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Thread: WTH is up with Sitelock?

  1. #1
    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Default WTH is up with Sitelock?

    Does anyone here use Sitelock? If so I'd love to hear your experiences with them.

    First let me say that there seems to be a growing number of web hosts that have just completely given up on even basic security and sends everyone over to Sitelock to pay for their services. Go Daddy, Network Solutions, Hostgator are the ones that I've seen lately. They don't even try anymore. If you have a security issue ON THEIR SERVERS, there is no tech support it's just "Get Sitelock" here's the number.

    In my experience it's a nightmare. Never have I seen so many issues as with the few clients that I have who have Sitelock.

    Seems like every other day it's reporting malware and threatening to remove their sites if it's not taken care of immediately. Here's the thing though:

    The malware reports are always vague, and don't give any indication or direction of what they found and where.
    Also, they offer like 70 different types of services and you have to upgrade a few tiers to get the service that supposedly scans and repairs.
    But even then, some other malware seems to mysteriously pop up that requires you to get the full "Maintenance package".

    I've talked to these people many times and each time I ask "Where is this malware that you say exists?" I never get a straight answer, just directed to press the "Fix" button ( Seriously? Why is that even there? Just fix it!) that doesn't seem to do anything, or an offer to upgrade for the REAL scan and repair service.

    Yesterday I asked a Sitelock tech about the constant alerts and asked does ( the host) provide any kind of server security at all. His answer was "Yes they have security for themselves. Not for you". (Seriously? WTF? )

    The few times I was able to actually see a bad file, they were really simple. Not malicious enough to do any harm, just enough to give off a bad reading.
    Furthermore, the placement of these "bad files" are not in the usual places. I deal with a lot of hacked or infected websites and have seen some bad ones over the years. This is not that. It's single files in closed permission folders inside the WordPress core.

    In 10 years I have NEVER seen an infection inside the WordPress core files. Especially not a single file just sitting at the bottom of a folder and nothing else. Almost perfectly scripted just like their own promotional material that says what bad files look like. And this is ONLY happening on Sitelock websites. Of the 50 or so other WordPress installations (many with very heavy traffic) that I work on, have access to, or monitor across various hosts...I don't get anything like this.

    This is even happening on new WordPress installations with no themes, additional files or plug ins. Bare bones. I KNOW for a fact that WordPress isn't that weak and vulnerable.

    With one client in particular, I am positive that their low traffic website is not being hacked every other day and just one file is being placed on the installation. No hosting is that weak.

    I don't know what's going on with these people, but something is NOT right.

    Anyone else have any experience with them?
    WordPress Help and Support WordPress Security Seeker.One

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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Brian Altenhofel's Avatar
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    Sounds like a scam to me. These sorts of tactics are one of the reasons why I seldom recommend shared hosting to anyone.

    SCAM ALERT: How HostGator Attempted To Extort >$200 Out of Me for SiteLock - HermesThemes.com
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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    Sounds like a scam to me. These sorts of tactics are one of the reasons why I seldom recommend shared hosting to anyone.

    SCAM ALERT: How HostGator Attempted To Extort >$200 Out of Me for SiteLock - HermesThemes.com
    Yes, I've been reading a bunch of complaints spanning various hosts and Sitelock. Trust me, it's not something I tell clients to get. They usually come to me with it and it takes a while for them to trust me over the big hosting company that keeps telling them they must have it or hackers will steal their soul. So they not only spend money to have it, but now money to chase down every alert and fix it, which is what I thought this service was supposed to do in the first place.

    Some not as long as others. Depends how sick and tired they are at the time.

    To me it's simple logic. You're paying the host and expecting a certain amount of at least basic security, and then they make you buy this thing that's supposed to protect you, and yet when something goes wrong now you're paying me to chase it down. I like making money, but I don't like wasting people's money.
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    Discount Prodigy Array Owen's Avatar
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    IM NOT ALONE WOW. I have a couple different clients who all are the same exact way. One in particular hosted with HostGator and didn't believe me for weeks that SiteLock isn't going to make your wishes come true. They eventually left and moved to my servers, which runs cPanel on a managed cloud from Rackspace, and I've run into no issues. I've had a few people attempt it, but Cloudflare has done a good job. All sites I manage have Cloudflare and at the moment I manage roughly 15 websites.

