My SMF Site Was Hacked - SMF Hacked Again
I titled this Thread like this because I sometimes see people post "help" Requests like this in SMF Help Wanted section due to their site being messed up by someone either known or unknown to them. Usually, the first inclination of the victim SMF user is to blame SMF's software, but here are some things to consider, see if any of them relate to your situation:
1. First, did you have the latest SMF, with all the updated patches / security fixes installed?
You won't believe how many people still run massive sites using old software that has many bugs and security holes in it. It is very important to have the LATEST version of SMF installed on your site.
2. Are you are on cheap shared hosting?
No matter how secure your SMF is if your host doesn't care much about security then people on other shared accounts can get to you that way, for that matter anyone that visits your site can as well. Stay away from shared hosting if you really care about your site. As a minimum go with VPS (Virtual private server) where you can at least dictate the server software you use and how it responds to requests. You may say that having a VPS or dedicated server is just too much money for you, well as they say "cheap things no good
". Being online is a significant investment you need to have a reputable host AND be prepared to spend time ensuring your account with them cannot be compromised.
3. Are you giving out your passwords?
I often tell my clients to change passwords often because they are susceptible to being picked at from Emails. You should also choose a password that is not a birth date, your name, etc. See here: Source 3
then you may ask well how will anyone see my password from my Email and that brings us to #4 below.
4. Is your computer secure?
Someone can be logging your computer key strokes or spying with you if:
-- You do not have a very good firewall installed.
-- You tend to use public or insecure internet connections
-- You do not have a secure browser
-- You are predictable - in other words you leave traces or habits that a hacker can expect you to make / do. For example: you broadcast to everyone when you are online, what you are accessing, what sites you visit, etc.
-- Your OS (Operating system like Windows, Mac, etc.) is out of date and does not have the latest security patches installed
-- You tend to visit questionable sites
-- You tend to click links in Emails without verifying them
5. Are the permissions on your files correct?
On servers that need file write permission you give 'too much' permission then you open your server up to hackers who can adjust your files at will!
6. What kind of Administrator are you?
Just one 'tiny' setting can open up your whole SMF to a hack attack because you leave it open for guests or chose the wrong option. You may wish to read over this: Source 1
You need to consider the internet like a big swimming pool with everyone sharing the SAME water you are in. You have to be on guard at all times.
I may add more to this Thread in the future.