Steps to Recover from a Malware Infection

Recover from a Malware InfectionHas your website been hacked? Is Google reporting that your Website has been infected with Malware? Rest easy, this can be fixed! Use this guide to recover from a Google Malware Attack.

How Do You Know If Your Website Has Been Infected?

Google will take the following actions when it believes a Website has been hacked or infected with malware:

  • Google will put a hacked flag on the suspected site within their ranking database.
  • Google will remove the site from ranking competitively by suppressing it in keyword searches.
  • Google will attempt to contact the site owner at of the possible email addresses associated with the site.
  • Google will send out a warning through the Website's Google Webmaster Tools account, if the affected site is verified in Google.
  • Google will report the site to StopBadWare.com and the site is included in their Badware Site Clearinghouse.

Hacked Notice

Google may or may not take all of the above actions. It seems to vary depending on the site and the severity of the infection. In fact, some Website owners may not realize their site is infected until they search for their site in the index OR they are notified by users of the flag in search results.

Steps to Take to Recover from a Malware Infection

Change or FTP access codes or CMS access codes
Also notify your system administrator or hosting provider and make sure they show no security breaches that could have affected your site directly.

Check your Webmaster Tools Account for a Malware warning
When on the dashboard screen, select Lbasa from the left hand menu then select Malware Details. Follow all the instructions if a malware is detected.

Use tools to help identify the infection
Remember that you may or may not be able to find injected malware code visually. In Webmaster Tools, use the Fetch as Googlebot to view pages. This will help in checking your pages for Malware code.

Review your entire Website and remove the file or code infections you find
If you use a CMS such as Wordpress or Joomla, you should review your themes and plugins as well as your server permissions to help identify injected code or malicious commands.

Read the best practices against hacking post
This post is published by the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog in February, 2009.

Visit the Malware & Hacked Sites help forum on Google Webmaster Central
Ask for a Website review from the community. Inform the forum users what happened, what actions you took, and ask them to verify if they see anything else.

A final option is to seek professional assistance
A site like this offers professional Google malware removal services. Do your research thoroughly before you sign-up with this or any other firm.

My Website Has Been Cleaned. Now What?

Steps to Recover from a Malware Infection

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When you are confident your Website is now malware free, its time to request a review. Log into your Webmaster Tools account, select Health, then Malware and finally Request a Review. Your request may take up to three full weeks so be patient. Google will notify you when the review is underway.

Robert Valcourt
Feb 12, 2013
By Robert Valcourt

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