webmaster Tools. Mine is slowly but surely coming right again, but I can honestly say, this has caused more damage that what it is worth :(
I also came across a really cool plugin the other day called BackWPup, which allows you to backup the entire contents and DB of your wordpress install. You can also backup to Dropbox, which is really handy !
If you need a hand cleaning out the Pharma hack, leave a comment below, and I will see where I can help :)