Q: Can a web developer knowingly/unknowingly put redirects to spam sites on a client's website without client consent?
I hired a web developer for my company's website. For the past 2 years he was the only one with access to the editing tools and the domain, until recently where we discovered accessing the site through a mobile device would redirect you to spam sites, sometimes pornographic, and we asked him for the information. After taking a few weeks and giving us a few wrong usernames, we finally gained access to the account that held the domain and editing tools. Looking through the file directory of our website, I found 2 folders with names that were initially inRussian but converted to english letters. In these folders are a large quantity of files that not only have titles that sound like ads, but are scripts that force your browser to redirect to this new (assumed spam) sites. These files haven't been edited since 2 years ago, when we first hired the webdev. We have strong reason to believe he either intentionally put those files on our website, or he saw said files and did nothing about them.
A: It isn't clear from your question or the sites you posted this question to, exactly what it is that you want. First, you need a new developer to clean your site and correct these problems, close all backdoors and shut out the old developer. Is this criminal? Probably not, but I am not a criminal law attorney, you could take it to your local PD and see what they have to say about it being internet crime.
This is definitely a breach of contract, but how much trouble are you going to go to to chase this guy down and to what end? It does not sound like you spent tens of thousands of dollars with this developer, you would have gotten better service and a bigger company. You could sue him in Small Claims for your money back, if you can find him and if he is good for it.
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