Aegis Journal got hacked!
With the recent changes to Google’s search engine, one can now do the opposite of Search Engine Optimization called Negative Search Engine Optimization. Through leveraging certain tactics found unfavorable by Google one can in theory, and as we experienced target a site and negatively affect its ranking.
In our specific case, not only was external Negative SEO implemented, but a high level hacker penetrated some very secure and advanced coding and security features in order to inject some directory level settings which caused our site to redirect to Viagra, Cialis and related spam sites.
In this day and age, these techniques that hack into frame work sites is becoming more and more common as providing access to a wider user base for things such as comments and ping backs also opens avenues for hackers to come in and use your site for more nefarious purposes.
The major concern and issue is that when your site is hacked in this manner, and particularly if it is intentional, your site can and will be reported and eventually blacklisted/ flagged as a malware site. Causing a warning to pop up in browsers and in search results. And as you can imagine this will destroy your end user base trust in your site.
Fortunately, with the increase of these occurrences there are some solutions out there such are higher end secured hosting with 24/7 monitoring, and proactive scanning and monitoring solutions by third parties. Just keep in mind that these solutions do substantially increase your hosting costs. But at the end of the day, it is like our PCs, and soon to be Macs as with any market as things get more popular more people will try to find ways to get your information and money, and then some people will come along with increased protections to save you form them.
Another is a hacker could gain access and block the Google bots from finding your site by going into your robots.txt file.
Another is some competitor who creates fake email addresses and then emails other sites telling them to take down all of the links that link back to your site that they are trying harm.
Another is to post links to your site on many “Red Tagged” web sites – and yep – in time your rating drop and Google may send you a notice.
Here are a few more
Strategic placement of a noindex tag into a page.
Strategic placement of personal data such as social security numbers or porn.
Cross side scripting malware into your site.
Injection scripting code into your links.
Anchor text bombing – goes with link building, but is a technique of its own.
WordPress plug-ins with built in exploits.
Proxy Hacking – The attacker creates a copy of the targeted web page on a proxy server and uses methods such as keyword stuffing and linking to the copied page from external sites to artificially raise its search engine ranking. The authentic page will rank lower and may be seen as duplicated content, in which case a search engine may remove it from its index.
The idea is that Google will penalize you and you will; thus helping your site to crash in popularity or disappear from the search engines.
Why have I become so familiar with all of this – Aegis ran a 6-week battle with several negative SEO’s hacks and stratagems. We got it fixed but it cost us a great deal of time and money.
Aegis looks to educate and inform. That is what we try to do. I am also aware that some of our guest writers and some of our subjects are controversial – very controversial and we get nasty grams – some of them are literate too.
In the last year someone said they did not like James Shortt, (actually the comments were very high schoolish – you know the type funny but way off colour) and a few did not like Gail Kasper (there were very teenage stupid comments) and a more than a few were very put off and very pointed about our exposure of fake Venezuelan Bonds and How to Make Fake Gold Bars.
I get it – but we move on trying to make a quiet educated difference.
If you are concerned with your sites health and security, Cloud Nine Labs provides some excellent solutions and works with remediators to ensure you are proactive, and on the most secure solution for your budget. Please visit our comrades in arms at http://www.cloudninelabs.com/