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Hosting problems

If my day couldn’t be made any worse, I’m currently going through hosting problems.

I believe that my hosts web server has been compromised in some way or another. Whatever the case, my websites search engine rankings have severely been disrupted because of problems which I believe are to do with my host.

So what is the problem?

Digital Point (Online web forum) has this keyword tracker for search engines which monitor your websites ranking in search engine results for particular keywords. To see updated keywords (I.e. how your keywords are doing for the current day) you have click a refresh button so the latest results can be checked in the search engines. I did this today. I found that for all if not most of my keywords I had been monitoring had been de-listed altogether from multiple search engines including Google; my main source of traffic. I then checked why, on the Google Webmaster Tool website and found that my website has been de-listed since it contained files linking to a phishing website. Naturally I thought my website had been compromised. The apparent phishing website which appeared to be under all my domain names under my shared hosting account in a particular sub directory were websites which were asking for confidential information. (Such as bank details)  – Plus it was a direct copy (Design-wise) of a large legitimate website.

I looked for the files in my directories. — They weren’t there.

I then went on my hosts support desk and opened a ticket telling them of this problem. I then find a review page (A page where people had reviewed my web host) and tested to see if others were also facing a similar if not the same problem. As I couldn’t find the files from that phishing sub-directory on my website, so in my head I thought of several possibilities:

1. My DNS had be compromised. Or my files pertaining to redirects had been modified. (.htaccess)

2. My host had been compromised.

3. All my websites had been compromised. (Unlikely)

Going back to the review page (Reviews of my web host), people had posted links to their websites hosted with my host. (Which I won’t name) I used the links or peoples websites to see if they had the same problem, as I said above. Instead of my domain name in the URL, I replaced it with theirs and with the corresponding phishing directory.

i.e.: http://www.domainame/~blindsp/goss/gtwpages/

By Jove I had found out from this that my hosts server had been compromised and that it wasn’t a security flaw in any of my websites. It was in fact my web hosts fault.

I’m still waiting for them to fix this issue and then I’ll probably have a go at them as this has cost me dearly in search engine positioning rankings. I was the top 10 for some very highly used keywords and now I’ve been marked down by Google because of the phishing website which is appearing under my domain names.

This is just horrible. I hope they fix it soon and I have some real concessions if my host can’t provide me with an explanation which I find satisfactory. I may just jump ship to a more reliable provider as I do not like the idea of staying with a host whose server has been compromised with me having to report this compromise to them. This has also possibly affected thousands of other websites out there if there are that many on this server.

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