Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Discussion regarding Joomla! 1.5 security issues.
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Paul Knupke
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Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Postby Paul Knupke » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:05 pm

Our existing Joomla 1.5 site was hacked and the webhost took the site off line. Before the host will allow the site to go back on line, I have to upgrade to the latest version of Joomla. I need to install the old version 1.5 site in XAMMP to use as a guide to building a new Joomla 3.5 site from scratch. I am happy to delete the old site and install Joomla 3.5 so the host will allow web access. I have FTPed the old site (everything in and below htdocs folder) to a local folder. I have XAMMP installed and trying to move the old site to XAMMP. How do I move/inport the old site local files into XAMMP?

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sozzled
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Re: Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Postby sozzled » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:30 pm

I rarely reply to questions about "salvaging" old/outdated/hacked J! 1.5 websites because it's been said before, and it will be said again, that people who continue to hope/expect/pray their J! 1.5 websites will continue to remain viable are hoping/expecting/praying for the impossible dream.

Leaving aside my opening editorial remarks, it's not going to be easy.

You've already said that you're happy to delete your old website. That's actually the most difficult part of the process. Once you've made that decision and stick to that decision, the rest of the process is fairly straightforward. But, you should prepare yourself for the fact that your new site (developed in J! 3.6—not J! 3.5) will probably not be up-and-running for several days ... assuming you're prepared to work 8 hours per day at least.

Do you have an old backup of your website before it was hacked? If you have an old backup, this could save you a couple of days. Use the old backup as a start point and migrate the J! 1.5 site to J! 3.x. That will probably take you a few days to do but the good news is that you will have all your Joomla articles, users, images and other material that will be useful when you fully make-over you site.

If you do not have an old backup of your website before it was hacked, it may be possible to retrieve some information from the J! 1.5 database. Certainly it makes good sense to attempt to FTP files from the server to your local machine but here's the caveat: if you attempt to use the corrupted/hacked site under XAMPP you may be getting yourself into deep trouble. For one thing, it's possible that there may be hidden traps in those files that could metastasise into something equally insidious on your PC.

Remembering that Joomla is a CMS (i.e. there are files and there is a database) FTP is only half of the total package. You need to export the database associated with the site and import that database into your XAMPP environment.

That's the general outline. It's not easy; it's full of traps, pitfalls and problems—all of which could have been avoided if you'd taken preventive action a few years ago (but that's ancient history now); it takes patience, courage and perseverance. Depending on how critically important is the content, you might consider engaging a professional consultant.

Good luck 8)
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Re: Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Postby Per Yngve Berg » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:21 am

Mod. Note: Relocated the topic to the Security J1.5 forum.

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Re: Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Postby Paul Knupke » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:39 pm

Thanks for your lengthy reply. To be fair to you, I fully expected and own up your to statements about not backing up/upgrading. I have attempted upgrading J! 1.5 several times before but was never successful. I kept putting if off thinking I would finally find the correct path to upgrading.

My only wish now is to get the old website up and running under XAMMP to use only as a reference for building a new site in J! 3.6, not to salvage the old site. I do have an old copy of the files but not the database. I was under the impression that there was a method of reinitializing the database with the files, but apparently I was wrong on that part as well. My motto is experience is an effective teacher, albeit not always kind.

Before charging ahead and dumping to old site at the web host, I thought is was worth the effort to ask the experts first.

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Per Yngve Berg
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Re: Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Postby Per Yngve Berg » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:47 pm


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Re: Trying to salvage hacked Joomla 1.5 site

Postby Paul Knupke » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:14 pm

I gave up trying to salvage the Joomla 1.5 site but I was able to salvage content using a archive snap shot of the site at the WayBackMachine. That was a God send. I was able to capture all of the media on the old site by FTP access.

I brought up a completely new and Joomla 3.6 site and added a new template and plugins.

I would like to thank those who posted. Keeping the Joomla version up to date is now easy and will be safe using daily backup of the site.

Paul Knupke


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