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    Hi @Harold

    You might be interesting this article I wrote in which I describe the challenge hosts are faced when it comes to security: https://perezbox.com/2014/11/how-hos...site-security/ Let me know if you find it helpful.

    You're right, it's not likely WordPress core. Do you by chance have a copy of the file you can share? Maybe via pastebin? Sounds like it's possibly a false positive.

    Tony

    P.S. in the interest of full disclosure, I represent Sucuri - a website security company. I am genuinely asking, but would rather avoid the chaos that begins for not stating that fact at the beginning.
    Last edited by perezbox; 05-27-2016 at 02:21 AM. Reason: Adding qualifier

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    I've been hosting a few of my own websites for years and have never had any issues using basic WordPress installations with WordFence and Cloudflare. All attempted attacks have been completely unsuccessful. I had one site with over 700 brute force attacks, and all of them went away once I moved the wp-login page to another location. Bots try the wp-login page first, then usually give up if it's just not there. There are plugins that will move it for you.

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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchTalmadge View Post
    I've been hosting a few of my own websites for years and have never had any issues using basic WordPress installations with WordFence and Cloudflare. All attempted attacks have been completely unsuccessful. I had one site with over 700 brute force attacks, and all of them went away once I moved the wp-login page to another location. Bots try the wp-login page first, then usually give up if it's just not there. There are plugins that will move it for you.
    I'm pretty versed with WordPress and security. I also get called on to clean up broken, hacked or infected sites at least 3-4 times a month. So I've seen a lot of actual bad stuff.

    Sitelock is definitely not a service that I would ever pay for. I only have to deal with them when people come to me who already have it. That's how I keep seeing this repeating pattern and suspect behavior.

    The unnerving part is that they have people convinced that they are being constantly hacked and I know that is not true.
    WordPress Help and Support WordPress Security Seeker.One

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    Sorry if I'm a bit late adding to this thread but I really wanted to chime in here... With us it is a bit of a hit and miss. There are indeed false positives. I've given them a call and we realize it really is a false positive. Never been asked to upgrade anything but I'm sure they wouldn't mind if we did :-) If our clients report security issues to us, my techs log in fix and and run the scan again and everybody's happy. BUT, to be completely honest, it's not always the case as the OP mentioned.

    It also depends on where you are purchasing these security licenses from... Getting discounts on volume purchases etc. seems to be what they are geared towards and works for us, I may be wrong on that however. Clients like to have a sense of security like what Sucuri, SiteLock, iThemes etc. offer. I do not think that it should ever replace good old hands-on support. Of course since we offer it for free, they'll take it.

    What bugs me personally is when clients have several plugins that are out-dated or from unknown publishers which creates a serious security concerns on a dedicated server. If they have whatever security scan thingy running they leave it and think everything is just fine now...
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  9. #9
    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Since I've posted this thread , and also on Twitter I haven't seen another alert on that account. Before that they were every day or every other day. I was on the phone with them daily for about 2 weeks basically asking "WTF is this crap, and what is it that your service is supposed to do?".

    I spent hours on the phone with this company, got passed around from one service person to the next. On one phone call I got passed around 5 times. It was out of control. It doesn't take that much for anyone who has spent years managing websites and dealing with different hosts (both in the US and sometimes around the world) that something wasn't right.

    But the last 2 weeks? It's been completely quiet. Haven't heard a peep out of them.
    WordPress Help and Support WordPress Security Seeker.One

    "It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong." -Henry Longfellow

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    I am a professional security consultant and can say sitelock is not what I prefer... I think it is not the most effective thing and costs too much. What I would recommend is either find a finding a security firm if you want maximum security but if not just keep your passwords nice and long and monitor suspicious activity. If you have wordpress then there are some additional plugins you can do to really keep you safe!
    Last edited by vangogh; 11-09-2016 at 11:21 PM. Reason: removed self promotion
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