My site was hacked about 2 months ago so I closed the site down but there are over 1,000 spam links out there still directing to the domain. As there are no files on the domain visitors, including Google, receive a 403 error, so assume the page exists. How can I change the 403 to a 404? I have a 404.html file and have tried all the different rewrite, error document variations for the htaccess file I've been able to find on this site and others and nothing seems to work. For example:

Options -Indexes
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?fineartdecor.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)/$ - [R=404,NC]


ErrorDocument 404 /index.html?status=404


  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteRule ^(.*)$ / [L,QSA]


Further suggestions would be gratefully received.


It is producing the 403 error because:

  1. Your directory is empty, or
  2. htaccess is blocking access, or
  3. You simply don't have an index.htm.

So release the htaccess, and create a bare bones index.html that states that you were a victim and basically what your intentions are (i.e. we will be back soon bigger, better, and safer). After that lack of specific pages will result in a 404. Everything else will result in the index.html being displayed.

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