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Retaking command of your hacked software

Once a Web site has been hacked, what are the proper steps for re-taking control my system?

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You actually have several options: 1) you can run around screaming like your hair's on fire and react to the situation (only to make things worse), 2) you could unplug the system and restore it from backup (and hope your backups go far back enough), or 3) you could launch a formal forensics investigation involving forensics investigators from private firms or even law enforcement if it's bad enough. The thing is you have to plan ahead for this type of situation so you're well-prepared when the time comes. This requires working with the right people in your organization (IT, security, HR, PR, customer service, operations, and legal) to put together an incident response plan that makes sense for your business.

This was first published in September 2009

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