This goal can be achieved by completion of two tasks:
First: verify the ownership of your website in Google Webmaster Tools
Second: understand the type of hack caused by a cyber criminal whether malware or spam, by looking at two Webmaster Tools features, Message Center and Security issues.
These tasks will be beneficial throughout the recovery process. By verifying ownership of your site, Webmaster Tools can serve as a home base during the recovery process.
Initially, Webmaster Tools will help you by providing more details about your site’s hacked status. Then in the steps ahead, Webmaster Tools can reveal whether your site has fully recovered from the cyber criminal’s wrongdoing. It is like returning to the hospital so a laboratory test can determine whether an infection persists.
As for the second task, by reviewing the message in Webmaster Tools that pertains to your specific hack site situation and viewing details and security issues, you can choose a more tailored treatment plan in the following step.
If you have already verified your ownership with Google Webmaster Tools, it is simply awesome. If you have not used Webmaster Tools before, you have to start with the first task, i.e. verification. To commence, launch a web browser and navigate to google.com/webmasters. This page comprises imperative links for the site owners, such as the webmaster Help Center with informative articles and the Webmaster Academy, educational videos for beginner site owners. Select Webmaster Tools, it requires a Google account with a login and password. You can also use your Gmail address. If you do not possess a Google account then consider selecting the sign-up box to create one. After creating you can use your Google account for any Google product, including YouTube and Gmail.
Moreover, just because you create a Google account does not indicate that you will lose your existing email address with another company. You can still use present email address and inbox elsewhere and only use your Google account for Webmaster Tools.
After you have created an account, and you are able to log in, the Webmaster Tools dashboard appears. The first task is to verify ownership of your site. Select Add a Site, type your URL, then Continue. This will lead you to the verification page of Webmaster Tools. As there are several ways to verify ownership, including those listed in the tab Alternate Methods. Verifying can temporarily bring your site back online. You can take your site offline again as soon as you are verified.
Now you have verified ownership while in Webmaster Tools, navigate to the Webmaster Tools home page, which lists your verified sites.
Often clicking the top Webmaster Tools logo will take you to the home page. It is necessary to check that the cyber criminal has not already verified ownership in Webmaster Tools and made unwanted settings changes. To do this on the Webmaster Tools homepage, find your site. Select Manage Site, then Add or Remove Users. Be sure that every user listed is authorized. If you see an unauthorized user, you will need to both delete the user and any possible verification tokens, such as verification metatag on your home page or an HTML file on your server.
After that, be sure to review all settings in Webmaster Tools for possible undesirable actions by the hacker. Next, while still in Webmaster Tools, check for critical message from Google about the compromise. There are only a few types of hack site messages. First, in the message with Webmaster Tools that mentions malware, such as malware infection detected. This is the message that states some pages on your site may infect your visitors with software intended to access personal information or harm their computers. It means that your site was hacked to distribute the malware. You can use this information to follow, assess the damage malware in step five of the recovery process. Another message in Webmaster Tools is a phishing notification. In this message, some pages may appear like a probable phishing attack, in which users are motivated to give up necessary information, such as login credentials or banking information.
Assessing the damage to sites hacked with phishing pages are much as assessing the damage to sites hacked with spammy pages. Therefore, if you have a phishing notification, please be sure to follow, Assess the Damage, Hacked with Spam in step five of the recovery process. Alternatively, if your message does not mention malware of phishing, but refers to hacking suspected, it is likely that your site was attacked with spam. Hacked with spam indicates that the cyber criminal placed spammy pages, links, or text on your site.
If you get this message then you should follow, Assess the Damage, Hacked with Spam in step five. There are also chances of getting no message in Message Center, even though your site was hacked. This will take you to the last task for this step, checking out the Security Issues feature in Webmaster Tools.
IN Security Issues, there is more exhaustive information about the damage on your site caused by a cyber criminal.
Assess the Damage: In Security Issues, sites infected with malware will show the top level heading of Malware, and then categories of malware types, such as error template injection and modified server configuration, as well as more details and sample URLs, and in some cases, even code snippets that will aid your coming investigation.
Sites that were hacked to spread spam may display the top level heading explaining the site was detected as hacked. Then categories of hacked types, such as content injection, as well as more details and sample URLs. If your site shows information in Security Issues, you can go ahead and click to Show Details to see what the future has to offer. More of this feature will be covered in the next step.
Between the possible message and Webmaster Tools Message Center and possible additional information in Security Issues, you will get a pristine perception of the cyber criminal’s damage is beginning to come together. Also, now that you verified ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools, determined the type of damage caused by the cybercriminal, whether spam, phishing or malware, and become more familiar with Message Center and Security Issues, you are better prepared for the steps ahead. Because you will need to log into Webmaster Tools again during the recovery process, please keep your Google account information handy!!