Xmas is the time for giving, ho ho ho 🙂 and this year I decided to help others by telling of an (unpleasant) experience I had with some of my web sites recently and how I was able to fix it with the help of some other kind people on the Internet (thanks!) 🙂

It all started when my Google Webmaster tools told me my sites were currently “unsafe”, the *exact* error message 😉 was something like  “Your site may have been hacked… social engineering, blah blah blah… has been detected on your site”  I was shocked! I thought my sites were secure.

I immediately started researching the problem and discovered that my type of hacking problem was that my Hosting company’s server had been hacked and that had ‘infected’ all of the sites on the same server.  You can read up about this sort of problem here its called Malware infection type: Server configuration

It seems that another user on the same server had either been hacked or had set up some social engineering software on his/her site and that through a server configuration exploit had made it appear to Google’s search engine that all sites on the same server were infected.

I contacted my Hosting provider and gave them the information I had discovered.  It took them nearly a week to respond! 😦 and even then there was no ‘we are sorry’ just a ‘we have banned the user concerned and suspended his/her account!’  I guess they did not read their own promotional material about their top notch security on their shared hosting web servers 😉

This problem came after a reasonably long line of recent technical issues with my Hosting company and I have decided to part company with them ;-P   More about them in a future Blog I think, in the interests of other people not having the same sort of problems for having believed the marketing hype when I took out a contract for the services I currently have with them *sigh*

I just got sick of hearing the ‘you are on shared hosting, you need to buy a VPS for $x,000 / year’ pitch every time I reported an issue.

Anyway, back to the topic of the Blog, after the rogue account was suspended I was able to convince Google to take another look at my (now very) clean web sites and they took down the site is unsafe warnings.

Hopefully this does not happen to you but if it does there is a web site that I would also recommend – Red Leg’s web site which can help you check your site and find ways to fix it. I used the ‘is flagged’ feature.  Thanks Red Leg and Merry Xmas 🙂

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