Joomla! Websites Under Attack

April 24, 2014 by Jeff McElyea

Joomla Websites Under AttackIt is common knowledge that there are legions of hackers trying to gain access to websites around the world. It is accepted as part of having a web presence that someone (human or automated) will try to attack your site many, many times each day. We have recently learned of an unusual spike in such events, and wanted to share it with you.

Many websites are built using a content management system such as WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal. The developers behind these plataforms work hard to fight hackers and spammers from gaining access to your website. They do a good job of blocking most attempts. Despite their diligent efforts, however, it does happen. This past couple of weeks we have heard from a few colleagues and clients that their websites have been hacked. All of these sites have been built on the Joomla! CMS platform. This is causing issues ranging from website downtime to complete server failure. Repairing a site after these hacking events have been very time-consuming, and, in some cases, has involved the need to rebuild the entire website.

As we have been repairing these websites, we have had conversations with industry insiders - reputable internet authorities at the big web hosts - and have been told that Joomla! sites have been specifically targeted and are being hacked at an alarming rate over the past week. They are not only hacking sites of big companies, but are also attacking sites of companies as small as one or two employees. According to one industry insider, the method of “how to hack” these sites has been published on hacker websites and it’s become a free-for-all among their community. In short: Your website WILL be hacked.

If your website is built on the Joomla! platform, especially if your site is on a version prior to Joomla 3, it has been at risk, but is now that risk has increased greatly. We strongly recommend that you consider moving your website off the Joomla! platform, and to a more secure CMS.

If you would like to learn more about how to avoid a potentially serious issue with your website, or would like to move it to a more secure platform, please call us or contact us now to get started with a website upgrade.

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