One of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced was when I received an email from one of my customers telling me that my website had been hacked. It got worse, as I couldn’t see any changes in my content, the design or the source code! The problem was that my users were seeing my website show up in Google with different links that promoted unrelated content and the black market. I was a Pharma Hack victim!
You know you’ve had a Pharma Hack happen when the above scenario happens to you. Your Google search engine optimisation ranking drops dramatically. For instance, some website owners have seen their websites and blogs drop hundreds of pages on Google’s search results. My experience of a Pharma Hack meant that my most common keywords had been turned into spam keyword terms such as ‘Cheap Viagra’.
What’s the goal of a hacker carrying out this devastating attack on your website or blog? Simply put, the goal of this hacking technique is to gain backlinks from all the high-ranking pages on your website. It’s extremely important to understand just how severe this threat is and, more importantly, to know how to defend your website and blog from it.
How a Pharma Hack Affects a Website
A Pharma Hack typically affects websites in three ways:
1. Results are visible on search engines only
One of the major issues with this type of hack is that the website administrator can’t actually see that their content has been tampered with. Only the visitors that are entering your website from Google can see these keywords. Therefore, you can’t simply go through the HTML source code on your website and change it back to how you originally created it, because as far as you’re aware, nothing’s changed!
2. Very difficult to eliminate
This type of hack infiltrates the core of your website, no matter what content management system you’re using. For instance, Pharma Hacks can wreak havoc with your Website Security as it places malicious files within your website. Thus, it manipulates your website code, which makes it pretty difficult to find, and therefore remove.
3. Highest ranked pages are targeted
Another aspect worth knowing is that a Pharma Hack does not affect all website pages. It’s specifically setup to target pages that receive the most traffic. These hacks gain access to the highest ranked pages of your website and make changes to your title tags to reflect the keywords the hacker wants to promote. If you thought that wasn’t bad enough, the hacker goes one step further and inserts spam links directly into your content!
In order to prevent such a threat, you need to identify vulnerabilities in your site, and plug them before hackers can exploit them. Register your 14-day Acunetix Trial to uncover security issues in your web site.