I have a vps server that had been attacked with a virus which keeps injecting many hidden files. How can I delete all hidden files in directories and sub directories of the public_html folder, except two files: .htaccess and .user.ini?

I have tried the below Linux command, but without success:

find "public_html" -type f -name '.*' -delete !(".htaccess"|".user.ini")
  • 2
    That's doesn't seem like a good idea, to just delete the files that the virus is creating....
    – Dave
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:41
  • I guess I have already killed the virus , I have installed wordfence and I have added many security precaution , the virus was not able anymore to stop my website , it did it many time before ; I need now just deleting the restes of this virus
    – sabdel sabdel
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:45
  • Why not just delete everything on the server and reupload the important files?
    – Dave
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:46
  • I have many website hosted on this vps server I can't start from the scratch
    – sabdel sabdel
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:48
  • 1
    You're fighting an uphill battle ... like taking aspirin against COVID. Take the machine off-line, make a full-disk clone for forensics; find out how the malware got there, restore from the last good known back-up and patch the access vector.
    – tink
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


As people have already told you in the comments, this is a very bad idea. You will never be sure you've cleaned everything up and standard procedure for something like this is to wipe the sever and restore from a clean backup.

That said, the reason your find command isn't working is because find doesn't understand extended globbing patterns like !(".htaccess"|".user.ini"). Instead, you need to use find's own syntax:

find . -type f -name '.*' ! -name .htaccess -a ! -name .user.ini -delete


find . -type f -name '.*' ! \( -name .htaccess -o -name .user.ini \) -delete
  • Thanks @terdon , you answer me question Jan 18, 2021 at 19:25

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