Gone, But Not Forgotten

The Call

The other day, I got “the call” from a prospective client. Their web site had been hacked and the hacker changed their home page. They had made both text and graphic changes to the page to promote their own personal cause. They needed to fix this fast!

Naturally, what else occurs in an emergency? We learned that the backups haven’t been running in almost 2 months. It never fails, you always learn these things at the wrong time.

An Unlikely Solution

While working through this issue for this company, I remembered something that I had seen in one of my Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) study guides. There is a site called The Internet Archive that periodically takes snapshots of web sites over time and stores them on their site. You can go on the site and lookup a given web page and see all of the snapshots that were taken. They call it the Wayback Machine.

Wayback Machine Screenshot

I looked and was surprised to see captures of my old consulting company web site. It’s amazing the amount of information out there.

A Happy Ending

Through this tool and other backup resources, we were able to get this customer back on the right path to recovering their home page. This tool shouldn’t be a good replacement for your backups, but it can be a tool to help in tough situations.

To learn more about the Internet Archive, go to http://www.archive.org