Suffering from malware infection on your WordPress site?
WordPress powers over 40% of all websites on the internet and are the most widely used Content Management System worldwide. Due to its popularity, WordPress has become a common target of cyber attacks.
Do you know, 70% of WordPress websites are vulnerable to hacking attempts?
WordPress site security is not to be taken lightly. Malware is one of the major issues that can be very harmful to your WordPress site. It may kill the reliability and trust of your users.
In this post, you will learn about:
- Signs that show that your WordPress site is infected with malware
- Ways to detect malware in WordPress site
- Steps for WordPress malware removal
Let’s get started!
Signs That Show That Your WordPress Site Is Infected With Malware
According to the survey, there are around 90,000 attacks targeting WordPress sites every minute.
It is important to protect your WordPress website against any type of threat. You need to take certain actions to detect and remove Malware from your WordPress website to keep it secure.
The most common signs that your WordPress site is infected with Malware are:
- Failed to log in to your admin panel
- Unusual account activity detected
- Security plugins or file integrity gives notifications about an unexpected change in your environment or website files.
- Browser warnings
- Google Search Console displays a warning message
- Customers’ complaints about credit card theft
- The website become extremely slow
Kind in mind, some malware infections prefer to keep a low profile. It’s hard to observe the malware issues in such cases. You need to detect the malware manually in such cases and take action to remove Malware from your website.
Ways To Detect Malware In WordPress Site
Scanning your WordPress website to detect malware can help you to identify and eliminate any harmful content that may compromise your site.
Tips to detect Malware in WordPress websites:
- Check your backup for hacked files
- Perform Google search
- Perform DB scan
- Check raw access logs
- Outdated plugins
The easiest way to scan your WordPress site to detect malware issues is to use a security plugin. WordPress security plugins are very popular and quite helpful in this case.
Best plugins to detect Malware in WordPress websites:
Don’t forget, For a long time, malicious code can go unnoticed. That’s why, it’s a good idea to check your website regularly, even if there are no signs that something’s wrong.
We recommend checking for malware at least once per month to keep your WordPress website secure. It’s a good option to set a regular reminder to scan your website for malware.
Steps For WordPress Malware Removal
Follow these easy steps to remove Malware from your WordPress website:
Step 1: Backup the site files and database
Backup of the site files and database is actually the guarantee that your website can be completely restored if any problem occurs or the website crashes.
Benefits of taking the backup:
- Website backup is an additional layer of website protection
- Easy to access the selective file
- No need to worry about data loss
- Gives great reliability
- Files can be restored if the website crashes
Best WordPress backup plugins:
Step 2: Run an antivirus scan and website malware scan
Run an antivirus scan is one of the best options to detect the files that are infected in your website. With a single FTP program, we can easily download all the files of the website to analyze the malicious code.
The antivirus generates a report which includes the details about the potentially dangerous files.
If the antivirus option failed to help you then you can use online tools for malware detection on your website. The online tools show a report with the files that are infected.
Step 3: Download and examine the backup files
Download the website files and examine them with respect to the report shared by the malware scanner tool.
You need to review:
- All WordPress Core files: Download fresh WordPress from WordPress.org. Then, compare the files with your website files. It will help you to investigate the website hack.
- wp-config.php file: To examine this file is really important. This file contains information about the name, username, and password of your WordPress database.
- .htaccess file: You can view your backup folder using an FTP program to examine this file.
- wp-content folder: This folder will have at least three folders: themes, uploads, and plugins. Examine these folders. Make sure that none of the files is missing.
- Database: Examine the SQL file that is an export of your database. There shouldn’t be any raw/unknown entries or tables.
If you find the issue in any of the files, restore the website backup or take help from an expert to fix the issue.
Step 4: Reset passwords
The benefits of resting the password of your WordPress website often cannot be underestimated.
Best practices for password creation:
- 2 Factor authentication
- Keep your passwords unique
- Choose passwords that are long and varied
Make sure, you have changed the password for:
- All users with administrator level
- Change the access password to your hosting panel
- FTP password
Step5: Update permalinks
To update the permalinks of your WordPress, Redirect to Settings > Permalinks. Here, simply click Save Changes.
This will restore your .htaccess file and all the site URLs will work again.
Make sure, when you delete files on your server, don’t leave any hacked .htaccess files behind.
.htaccess is an invisible file and controls a lot of things on the server. It can be hacked to redirect people from your site to other sites.
Step 6: Find a malicious user
A malicious user authorizes access to your site and acts with bad faith.
Early signs of malicious users:
- Unusual bandwidth usage
- External connections
- Account changes
- Building a robust security posture
- Understanding detection controls
Some hackers register on your WordPress website and execute malicious scripts. It exploits any vulnerability of the theme or plugin.
You can use Stop Spammers to spam and delete them.
Step 7: Delete all the files in the public_html folder
The public_html folder is the web root for your primary domain name and here, you put all website files. If you are feeling unsafe, you can delete the files.
If you have verified, that you have a good and complete backup of your WordPress website, Delete all the files in your public_html folder using the web host’s File Manager. Except for the CGI-bin folder and any server-related folders that are clearly free of hacked files.
Step 8: Reinstall WordPress
Using the one-click installer from your web hosting control panel, reinstall WordPress in the public_html directory.
In reference to the backup of your site, edit the wp-config.php file on the new install of WordPress to use the database credentials from your former site.
Step 9: Install and run security plugins
WordPress security, despite being quite good, is not infallible. It’s good to have a security plugin on your WordPress website to keep it secured.
Benefits of using a security plugin:
- Protect confidential data
- Avoid losing access to your website
- Stop brute force attacks
- Prevent SEO rankings and brand reputation from damage
Best WordPress Security Plugins:
Run the Anti-Malware Security and scan the site thoroughly. Scan the site with Sucuri’s Sitecheck to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Step 10: Tell Google that your website is clean
If your website was hacked and Google detected it, then Google definitely put the “infected poster” on your site.
You can see this in your Search Console from the Security Problems menu.
Once you have cleaned up all traces of malware from your website and successfully removed it, ask Google to reconsider your website using the Request a Review tool.
If everything has been done well, nothing can stop you from removing your website from Google Blacklist Warnings.
Wrapping up, WordPress is a flexible and powerful CMS. That’s why WordPress is considered a prime target for hackers.
It’s important to remove malware from your WordPress website as soon as possible to reduce the risk. It may affect your website users, can ruin your site’s reputation, and encrypt and delete sensitive data.
Malware can be removed from your WordPress website in numerous ways. You can either do it manually if you have the technical expertise by following the above guide and can hire a WordPress security expert to do the work for you.
Feel free to comment us below, if this article has helped you to detect and remove malware on your WordPress website or if you need any help.