Saturday, April 1, 2023

How to Detect and Remove Malware from a WordPress Website

It’s tricky to see a more destructive feeling for a website owner than to find out that your WordPress website is infected with malware. Your head starts bustling with questions like, how did my website get infected or hacked? How do I get rid of from malware? How to make our websites secure in future.

While this is definitely a disappointing experience, there’s no need to be panic.

In this article, I’ll provide all the necessary information on WordPress malware as well as actionable task for you to clean up your website and keep it secure against potential, future online threats. 

If you think your website has been infected or you’re only suspecting it to be so, jump to the section where we explain how to identify and remove malware from WordPress websites. 

What is malware?

In simple words, malware (malevolent software) is a piece of software, or a code created to destroy or damage a system or gain unapproved access to it (be it your website, Mobile Phone or Laptop).

Depending on its type, WordPress malware can do anything from adding links, ads, or different type of content to your pages’ meta descriptions to completely takeover on your website. 

Most common WordPress malware infections

When it comes to the most common WordPress malware types, there are main four types of infections which are given below!

1: Backdoor

Backdoors allow hackers to gain access to your website by manipulating outdated software or file, security escapes in a code as well as default passwords. Sometimes, you can spot this malware if you see that a file name has been modified, like look.php.

2: Drive-by downloads

This type of malware inserts download links into your website to get your users to download a payload onto their local machine. That payload will then showing a alert that the computer has been infected and provide a link to install an antivirus (which is another payload).

3: Malicious redirects

This malware redirects users that call up your website address to a malicious or spy website. That malicious website may also have a payload that automatically downloads to the user’s computer.

4: Pharma hacks

The pharma virus adds SPAM links to your website that go ahead to actual online pharma stores. Pharma links are the most popular type of site infection and can even use conditional rules to control what the user sees making it much harder to detect.

How see that your WordPress website has been hacked

1: Google Search Console sends you warnings email and notification about your website being hacked

Google can also send you warning emails and emails notifying you that your website has been infected, given you’ve connected it to Google Search Console. These messages also give knowledge about the suspect URLs as well as possible attack transmitters.

2: Website flagged by Google

Such a note appears when your website is blacklisted by Google Safe Browsing which popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla, Safari use to warn their users about a potential risk.

3: Your customers alert you about malware

A bunch of times, it’s not the site owner but the users who experience malware issues first. In that condition, they might reach out to you via contact form or phone to signal that something’s inappropriate.

For example, if you run a E-Commerce store, your users might make a complaint that their credit cards are being hacked.

4: Your hosting provider takes down your website

Hosting providers often search their servers for indications of malware and can suspend hacked websites to prevent a virus from circulating. There are several reasons why your website can be deactivated by your hosting. That includes malicious code found on your server, Google blacklisted your domain, junk mail OR phishing emails being sent from your server, etc.

5: You look at spam search results for your website

Try Googling your brand name and see if you notice something odd about the results. The alert signs can vary from meta descriptions including medical or unrelated keywords and Google indexing pages that shouldn’t exist to weird characters showing up in the search results.

6: You noticed your site files have been changed

If you have access to your site files, take a time look changed at them to see if there have been any changes. If a file has been freshly altered but not by you, check it closely for malicious code. Also, look for files with suspicious names,

For example, .aspx

7: Your site takes much longer to load

Bad site performing can also be a sign of your site being infected. If your pages are unexpectedly taking considerably more time to load, it’s quite possible that malware is using up your server’s resources. 

How to identify and remove malware from a WordPress site

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