A local authority contacted me recently about their website, which had been infected with malware. As a result, they had been blacklisted by Google and if you tried to access the site using Google Chrome, you would just get a warning about the site being infected with malware. It was still possible to search for the site using other search engines and access it using other browsers. In some ways this made things even worse as, potentially, this could allow the site to infect the visitors computer.
I am very pleased to be able to report that, within a couple of days, working in partnership with Sucuri, I was able to clean the site and remove the blacklisting. The client was delighted:
"Delighted! you've accomplished something in a week that we've been trying to resolve for months."
Not only has the site been cleaned and returned to active duty, it has also been hardened against any future attacks.
One issue still remains. Emails to BT email addresses have, quite separately, started to be blocked; apparently due to spam being sent from the website’s domain. Once again I have invoked Sucuri’s help to remove the blacklisting but I am currently looking into whether this was a spin-off from the website infection or whether is was just poorly written website code (I did not produce this website) that allowed it to be used for spamming.
I am happy to say that I will be re-writing the website and looking after it in future. There are many tools around now that make it very easy to produce a website that looks elegant but, without the knowledge and experience of a professional web builder, it is unlikely that important aspects such as security have been properly considered. Once a website has been blacklisted, it can take years to recover.
If you know of someone who’s website has been blacklisted, or anyone who is concerned about the security of their website, please send them our way. Looking after the security and general hosting of websites is work that we’re always interested in taking on at Route22.