As we have looked closer at the web security company SiteLock over the last year one of the things that has stuck out is how their web hosting partners are not being upfront about the nature of their partnership with SiteLock.
As we have mentioned before when it comes to one of their biggest web hosting partners, Endurance International Group (EIG), the company has disclosed to investors that SiteLock not only pays them more than half fees for services sold through their partnership, but the CEO and a board of EIG also are the major owners of SiteLock. Those seem like things that should be disclosed to their customers as well since there is an obvious potential for conflict of interest with that relationship, for which their customers should be aware of when considering their recommendations regarding SiteLock. Instead we have found previously that one EIG brand, HostGator, wouldn’t even publicly acknowledge those connections. In that instance they referred to SiteLock simply as a “trusted partner”.
We are frequently contacted by people that have had their web host shut down access to the website based on a claim that the website is hacked and recommend that they hire SiteLock to handle resolve the situation. While in many instances the websites are in fact hacked, there are some serious issues with false claims that websites are hacked. So when we are contacted in those situations we want to find out what evidence there is that the website is hacked first, so that we can double check if the website is in fact hacked before starting on a cleanup. Through that we were recently forwarded a report from the web host Site5 (about a website that was actually hacked), which referred to SiteLock is this way:
If you don’t feel comfortable removing the infected files yourself, we recommend contacting a third party professional who can assist with removing malware, such as SiteLock.
Considering that Site5 has been part of EIG for nearly a year and the connection between EIG and SiteLock, calling them a third party, while maybe technically accurate, clearly doesn’t provide their customers a honest understanding of the connection between the companies. (Not surprisingly from everything else we have seen related to EIG, the quality of Site5 service and support looks to have gone downhill since becoming part of EIG, just look at the number of negative reviews they have received on their BBB page since the purchase).A Better Alternative to SiteLock
If your web host is pushing you to hire SiteLock to clean up a hacked website, we provide a better alternative, where we actually properly clean up the website if it is truly hacked or if isn't we will help you to get the issue resolved for free.
Before you do anything else though, you should check out our post on what you should know when you get contacted by or about SiteLock.