Being hacked from your WordPress website is a terrifying and horrible experience that can leave you feeling violated and panicked. In such a situation, taking a deep breath and proceeding with a calm and pragmatic approach is best. Install one of the WordPress malware removal plugins listed above, scan your site, and move on from your site’s issues.
You may be wondering why this has happened to you and what you did to deserve it. The internet is crawled by bots looking for vulnerable websites. Most internet attacks are random, so don’t take it personally. Some hackers are motivated by illegal profit and religious and political ideology, while others simply enjoy the act. If the thought of repairing a hacked website makes you nervous, we can handle it for you. Please see our malware removal service page.
Is it tampered with?
In some cases, the intruders do not want you to know that your website has been hacked because they want to continue exploiting your site for as long as possible.
On the other hand, if you’re staring in shock and awe at a big awful message proclaiming that you’ve been “Hack3d By Mr. [Hacker’s Name],” the situation doesn’t require much explanation.
Your web hosting provider may send you an email. Without your knowledge, the malicious party could be consuming bandwidth. When infected files are discovered on the server, your hosting account may be suspended. Web hosting companies take this rather drastic measure to protect your visitors and protect their network. When a hosting provider suspends your account, they usually send you a list of infected files discovered while scanning your site. When it comes to repairing your website, that list is good to start.
A sharp drop in traffic is a common occurrence and a cause for concern, particularly if your website has been blacklisted as infected. Web browsers may even display a security warning when your domain is used.
Do you know how it feels to visit a site and then be abruptly redirected to a suspicious or unrelated site? This is referred to as a “malicious redirect,” and the goal is to illegally drive traffic to a site.
If a hacker gains access to your website, the web pages on it can be replaced with fishing pages (or nearly identical pages). The goal is to dupe your customers into disclosing useful information.
If your website resembles a pharmacy for prescription drugs, you have been the victim of a pharma hack. It is important to note that these links are visible to search engines.
On the WordPress front, look for any new users who have been added to your site. Look for unapproved posts that may have been published and unwanted spammy links.
Finally, Google your company’s name. If you notice strange foreign characters or content unrelated to your business, this is another sign that your site has been hacked. In this case, a useful tip is to render your site with a search bot simulator. Unwanted content is only visible to search engines in some SEO hacks.
In any case, if you suspect that one of your sites has been hacked, use one of the plugins listed below to perform a quick scan.
Malware Scanner Plugins for WordPress
By far the most popular WordPress security plugin. The company offers a free version as well as a premium version that costs $99 per year.
The plugin has three main features:
WordPress Firewall Detects and Prevents Malicious Traffic
WordFence was created, maintained, and continuously updated by a team of WordPress security experts.
WordPress Security Scanner: This malware scanner looks for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects, and codePress injections in core files, themes, and plugins.
Security features include:
- Live traffic monitoring.
- Limited login attempts.
- A spam comment filter.
- IP address and user agent blocking.
- Email notifications.
- Monthly reports.
If you want to learn more about the software, check out our tutorial on using Wordfence to enhance and secure a website.
MalCare is a new service from BlogVault that offers daily malware scans for $99 per site and a hack repair service for $249.
Their advertised selling points are as follows:
Early Malware Detection: MalCare’s automatic scanner detects malware before any damage is done.
MalCare does all of the heavy lifting on its own servers, ensuring that your WordPress site is under no load.
MalCare was developed after analyzing over 240,000 websites and employs over 100 signals to accurately identify even the most complex malware.
You no longer need to wait for technical assistance to clean your WordPress site with MalCare’s One-Click Malware Cleaner.
Built-In Secure WP backups: A backup is the quintessential safety net for your website when it is hacked. With the help of BlogVault’s powerful backup service, you’re always safe and can get to your backups when you need them.
Titan Anti-Spam & Security 3.0
Number 3 on our list this year is Titan Anti-spam & Security. The plugin is an all-in-one way to protect your WordPress site and scan for malware.
The UI is intuitive. A wizard guides you through the configuration process when first installing the plugin. The plugin will look over your site, look for malware, and suggest some “tweaks” to make it more secure.
Though Titan does distribute a free version, it’s worth noting that most of the exciting features are included in the paid version. These include:
- PRO WordPress Security ScannerPRO Malware ScannerPROFirewall (WAF)
- Real-time IP Blacklist
- Detect Malicious Code in Themes and Plugins.
- Extraordinary assistance
At the time of writing this review, a premium license costs $55 per year. Which, I find, is a very reasonable fee.
ScanWPCerberSecurity: Anti-spam, and Malware
ScanWPCerber is a one-stop-shop for protecting and monitoring a WordPress site.
The plugin has one of the best malware scanners. It has software that can monitor changes to files, check the integrity of WordPress, plugins, and themes, and remove malicious code and viruses from your website.
Once installed, you can perform a quick or full scan. All files with executable extensions are tested for infections during the Quick Scan. All files (including media) are scanned for malicious payloads during the full scan.
The plugin also has the following additional features:
- Login attempts should be limited.
