Case Study: Ricardo Serpa

September 7, 2016 in Community, SiteLock Reviews

Website Background is a website dedicated to the photographic work and professional blog of Ricardo Serpa. Serpa first began his career in photography over 25 years ago when he left his day job as an export manager in Brazil to chase his true passion, photography. He became a photojournalist at Jornal Do Brasil, a Brazilian newspaper, where he worked for three years before deciding to pursue photography on his own terms.

Serpa knew that as an independent photojournalist he needed a way to share his photography portfolio, so he created The website allows Serpa to share his photo galleries of trips he has made around the world, stay in touch with his audience, and provide information on his new endeavors such as teaching. “My website is the single most important aspect of my life as a professional photographer. It is my window to the world; my own way of showcasing my work and promoting my travels.” Without his website, Serpa would not be able to reach and interact with his audience the way he is able to now.


Serpa relies on his website as an illustration of his work and talent. That’s why he was devastated to find that he had been flagged by Google as a potentially hacked website. “I suspected something wasn’t right when I started to notice missing emails, both incoming and outgoing. No explanation for the mystery, until the day I did a search for my own site and realized Google had ‘red flagged’ it,” said Serpa.

Upon further investigation, Serpa also found that his website descriptions had been redirected and were advertising everything from pharmaceutical drugs to weight loss and dating websites. He knew he needed to remediate the issue quickly, “It was a matter of doing a lot of research and finding the best way to solve the problem.” That’s when Serpa reached out to SiteLock for the solution.

Solution and Result

The SiteLock team got right to work cleaning up Serpa’s website. They upgraded to the SiteLock INFINITY package, which includes SiteLock SMART, Secure Malware and Removal Tool, as well as SiteLock TrueShield web application firewall. In addition, SiteLock deployed the Expert Services team to do a manual clean of the website making sure all malware was removed. The Expert Services team quickly identified hundreds of spam comments on the website and removed them.

Within 12 hours, Serpa’s website had been cleaned manually by the SiteLock team and both SMART and TrueShield had been configured.

SMART went to work finding and removing malware and providing continuous comprehensive website file scanning to identify malware, algorithms, backdoor files and malicious coding. When malware is detected, SMART automatically removes it. Within the first three scans of, SMART detected and removed 122 malicious files. SMART has continued to analyze an average of 4,625 files each day for the last 30 days for and no additional malware has been detected.

TrueShield was installed to protect from all future attacks and attempted intrusions. Since configuration, TrueShield has blocked 2,318 threats and 136 bad bots by employing a CAPTCHA. TrueShield has also blocked 89 attempts to access illegal resources and blocked one SQL injection attempt, effectively preventing Serpa’s website from being hacked.

In addition to cleaning and protecting Serpa’s site, SiteLock also reached out to Google to have re-indexed so his fans and potential customers could once again access his work.

After an eye-opening experience, Serpa is relieved that his website is now fully protected, “Having my website compromised made me realize how important it is to keep it safe and “bullet-proof” when it comes to cyber attacks like the one I was a victim of. I’m really happy with the peace of mind SiteLock provided me, and I can fully recommend it!”

For more SiteLock case studies, visit You can also read other SiteLock customer reviews on Consumer Affairs and TrustPilot.

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