How A Famous Hosting Provider Disappointed Me

Presentation Lee McKing and minced

It was just like any other day when I entered into my website and thinking about what blog article I want to write~~

Imagine my shock upon seeing my website getting redirected to a different site!

Yes! I got hacked! Again!

So naturally I do what I can first – attempt to log in and get it back

However, I don’t know what the hacker did but I couldn’t even access the log in page for my website

I’m starting to panic at this point

Heck! Even my palms and feet are sweating right now as I recall and typing

Thankfully, besides logging in via my website, there is another way to go through my hosting service provider

However, that failed too…

The hacker messed me up real bad…

Whether it is a real hacker or a bot, I have no idea

When I looked at my files in my file manager, there were many duplicates of different files

And all the code was seriously different

It’s different because it is not my code… but it is still normal enough to go undetected

Regardless, I lost access to my entire website on the internet T_T

At this point I decided to contact my hosting service provider for assistance

After all, if I cannot access my website through my website log in nor through their access, then I will need their help to get it back at least right?

This is my personal experience, an account of what happened, and it is somewhat unfortunate that it wasn’t a good experience

Presentation Lee McKing and price of ignorance

A bit of background~

You see, my hosting was under Godaddy, and previously, their customer service and tech support was pretty good

I can call in and they will connect me with a tech support, so we can communicate and be on the same page and they will share some stuff so I can learn and be enlightened about things

That was so good!

However over the years, Godaddy has made some changes…

One of the changes was that Singapore will no longer have the voice call support function

There were other changes as well but I’m just going to focus on this

So now I can only have Whatsapp text support (no email too by the way, although I’m not sure if they had email support previously)

I shared what happened, that my website got hacked and I lost my site, its been redirected to another site that wasn’t mine

Contacting customer support was… not a good experience…

The first customer service sold me Web Security for malware scanning and cleaning and apparently, only upon purchase will they get their tech support to assist with this

He also shared that after the scanning and cleaning was done, the tech support will email an update

Ok cool right?

He shared that it will take 24 hours…

I contacted him on Tues but he only opened the ticket on Wednesday… and I had to contact a second time to get another customer service to inform me that it will take 24-72 hours…

Fast forward to Saturday, I didn’t receive any email update… and my website was still redirecting… so I assume a time difference and waited until Sunday…

When I contacted customer service for the third time… they told me the tech support scanned and found no malware!

Since there was no malware according to them, there was nothing to do and all is well

I was frustrated…

When I said I was hacked, did they inform the tech that I was hacked, or they just assumed its malware and nothing serious?

Did they inform tech support of all the details of the issues I described carefully?

Probably not

So the third customer support guy opened a ticket for tech support again and yup, they couldn’t find any malware… and asked me what’s the problem?

Presentation Lee McKing and pushing against odds

Rinse and repeat…

I had to repeat myself to each new customer service… about the redirection and that it is not my site yea?

Finally, one of the tech support did something different, and removed a bunch of malware (I have no idea what the previous guys were doing at this point) and did some hardening of my website and OMG

I can finally access my website again!

Obviously, it is too soon to celebrate because there could still be some issues with my website and true enough, there was…

For some reason, the images weren’t loading, and the plugins didn’t seem to be working properly either

Now my assumption is that due to the messing up of the files, changing of names etc the respective programs or code in the website aren’t able to connect properly

On top of that, there is this Installatron in Godaddy which can help you install WordPress onto your website, as well as assist with updates to the themes and plugins

And this is important because the tech kept saying I have outdated plugins and themes, but since I couldn’t access earlier, how could I update?

Installatron Error~

One way is to use this Installatron to update and there is another problem (bearing in mind this was one of the issues I highlighted during the first contact with customer service)

Somehow the hacker manage to mess this up too so Installatron cannot access my website at all to update

And this wasn’t fixed either even if I could access my website after the hardening, this Installatron issue was still present

So I asked customer service for the sixth time… after all, it is regarding Installatron, which is under Godaddy so it makes sense to ask them right?

