ExpressionEngine and Security

Our ExpressionEngine website has been hacked

BIG linden / Support Docs / Our ExpressionEngine website has been hacked
Last edit: May 22, 2023
(7 months ago)

ExpressionEngine and Security

Our ExpressionEngine website has been hacked

Q:

Our ExpressionEngine website has been hacked. We had thought that the security measures we took were enough, but now it seems something went wrong and our customer’s data might be at risk.

Issue

The client needs to know what their next steps should be in order to resolve a recent hack on their ExpressionEngine website.

Possible solution

As organizations increasingly rely on their web presence for communication, outreach, and commerce, the threat of your website being hacked becomes more and more urgent. Many teams, unfortunately, find themselves unprepared when their website is targeted by malicious actors.

Website intrusions can impact any organization

If your organization has been affected by a hack on your ExpressionEngine website, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact and address the issue.

ExpressionEngine has been known to be targeted for attacks in a number of incidents. The security of the platform may not be keeping pace with technology, and malicious actors are noticing.

First steps for addressing your hacked ExpressionEngine site

This is a time-sensitive project. If your website is hacked, you probably need professional support.

Your team needs to assess the extent of the damage and understand what might be wrong. If you suspect that sensitive information has been compromised, it is crucial to inform any potentially affected parties and take immediate action to protect their data.

During this time, many organizations might re-route traffic to a backup hosted on a different server, or depending on existing redundancies, disable the affected node immediately to minimize further impact.

For many, the most important thing is to determine how the hacker gained access to your site.

Was there a vulnerability in your ExpressionEngine installation? Or, in some other aspect of your web infrastructure? Address these issues promptly… your hacker will return if you leave the door unlocked again, Be thorough to prevent future attacks.

It may also be necessary to restore your website from a backup or rebuild it entirely if the damage is severe enough. While this can be a challenging process, it is essential to ensure that your website is secure for both your organization and your visitors.

If you are unsure the degree of compromise, and valuable confidential information could be obtained from your website, your organization could be responsible for resulting damages. Minimally, your organization’s brand reputation could be impacted by a website intrusion.

Strengthen your security measures by taking additional steps to keep everything secure. Ideas might include:

  • establishing multi-factor authentication (also called 2FA)
  • verifying all of your modules are up to date
  • making sure that a vulnerability scan is performed regularly
  • Setting secure passwords
  • Limiting access to only those individuals who must have it
  • creating backups of your website

By following these guidelines, you can limit the impact from any hack on an ExpressionEngine website while taking precautions against further damage or intrusions in the future.

Other options and next steps

If your organization is impacted and doesn’t have the internal technical capacity, consider enlisting the help of cybersecurity professionals who can provide additional support in identifying vulnerabilities, implementing security measures, and addressing any lingering issues after an attack.

Overall, when it comes to cybersecurity, prevention always trumps reaction–ensure that your business takes proper measures. Being prepared is key to preventing cyber attacks.

While no organization wants to find itself a target of cybercrime, it is vital to have a plan in place, so that your team can respond quickly, if an attack does occur. We hope this can help you to minimize the damage caused by a hacked ExpressionEngine website and improve security for the future.

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