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My site got HACKED!!! What do I do??

So this story is a true, but sad one...yes my site, got hacked!  Over the past several years I have walked my clients through what to do when their own site gets hacked, but for myself, who am I to call?  So I figure I might as well put it all out there, to help others...and don't be the shoemaker with holes in their shoes!  Because basically late last night that is exactly what I felt like!

1. How do you know if your site is hacked?

If your site starts acting strangely, or you see unknown content on your site then it is likely someone from somewhere was 'playing with it'.  Visit: and put in your URL.  This site is what hosting companies use to determine what has happened to a site.

2. How do I fix it?

Step 1: Contact your hosting company immediately, let them know and ask them:

a. do they have a backup from before you were hacked, could be from a day ago, or a few weeks ago, ask them to restore this backup

b. do they have an agreement with sitelock or sucuri, or any other company that you can pay for to clean up the site quickly?

Step 2: If your hosting company is no help, now what?

a. You can pay sucuri $200 for a year's membership and they will clean up your site right away

b. If you have a backup through akeeba (a .jpa file), you can use kickstart to install that, or have a joomla developer install that for you.

3. What to do moving forward???

Step 1: KEEP BACKUPS!!! 

a. Use Akeeba at least once a month, create the backup, and store it on your LOCAL computer

b. Speak with your hosting company, they should keep hundreds of backups for you AUTOMATICALLY, siteground for example has an area that I can go to in order to restore a backup in a few minutes (a beautiful thing)

Step 2: Keep your site secure

a. You can use a product like on your website which will always scan your site and remove viruses, malware, etc

b. Use, this does not check for malware, but you can run checks manjally, and this tool you can use to keep all components and joomla updated at all times (I use this for my clients)

c. Use RSFirewall, this product is not free, but it adds another layer of security to your site

Step 3: Did I say KEEP BACKUPS!!

Again, if you have a backup to go to, then the 'hack' can never hurt you too much

Step 4: Keep current on Components, Modules, Plugins and Joomla

It is essential that you always have the most uptodate tools on your site.  Any 3rd party tool, template, module, plugin could make you 'vulnerable' to get hacked.  But remember by keeping current means that somethings can break without you knowing...