This one asked me to deactivate the plugins and see if it resolves itself…

It didn’t…

While he was checking some stuff (and I suspect and know that with Whatsapp chat support, the customer service can be serving multiple customers at the same time which drags the time for each customer)

And then he send me something… but apologized as it was for another customer…

So yea, each time I contact customer support, it takes a long time without seeing much moving…

Anyway, while waiting… my website got hacked again…

Everything reverted to the way it was with the redirection…

There were more duplicated files and more stuff now

Now this sixth customer support claimed he will update the notes so I don’t have to repeat myself to the next one… because he couldn’t get tech support at that time…

However, to the seventh customer support, I still had to repeat myself

Sigh…

And in the end, this last guy told me I had to fix my website on my own

That’s 7 points of contact with customer service, several on the tech support ticket as well, over 3 weeks… and yup, I had to fix it myself

Wow

Even now as I recall, I can still feel the lingering rage >.<

Wasting my time and disallowing people who want to read my blog

Honestly speaking I had half a mind to just delete everything and restart what I can because the hacker also moved the backups to I couldn’t find my backups on Godaddy

As I was sharing all this with my youngest brother, he went to Google and see what he can find to help

To be fair, at that time, all I felt was rage at Godaddy so yea I wasn’t thinking clearly

And yes, I could have hypnotized myself to resolve that anger on the spot, I just wanted to feel anger at them for wasting my time for 3 weeks, for playing with me when they could have understood what was happening and inform me straight away, which will mean, I could have gotten my website back by then

Presentation Lee McKing and hidden message

A Revelation

Meanwhile, my brother found some articles stating that Godaddy was hacked several times over the last few years, and even had a hacker organization hiding within their system for 3 years

Godaddy only found out when they had received complaints of customers having their site redirected to another site

Wait a minute… that sounds similar to my situation…

Although I have no idea if its the same site, it doesn’t matter

It makes sense why they couldn’t find any malware or hacking even when they scanned like 10 times

Because these hackers are good enough to hide under their noses

Which means… it is no longer an option to stay in Godaddy… even if I restart… the hosting has already been compromised…

This is my reasoning… maybe they fixed it up already, I have no idea

But with all that has happened, I decided it is better to move out

Now my brother also found 2 Reddit posts, one about a guy who hosted on Godaddy and had a similar hack and redirect within days from mine, and another post where someone commented a set of instructions to totally clean your website of any malware and hidden stuff

And he stated it will take a couple of hours, and considering I’m pretty noob in tech, maybe it might take me a couple of days

For the record, every time my website was hacked before (and I did get hacked quite a few times actually), I will spend hours and nights looking at all the code manually to remove any malicious code

This time… when I looked through the code… it was clean… couldn’t find any malicious code at all…

So yea, I could have done it myself but I will need to slowly learn and figure things out

Presentation Lee McKing and phone

I’m a hypnotist, not a tech or code specialist *shrug*

Just in case though, I decided to message the guy who gave the comment of instructions, just to ask some clarifications

And boy did he know his stuff!

Turns out Lex has his own hosting business Haihost too!

So I decided to migrate over and that’s where we are!

All seems well and good thus far and he is willing to share any clarifications I had

It makes such a difference when you can communicate with someone and get clarifications or get things done exactly as you need!!

Lex even gave me additional tips to consider Cloudflare for protection (I’ve yet to look into that at the time of this writing because I wanted to update the blog first hehe)

He also assisted with the migration to ensure things are smooth~

So if you have a website hosting on Godaddy, and if you having some issues, you might want to consider whether it is time to migrate or not

Heck the eighth time I contacted Godaddy customer service was to check on cancelling my hosting… but as seen throughout the other time I contacted, it seems they do not understand or comprehend properly…

When I asked to cancel, the customer service asked me if I am asking about the backup of the website

Sigh…

I will assume they are multitasking with customer support and thus, unable to concentrate and comprehend each request meaningfully…

So yea, don’t multitask…

Ultimately, this is an opinion piece, and heck I still got a bit of lingering effects from this horrific experience

Mainly tired and want to sleep at 8pm lol

All the emotions left a physical toil

And yes, this is also to update why I disappeared, where did my site go, etc etc

I’m back now and that’s what matters 🙂

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