If you’re a site owner and you see:

Unfortunately, it’s likely your site was hacked.

Every day, cybercriminals compromise thousands of websites. Hacks are often invisible to users, yet remain harmful to anyone viewing the page — including the site owner. For example, unbeknownst to the site owner, the hacker may have infected their site with harmful code which in turn can record keystrokes on visitors’ computers, stealing login credentials for online banking or financial transactions.

In this first step, we explain how and why hacks happen, and review options for recovery.

Step 1: Watch the overview

  • How and why sites are hacked
  • Process to recover a site and remove the user-facing warning label
  • Time-to-recovery depends on extent of damage and technical skill of administrator
  • Two options:
    • Do it yourself
    • Get help from specialists

After watching the overview video, you’ve completed the first step.

We recommend that all site owners unfamiliar with website security complete this step as well as Step 2: Contact your hoster and build a support team.

Step 2 is next in the recovery process.

In step 2, you’ll learn where to find technical assistance as well as contact your hoster and weigh options to recover your hacked site.

Step Title Technical expertise required
1 Watch the overview (completed) Beginner
2 Contact your hoster and build a support team Beginner
3 Quarantine your site Intermediate
4 Touch base with Webmaster Tools Intermediate
5 Assess the damage (hacked with spam) or
Assess the damage (hacked with malware)
Advanced
6 Identify the vulnerability Advanced
7 Clean and maintain your site Advanced
8 Request a review Intermediate