While trying to visit a site earlier that I've previously accessed without an issue, I was oddly redirected to some spammy dating site. Not wanting to try again, I used wheregoes.com to trace the redirects and it showed a 203 meta-refresh redirect, then a 301 redirect, then a 302 redirect to the final destination. I researched these status codes but I am not certain if a 203 redirect is anything "bad" or not.

Is there a way to tell if this site has been hacked? It is supposed to lead to documentation for a Python ML library, and I would like to notify the site owner if so. I don't want to raise a false alarm if not necessary, though. I'd also like to learn a little about it too!

I can provide more info or the trace link (from wheregoes.com, not the spam site) if absolutely necessary, I just don't want to publicize the actual site unless necessary to avoid any bad publicity.

  • So this is not your site?
    – Trebor
    Feb 7, 2021 at 21:07
  • Nope, it is not. I hope this wasn't the wrong place to ask this question...my bad if so!
    – ECF
    Feb 7, 2021 at 21:21
  • The interim sites that are redirected to could give you a clue as whether these redirects are malicious, but as davidgo pointed out, the status codes themselves do not hold the clue.
    – MrWhite
    Feb 8, 2021 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


You cant tell if a site has been hacked purely from status codes. If it is going to a spammy dating site it likely has been hacked, or the site may be hooked into a questionable advertising network. In either case its likely appropriate to give the webmaster a heads-up.

As an outsider there are only a limited number of things you can do to see if a site has been hacked - most likely you cant come to a definate conclusion.

An html meta-refresh is a red flag that very possibly indicates a compromise of the html on the site or a database compromise

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