application vulnerability assessment tools

“Vultr Suspended My Website. What Can I Do?” – Unfortunately, many web hosts do a bad job of describing what you’re getting into when you host your website on their servers. You’re stuck with nowhere to go if your web host suspends your website due to the existence of malware. The Privacy Policy page of the Vultr hosting service describes the company’s standard procedure.

IX. Security of Your Information.                    

We have implemented reasonable precautions to protect the information 
we collect from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, 
alteration, and destruction. For example, we take measures, including 
data encryption, to protect the transmission of sensitive end-user 
information. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee that our security 
measures will prevent third-party “hackers” from illegally obtaining 
this information. We take reasonable measures to prevent such breaches
 of security, but given the resourcefulness of cyber-criminals we are 
unable to guarantee that our security is 100% breach-proof. You assume 
the risk of such breaches to the extent that they occur despite our 
reasonable security measures.

Many consumers, on the other hand, are unaware of these issues and would be turned off by limitations. This means you can’t rely on your web hosting or expect them to manage the situation for you. Web hosts often suspend websites without warning. This is to keep the virus from spreading to their other customers, who will hopefully remain unaffected. They’ll give you an email with a pointer to a problem area on your website now that they’ve taken care of the problem as best as they can. These could be numerous and diverse, which would be confusing for anyone with minimal technical knowledge. Here’s an example of an email they could give you:

"Instance powered off due to TOS violation.

We have powered down your cloud server due to outbound traffic patterns 
fitting the profile of a DoS-style attack. You may restore power any 
time via https://my.vultr.com to troubleshoot, repair, replace or 
destroy as necessary.

If you believe your instance has been compromised, we recommend a fresh 
instance reinstall. If you restore power and fail to address the activity 
in question in a timely manner and/or if the situation in question 
resumes/worsens, we will have no choice but to escalate our response, 
including but not limited to suspension or powering down of the instance, 
suspending the entire account or account closure for repeat ToS violations.

Thank you for your cooperation!"

Did you note the understated but strong ultimatum? If you ignore the problem or wait too long, Vultr will shut down your website without giving you a chance to react! You must act, and you must act quickly.

Unfortunately, these issues will arise at the most inconvenient times. It could happen in the middle of an advertisement campaign, when you’re losing more and more money for each click your visitors provide. You may wonder how that’s possible. They’ll most likely bounce off a 403 Error page after being routed to a suspended web page warning. Consider the following example: It’s likely that you’ll be featured on a famous website, which would be a wonderful dream come true, right? Except now you’re losing over 50 users a day, not to mention your brand’s credibility.

So, what do you do if you’ve already been suspended by Vultr and need a fast fix?

Remember that you won’t be able to reach your WordPress website, so you’ll have to search for a temporary solution somewhere.

Here’s a list of things you’ll need to finish before contacting Vultr and letting them know you’re ready to go online again.

  1. Check irregularities in users or website resources
  2. Check if Google has blacklisted your website
  3. Alert subscribers and/or team members
  4. Scan website for malware
  5. Clean website to remove all malware
  6. Re-scan to check that no backdoor exists on the website
  7. Update plugins and themes
  8. Update WordPress Core
  9. Backup website files
  10. Backup website tables
  11. Install a Web Application Firewall
  12. Block Harmful IPs
  13. Review requests to your website
  14. Review access control on your web host, WordPress installation, and server
  15. Limit the number of failed login attempts
  16. Add CAPTCHA Protection
  17. Add Two Factor Authentication
  18. Disable editing of plugins or theme files
  19. Change Security Keys (SALTs)
  20. Secure .htaccess file
  21. Prevent execution of PHP scripts in WP-Content/Uploads directory
  22. Disable file editing on WordPress dashboard
  23. Audit possible attacks

This list includes the most critical steps to remove malware from your website right away. You can now email Vultr and inform them of all you’ve done to maintain your website. In reality, you might show them this specific list.

The following security measures supplement your website’s security and provide a more layered approach to overall website security.

Advanced Measures

  1. Delete all unnecessary plugins or plugins that could cause high resource usage
  2. Install plugins and themes and plugins only from known and trusted sources henceforth
  3. Secure and ensure your local computer, browser, and routers are up-to-date, free of any spyware, malware, and virus infections
  4. Make sure you use SFTP connection whenever connecting to your server
  5. Review file permissions and make them restrictive, depending on the performance and availability of your site
  6. Include server-side password protection to prevent normal site visitors from accessing /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php.
  7. Use mod_rewrite in the .htaccess file to protect wp-includes folder☐ Protect WP-Config.php to prevent hackers from accessing it
  8. Monitor Uptime and Availability
  9. Delete unnecessary post revisions
  10. Optimize databases
  11. Switch website to secure HTTPS
  12. Research more about WordPress Security to find what suits you and your website best.