How to Clean a Hacked Drupal Site

Important Steps to Clean a Hacked Drupal Site

Drupal is one of the leading firms managing web content without any hassle. It is highly used by platforms like NGO’s, government, educational institutions, and various such platforms. It is one of the best ways to manage content without any issues and allows one to relax and pay attention to the development of the website in various other ways. But hackers always are in awe to hack the sites they are beneficial from. The traffic generated from the website, visitors to the website and various other beneficial properties from a well-working website is all hackers need to advertise their data. 

Signs to Identify a Hack in a Drupal Site

  • Malicious codes or nodes injected in the search engine
  • Spam keywords
  • Modification in the Drupal integrity files
  • Default files under sites
  • Warning messages by various web search engines
  • Abnormal or slow site operation
  • Suspension of the site by the host due to malicious activities
  • Unknown users in the Drupal dashboard

Steps to Clean a Hacked Drupal Site 

  1. Identify the Malware Location

Scanning the website and identifying the malware helps to know the malware content to be deleted. This also reduces the burden to re-check the malware content and get rid of the malware easily.

  1. Comparison

Compare the hacked files with the original uploaded content. This helps to easily identify the hacked files and codes injected and remove them without any issues. 

  1. Professional Help

Cleaning of Drupal malware at times requires knowledge of PHP language. If you are unaware of it, then it is advised to take the help of a professional to remove the Drupal malicious content. 

Ways to Clean a Drupal Malware Manually

  1. Log in Server

The first step is to log in to the Drupal server with the help of SFTP or SSH. SFTP stands for Safe File Transfer Protocol. It is one of the safest ways to transfer files in a completely safe and secure way.  

  1. Create a Backup

Creating a backup of the hacked files helps to compare the hacked data with the original one. This procedure automatically works as a manual scanner and allows one to compare the malicious content and delete them as well. Hence it is advised to create a backup of the files before making any changes. 

  1. Note the Malicious Files and Payloads

While scanning the hacked and the original content note down the files and the codes that had been hacked. This reduces the burden to scan the website again while following the final procedure to clean the files. 

  1. Search Changed Files

Have a note of the files that have been changed recently. This helps to get an idea of the date of the changed files and also to know the other files that had been changed. 

  1. Review Flagged Files

Review files that had been flagged while scanning the Drupal site. They are the first indicators of hacking. 

  1. Comparison

The step involves cleaning the hacked files with the original data. Hence it is helpful for incomplete malware removal and the get the site back on the search engines. 

  1. Removal of Unfamiliar Codes

Remove unfamiliar codes from custom files for the smooth functioning of the website.

  1. Operationality

Have a check whether the site is accurately operational after the manual changes and removal of malware. If any other issues crop up during this step kindly take professional help to heal the hacked areas and patch the empty ways of the website. They also help to scan the website correctly and allow one to get rid of the malware completely. 

Clean the Hacked Drupal Database Tables

To get the site cleaned completely and securely one also requires to clean the database tables too. Hence have a look at the point mentioned below to clean the database table manually:

  • Open the database admin panel.
  • Make a backup of the database content before making any other changes.
  • Search out the malicious and suspicious content.
  • Open the hacked table.
  • Remove the malicious content from the damaged table.
  • Check the operationality of the site after making the required changes. 
  • Remove any database aces tools if added previously. 

Removal of Harmful Backdoors

Hackers always leave backdoors for re-hacking a website. Identifying these backdoors can be a tough task at times. But there are certain ways to identify them. These backdoors are named as the original legitimate Drupal files but are stored in the wrong directories. Hence, they can be identified and deleted immediately. This ceases the chances of the hacker re-hack a website and lower the goodwill of the Drupal website owner. 

Removal of Malware Warnings

Various web spam authorities might lower your site to prevent the server and damage caused to other websites. The webspam authorities have limited the online site request to once in 30 days. Hence, it is advised to have a complete check of the malware removal and then apply for the one. 

Mentioned below are the steps to follow to get the site back online:

  • Contact your web host to have a complete check of the website and get it back online.
  • Fill in a review request form requesting the site to get back online. 
  • The process might take a few days. 

Post Hack Steps

Once the hack is been fixed and malware is cleaned one need to follow certain steps to avoid re-hacking of the website and to strengthen the website security concerns:

  • Remove vulnerable extensions
  • Clear Drupal user sessions
  • Create new API Keys
  • Update Drupal core and Extensions
  • Clear cache
  • Reset User Credentials for complete safety
  • Maintain Drupal Backups
  • Scan your system and Drupal site
  • Use a website firewall
  • Use a website security
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