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I have a shared hosting account that I was using to check out various web applications (the account came with scriptaculo.us scripts that made for easy installation).

In the end I had installed about 5 different web apps into subdirectories on this hosting account. I should likely had deleted the web apps a couple of weeks ago because today I noticed that one of them was sending out spam email.

What I have done now is that I logged back into that hosting account and deleted:

  1. the MySQL DBs used by each web app
  2. the MySQL DB user accounts for each web app
  3. the web apps themselves (meaning the directories that contain the PHP/JS/CSS/etc files)

But now the crazy thing is that the web app directories for one of the applications keeps re-appearing. Most of the directories in this zombie web application are empty however. It looks like as shown in below screen shot:

zombie web app structure

The hosting account comes with a ClamAV® Virus Scanner (available through the cPanel) and after deleting everything I could I did a virus scan. The scan did not find anything.

The questions I wanted to ask are:

  1. Is there something I can do through cPanel to keep that zombie web application structure from re-appearing?
  2. Is there something I can do through cPanel to make sure no more spam is getting sent through this hosting account?
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I have had the same behavior: it was caused by the hoster's server (auto)-backup settings. Contact your hoster and say, you want purge account's data completely, so the folder structure will not come back, after you manually delete it.

And, in addition, check how are your own backup settings in cpanel.

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