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My question has to deal with support obviously. I have a number of sites on another host and one of those sites was recently compromised resulting in the suspension of all sites on the account.


We're a 501©(3) or more commonly known as a charity. 2 of our sites are dedicated to the charity with 3 others assigned as blogs. The charity, located in the midwest is strictly a Wildlife Rehabilitation charity. We care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. Our clients rarely pay us, so having a webmaster/developer is out of the question. We also host, or hosted, our states wildlife rehab organization.


When we received notice one of our sites was compromised, I immediately answered the ticket sent from the host and attempted to rectify the situation. I was directed to read some knowledge base articles, then, audit the site(s) looking for vulnerabilities....Ok, like I'm supposed to know what to look for?


I was then instructed, due to the severity of the problem to utilize a webmaster/developer to fix things.


I'm a retired grunt, I wouldn't know a front door from a backdoor when it comes to this kind of thing. We're a charity, we have no money, it all goes to the dozens of animals we care for. The host I'm with has yet to offer any kind of assistance past that of reading a KB article.


Does MDD go the extra mile in helping their clients? Does MDD offer extensive help to people like me, sans the IT mindset? Does MDD offer alternatives to fixing a problem instead of just sending me to an offsite KB article which quite honestly is just as confusing as the onsite KB article?


Right now, all of our sites are still dead. I can't 'audit' the site looking for vulnerabilities, I just don't have the knowledge. If you want to protect a forward operating firebase, I'm your man, if you want to know what to do with a baby squirrel, raccoon, opossum or groundhog, I'm your man...but auditing an entire site consisting of 5 sites looking for bad stuff....uh no, aint gonna happen.


So, is your support actually support or just a clearinghouse of knowledge based articles?

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Most providers aren't going to be able to help you clean up your site. If you think it's hard for you to know what should or should not be there, bringing in a third party (such as your hosting provider) who is not familiar with your site at all and expecting them to be able to clean and patch your software for free is going to be even harder. At the end of the day if the issue is a server/hosting issue (i.e. something that is our fault) then we'll do our absolute best to put it back to how it was. If it's simply a script, plugin, or theme that was vulnerable it can be nearly impossible to track down and generally we'd suggest, if you don't know how to track/fix it, to simply start fresh by clearing your files and then reinstalling your scripts using your old databases.


At the end of the day we are the web host, and not a web master, so we may be able to offer some guidance but chances are you would be in the same position. Our support scope does outline what we do and do not cover pretty well: http://www.mddhosting.com/supportscope.php


I am sorry that this has happened to you, perhaps another member on these forums will be willing to spend some of their time to get you back on your feet. I know we do have some compassionate users that are very handy when it comes to webmaster work.

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It's just incredibly difficult to track issues such as these down, even if you are an experienced webmaster and familiar with the sites/setup. We would, at the least, run a malware scan on the account and let you know what that comes back with which should give you at least a direction to start looking if it did come back with some hits. Beyond that, it's a needle in a haystack. If it were something we could figure out for you in a few minutes then we'd gladly do it but fixing such an issue is likely a couple of hours (at least) of work for an experienced webmaster. Since it's outside of our support scope, unless we have a lot of extra free time, we wouldn't be able to allocate time to working on such an issue that is outside of our support scope.


I do suggest posting in the shared hosting section of these forums as there may be one of our customers who can help you with this. I can't guarantee anybody will help, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

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It's all Wordpress with cPanel.


I think my expectations for hosts is a little high though and of course, it's not their, the hosts, fault.... business is business and being a businessman I understand that.


I was just hoping there were exceptions to the rule.


You usually won't find a host who can devote the time to it unless they are a boutique or developer-host like I am ... I just cleaned some Wordpress infections for customers this past month on my VPS that I host here (I have about 30 sites that I manage). I learned a lot doing it, and think I can help you out if you like. Contact me at my personal email ... fshagan [at] gmail.com ... I will do it on a volunteer basis, even if you don't move your accounts to MDDHosting (even though I think you should!)

Edited by Scott S
Minor tweak to email address.
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Thank you. You have NO IDEA how much I've learned through this attack on our sites, maybe I should actually thank the person(s) responsible as it's opened my eyes to not only what can happen to boneheads like me, but also the kindness displayed by people in the webmastering/hosting/developer community whom I've never met. I came here from a site that deals exclusively with web hosting questions and inquiries, WHT, and your reputation guided me here. Unfortunately, that site has a TOS and it's being violated by well meaning people. I kind of feel guilty. That wasn't my intent...it was just a bit of a rant with a plea for help choosing a host that might offer a different type of support, all the while NOT knowing to what extent hosts can go.


I appreciate you taking the time to respond and of course your direction.


fshagan: Thank you. I'll be in contact with you tomorrow if you don't mind. I may not need your services, as incredibly kind as they are, right now. I don't know at this point in time. BUT, I'm interested in hearing more of the reseller/managing thing. Maybe that's the route I need to take right now.


Thanks again to all of you.

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WHT has strict rules about what you can say in the general "web hosting" forum. My message offering to help you on a volunteer basis was yanked and I was "admonished" with a "zero point infraction" for my message; they may have thought it was a back-door method to solicit for business. The rules are there to prevent the forum from becoming a spam fest.


They are a bit looser in the "Hosting Security and Technology" forum, where you can offer to help people at no charge. I, and probably most of the others, probably forgot where we were posting!

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Hard to moderate on this one, huh, Mike? I feel for STinMI and somehow admire fshagan, but it’s like us trying to buy a condo: due diligence. Old cowboy saying: It’s a great life if you don’t weaken, but who the heck wants to be strong?

Not sure what you're getting at - we didn't moderate anybody for anything. The moderation happened over at WebHostingTalk which is a site that we're not affiliated with.

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Not sure what you're getting at - we didn't moderate anybody for anything. The moderation happened over at WebHostingTalk which is a site that we're not affiliated with.

No offense intended, pard. Just hinting the usual guff I’ve seen on other websites about one member offering personal services to another—some forums moderate such conversations out as possible spam. Matter of interpretation. Sorry. My most humble apologies.

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