Website Appears Hacked - Can't log in - Showing critical error

I was trying to go to our site and it shows a critical error and the google listing is now in Chinese. I can’t get into the back end of the site either

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Site Moderator
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July 11, 2023


Have you made any recent changes to your WordPress site? This will include file changes, plugin or theme update and removing/installing new plugins or themes.

You can examine the PHP error_log and also check if your website has been infected with malware or has been compromised.

For the issue of the Google listing appearing in Chinese, it might be that your website has been hacked. You would need to take necessary measures to clean your site and strengthen your site’s security.

Hope that this helps!

Site Moderator
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July 11, 2023

Hey @jade9415b4b26a4be2e704d28a,

Here are the three main reasons behind the “There has been a critical error on your website” message in WordPress:

  • Failed WordPress core, theme, and plugin updates.
  • Malware infections.
  • Server-side PHP issues and resource limits.
  1. Failed WordPress core, theme, and plugin updates: WordPress, like all software, needs to be updated regularly. These updates include new features, bug fixes, and security patches. If an update to the WordPress core, a theme, or a plugin fails, it can result in parts of your site becoming incompatible with each other. This can cause a range of errors, including the critical error message. This is particularly common when there’s a major WordPress update, as these often include significant changes that some themes or plugins may not be compatible with. It can also occur if the update process is interrupted, for example, due to a connection issue or a problem with your web host.

  2. Malware infections: Just like your computer, your WordPress site can become infected with malware. This can happen if you install a plugin or theme from an untrustworthy source, if your web host is compromised, or through a variety of other means. Once on your site, malware can cause all sorts of issues, depending on what it’s designed to do. It might corrupt your site files, steal your data, or use your site to spread the malware to your visitors. Any of these could result in a critical error message.

  3. Server-side PHP issues and resource limits: WordPress is built on PHP, a server-side scripting language. If there’s a problem with the PHP on your web server, it can prevent WordPress from functioning correctly. This might be because the version of PHP you’re using is too old (or too new) for the version of WordPress you’re running. It could also be due to a PHP extension that WordPress needs being missing, or a configuration setting that’s not correct. Resource limits can also cause issues. These are restrictions on how much CPU, RAM, and other resources your site can use. If WordPress hits these limits, it can cause a critical error.

Now, let’s assume you’ve been hacked. The best thing to do is restore your website from backup and update everything immediately.

If you don’t have a backup and even if you do, I’ll recommend highering a web security developer that will help you clean your website of infections.

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