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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jun 22, 2010

Recovering CE's Traffic

In March 2010, CE got hacked. The hacker got access to our site and installed malicious code in 2 directories. As a result, Google listed us as a site that spreads malware and any visitor trying to access CE through Firefox or Chrome would get a 'Red Alert' that CE could harm their computers.

That is the standard action Google takes to make sure that users are warned before they access a site not safe for browsing. Our active members reported the problem immediately after it was discovered and I began receiving mails saying something's wrong with CE. Few of the users also sent screenshots, detailed error messages and also offered help. After initial investigation; it was evident that the hacker had gotten access to unprotected directories (a serious mistake most of the webmasters do) and installed the malicious code. The hacker then executed scripts to create more malicious stuff on the server.

[​IMG]We began cleanup work and also went through the entire server file-by-file. Google Webmaster Tools came to our rescue by informing us exact locations where it detected malware and gave a new direction to our investigation. Our hosts Heroic Support Team came to our rescue and helped us remove the malicious code and also performed several security checks. Finally, after 3 days of hard work and sleepless nights, CE was brought back to normal.

However, it took us about 3 months to recover the traffic loss that this hack attempt caused. We are getting back on track and growing rapidly which is a very good sign! I personally thank everyone who helped and stayed with us during the troubled times. It wasn't easy to bring everyone back. We've worked hard to add interesting content in terms of blog posts, forum threads etc. The efforts are still on and we are experiencing positive results.

I thought of writing this post after watching the stats in our analytics report - all the growth figures are now +ve from -ve for past 2 months. Let's all hope that CE continues to grow and makes a difference in engineers lives, throughout the world.

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