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Website owners are always concerned about the stuff displayed on their websites. They always ensure that the right and accurate content reaches their users. But, along with the correct content, one should also be concerned about the security of their website. Hackers always keep an eye to hack the potential website and get their purpose done. They seep into a website cleverly and get all the vital information from your website. They also use multiple ways to hack your website and get the required information. Hence, one should be aware of different hacking methods and their side effects.
What is a Gibberish Hack?
The gibberish hack is a method in which the hackers create multiple irrelevant pages with keywords. These pages are filled with nonsensical sentences and keywords. Hence, they top the Google search results. This unknowingly leads a user to open those pages after which they are directed to a malicious website like a porn site. This helps the hacker to earn money. Sometimes these links are hidden in a folder composed of various characters and languages.
How to identify such a type of hack?
To identify the hack one needs to have a look at the Security Issues tool in Google’s Search Console. This helps to know if Google has discovered any such pages on your website. There’s one more way to find such malicious pages by opening the Google search bar and typing site:_your site url_, along with the root level URL of your website. This helps to identify the safe as well as hacked pages indexed by Google for your website. Flip through these pages to identify unusual URLs. If you don’t find any hacked content on this search engine, try the same thing one another search engine.
The moment an individual clicks on the link mentioned in such malicious pages then the user is redirected to a malicious site. The site might include irrelevant content or pages full of gibberish codes. There are also times when one might see a message like, ‘the page does not exist, 404 error’. But, hackers cloak the malicious content and compel users to continue on the unsafe page. One can also identify cloaking with the help of Inspect URL Tool. The Fetch as Google tool helps to identify cloaking. All such issues identify that your website has been suffering from Gibberish Hack.
How to fix this hack?
The first step advised towards the recovery from this hack is an offline backup. It is advised to back up all the files of the website in a location apart from your server. This helps to keep you safe in case of any data loss. If you use a CMS for your website then it is advised to back up your database as well.
The next step suggests checking your .htaccess files. The process can be done in 2 steps, let us have a look at them:
- Locate the .htaccess file on your website. You will find multiple .htaccess files depending on your website. Make a list of all the file locations.
- Replace all the .htaccess files with their default version. The sites with multiple .htaccess files are advised to replace all of them with their default versions.
Remove Other Malicious Files
Finding malicious files isn’t a cakewalk. It takes several hours to identify them. Though it is a time-consuming process one should not haste and find every suspicious file to get rid of it. It is also recommended to have a backup of your files in case of any data loss. To understand the backup procedure one can search ‘back up site’ on Google and then type your CMS to understand the procedure. This will help you to get rid of all the malicious files and clean the site completely.
Re-checking the Website
Once the website has completed the cleaning process one can re-check if any errors are remaining or not. One can check the unidentified pages on Fetch as Google Tool. If the tool doesn’t find any such suspicious pages then you are going to go and get rid of vulnerabilities.
Steps to Avoid Re-hacking
- Scan your system regularly
- Change your passwords regularly
- Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for extra safety
- Update your CMS, plugins, extensions, and modules regularly
- Subscribe to a security service for regular cleaning of your website
The following write-up is an explanation of Gibberish Hack and the steps to prevent it. The hack can completely ruin your website and ruin your business’s reputation. Hence, the write-up can guide you quickly to get rid of the hack and the steps to follow after recovery from the hack.