PHP 5.5.38

I've had a site running perfectly fine for over a year, and suddenly today its been timing out most of the time trying to load a page, with the 503 error page coming up saying:

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

I am unable to login to admin side of things to check, so looking through system logs it looks like theres an error in a look causing the crash:

2019-06-29T18:41:06+00:00 ERR (3): Notice: iconv_strlen(): Detected an illegal character in input string  in /var/www/vhosts/******/httpdocs/shop/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Helper/String.php on line 86

Looking up line 86 in that file its:

return iconv_strlen($string, self::ICONV_CHARSET);

I have also noticed when trying to login to admin, it forces this error now:

2019-06-29T19:06:54+00:00 ERR (3): Warning: Illegal offset type in isset or empty  in /var/www/vhosts/*****/httpdocs/shop/app/code/core/Mage/Catalog/Block/Product/List/Toolbar.php on line 332

Line 332 in this file is:

if ($order && isset($orders[$order])) {

After using google-fu I haven't come up with much information on this.

UPDATE: I managed to login admin very temporarily, and I have noticed the search terms looked strange on the dashboard so went to the search terms, see the screenshot below:

Which makes it looks like bots or even a DoS attack? Anyone had this before and know if I'm right in thinking this is a DoS?

  • if you think is a DOS, maybe limit access to your site via ip address ( to just your IP). If it loads ok, then you know, and gives you time to investigate whats going on. I does look like a bot testing you site weakness, I have seen similar in our server access log files, but then are not targeted scans ( as they are checking if you have any weakness on the server, not just a magento one), but I have not seen that before in a search – PaddyD Jul 1 at 9:01

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