Client Sites Deleted by Undeletable Super Admin

Hi all, well really in a state of shock after being so delighted with WPMU and the crew but on Friday we notified our programming company they we were terminating our ongoing contract with them due to poor performance and yes we changed all the access passwords however today we learned he they had messed with 6 client sites all of which are now off line and as you can imagine our clients are not happy.

How was this done you ask, well from what we can tell and oh yea actually see when we removed the super admin in question, guess what, we can't delete a super admin. At this stage I am not sure what they did, the client sites are offline yet their files or at least some of them seem to be still on the server.

Sorry to say we don't have enough WP or WPMU experience to figure out what they have done with clients breathing down our necks. Any advice would be really appreciated.

  • PC

    Hello Kieron,

    Greetings and thanks for posting on the forums.

    I am sorry to hear what has happened and if anything can be done, I would try best of my efforts to see what they might have done.

    I would like to understand a couple of things though.

    Do you have access to Super Admin as of now ?
    What is the email address for the Super Admin ?

    Also, if you could provide more info, that would be helpful.

    Cheers
    PC

  • Kieron

    Good morning Ian, any thanks for your reply. We had a 3 live working sites on this particular server with another 5 - 7 sites as sub domains which where being developed for clients. Within minutes of informing our programming company each of the sites that were setup as sub-domains all of a sudden were gone of line.

    Now according to our hosting company, various files "seem" to be missing as well as what should have been an updated htaccess file instead of the one that is their at the moment.

    Ian I am not a techie so I am not sure what more I can tell you. I am a super admin and my email address is kieron@kieronlyons.com

    Thank you.

  • Kieron

    Hi PC, thanks for your input. Things seem to be going from bad to worse with every passing hour. When all this happened at least I had my own site and a couple of client sites running as normal inside WPMU control panel but now I have nothing. The hosting company has been very helpful and have tried various backups but with little success as they are claiming that the backup was corrupted and therefore cannot restore the sites.

    The really annoying thing now is that since they did the last and final backup my own sites is now offline as well as the remaining customers who's sites were unaffected. The other serious problem that now we cannot even get into WP or indeed our installation of WHMCS.

    If Joe is willing to help it would be great as I seem to be getting conflicting stories of what is what. I can live with my own sites being lost but not those of clients. I have one client who had a magazine site and was struggling so we worked with her for free for the past few months, can you imagine having to tell her sorry, your site and all its content is gone.

    It is a dark day is all I can say.

    Thank you for your input and advice, it is appreciated.

    Respectfully,
    Kieron

    Update to the above, just got not such a nice email from the hosting company which simply say, the "daily backups are overwritten with the current database which is zero, you should have restored the site the day it went down". I guess this is the end of the story and without the backup I'm heading off to apologise to my clients for the loss of their websites.

    Thank you all who contributed and tried to help me with this problem.

    Kieron

  • aecnu

    Greetings Kieron,

    Wow this is a really tragic story of a company gone rogue from the looks of it and intentionally corrupting/infiltrating your sites is the lowest of the low.

    Then to top it all off the backups from the hosting company are corrupt? How is that possible? I know you do not have the answer to that but it is unbelievable and what good are backups that are corrupt? They failed to say the least.

    Obviously that is water under the bridge and it is my opinion to immediately go into your hosting cPanel and make full backups asap and download them to your computer to include database backups.

    Next would be to ask the hosting company for those alleged corrupted backups so that we can see what indeed remains of them - download those to your computer and make sure they are separate from your current backups made as described above.

    The next thing to do once you have copies of the files that remain is to either stay with the host that has corrupted backups and hire someone to got through each site attempting to repair the remains hopefully using what backup you do have as described above or move to a new host and have them recover what they can with the same two backups mentioned above and it will indeed be a challenge to put it all back together.

    Of course the last and certainly the worst case is to rebuild it all and if you indeed stay with the same host be sure to make your own backup often through the cPanel and download them and store them on your own computer.

    No matter which solution's you choose it is obvious that none of them will be ideal if in fact the current hosts backups are indeed corrupt.

    I am truly sorry to hear that this happened and that the one company was vindictive because you were not happy with their service which is unconscionable.

    Sincerely, Joe

  • Kieron

    Hello Joe,

    And many thanks, for the tips and advice when I challenged my hosting company about how all backups are corrupted they became very unhelpful. I asked for yesterdays backup to be restored as at least I had access to my own site and billing but according to them not anymore as they were overwritten.

    So now I am left with nothing, 11 sites gone and needless to say a serious loss of income for me but worse is the damage we have now caused to our clients many of whom we have worked with for many years.

    At best all I can do is offer to rebuild each of the sites but that is little help with the loss of the content. I can see myself heading off to court in the coming weeks and months.

    Right now, a trip to the pub seems to be the only option for to day and tomorrow, well I will have to start the rounds with the customers. Your advice is very useful and I will try and get my head around it tomorrow.

    PC mentioned Joe that you have your own hosting company, can have the url?

    Many thanks,

    Kieron

  • aecnu

    Greetings Kieron,

    Holy smokes! We retain backups of our servers going back three months, not dailies but monthlies and there are indeed weeklies but they are maintained server side.

    So in the worst case scenario we can restore someone back to the last Tuesday or Thursday of the last month - though I admit thank God we have not ever had to do this but we have had to restore some database files from those very backups for a client. This is in the event that the last weekly had been overwritten.

    During your rebuild make sure that you have terms of service that cover events like this and hope to never have to use it or refer to it.

    Also in an effort to protect yourself from the courts, didn't you already have a terms of service that covered events like this? :slight_smile: I am sure that you did.

    Also you should have WHMCS sending you a database backup via email every day like we do for our own WHMCS installation.

    PC mentioned Joe that you have your own hosting company, can have the url?

    Yes most of us have our own businesses as well as working with WPMU Dev and one of mine is web hosting, VPS Servers, dedicated servers.

    Hopefully my WPMU Dev Boss will not mind me mentioning it since you indeed asked directly :slight_smile:

    In fact there are several members here whom host with me including PC:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/whos-your-favorite-wp-hosting-provider-and-why#post-258269

    In any event I wish the best for your recovery and rebuild and may this true tragedy never happen again.

    Sincerely, Joe

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