- whitelists and blacklists IP addresses based on logins, XML-RPC requests, or auth cookies
- Custom login URLs
- Keep spam out of contact forms.
- Protect post comment forms from spam.
- Validation of WordPress, themes, and plugins
- Monitor file changes.
- Protect the files wp-login.php, wp-signup.php, and wp-register.php from potential attacks.
- Hide wp-admin (dashboard) when a user isn’t logged in.
- Disable the WP REST API.
- Disable XML-RPC (including Pingbacks and Trackbacks)
- Disable feeds (block access to the RSS, Atom, and RDF feeds)
- Disable automatic redirection to the login page.
- Email delivery of a weekly security report
- Protection against denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks5.
Sucuri is one of the better-known companies in the field of WordPress security.
Features of the Sucuri plugin include:
- Audit of Security Activities
- File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening.
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Security Notifications
- Website Firewall
Please keep in mind that the website firewall (WAF) is a paid feature that starts at $16.66 per month.
The free version of the plugin will scan your WordPress installation for changes to the core files provided by WordPress.org. Files in the root directory, wp-admin, and wp-includes will be compared to the files distributed with your version number; any inconsistencies will be listed for your review.
Anti-Malware Protection and Brute-Force Firewall
One of the best ways to check for malware on WordPress is with the Anti-Malware Security plugin by ELI.
Features of the plugin include:
- Run a complete scan to automatically remove known security threats and backdoor scripts.
- The firewall blocks SoakSoak and other malware from exploiting known plugin vulnerabilities.
- Download definition updates to protect against the latest known security threats.
Premium features (which require a donation) include:
- wp-login and XMLRPC to block brute-force and DDoS attacks.
- Check the integrity of your WordPress core files. It automatically downloads new
- definition updates when running a complete scan.
After installing the plugin, you will have the option to register an account at GOTMLS.net. If you sign up for an account, you can download the most recent security definitions or “known threats” to help you figure out what might happen when you scan your application.
A new service, is one of the best security solutions for WordPress webmasters. An all-in-one solution, packed into a beautiful user interface.
Features of the plugin include:
- Brute Force Protection
- IP Blacklisting
- Built-in Firewall Protection
- Malware Scanner
- Protection of Security Keys
- Block visits from bad bots.
- Detection of Vulnerable Plugins and Themes
- Security alerts and reports in PDF format
The free malware scanner stands out as one of the finest products on the market. You’ll get a report from the plugin that not only scans your website, but also that gives you advice on how to make it more secure.
Premium users can use the “auto fix” feature of the software, which will try to automatically remove and fix corrupted files.
Malware Scan by CleanTalk is a service that enhances the security of your website. Built into the plugin is one of the best malware scanners, a free firewall service, and a security log.
The malware scanner can be set to run at a certain time or when a website is hacked.
The scan will look for dangerous code in files that have been changed and for malicious signatures in files. It will also try to fix and remove known malware.
Full list features:
- Firewall for Web Applications
- Malware scanner with AntiVirus functions
- Daily auto malware scan
- Brute Force Protection
- Login Attempts Should Be Limited
- Enhanced login form protection.
- daily security report via email
- Security audit log
- Real-time traffic monitoring
Astra Security Suite (version 9)
The Astra Security Suite is another new addition to this list. Please keep in mind that it is the only plugin in our top ten that does not provide a free version.
Astra is a one-stop security solution for WordPress website owners. The range of security services available is extensive. On-demand malware scanner, malware cleanup, community vulnerability assessment, and penetration testing (VAPT) are some of the things that are available. A real-time web application firewall is one of them.
They also provide malware cleanup as part of their subscriptions (carried out by humans). While we’re updating this list, their starter package is €24 per month and their business plan is €149 per month.
Last but not least, BulletProof Security, one of the oldest security plugins in the WordPress ecosystem, makes our list of malware removal plugins!
Among the many features of the plugin is a built-in malware scanner.
With just a few changes, you can:
- Scan all files and directories located on the server. Configure performance options
- Exclude folders and files
- Scan the database.
- Scan image files.
Malware Infection Recovery Tips
Fixing websites is always a little challenging. But for DIY webmasters and WordPress developers, one way of going about repairing your site would be to: Installation.
of the listed malware removal plugins and run a scan of your file system. Check the results for any unwanted scripts and files. You can either get rid of them or get a new copy of WordPress and start over.
Don’t use a plugin to place all of your bets. Examine critical system files on your own. You should pay special attention to the following files in your theme and WordPress:
And your theme’s functions are:
Manually updating your WordPress website is also advisable (please see our how-to guide). Updating WordPress ensures that the core files are free of infection.
Make sure to remove anything you don’t want on your blog (such as spammy SEO posts) and replace it with the correct things you did.
Determine the source of the hack next. Check to see if you have any vulnerable plugins installed. Over 10,000 known vulnerabilities are cataloged in the WPScan vulnerability database. Replace the faulty plugins or remove them.
It’s now time to beef up the security of your website.
Changing hosting companies is one option to consider. Some hacks are the result of inadequate security measures at the hosting level.
Make sure all software is up-to-date and check out WordPress documentation on hardening security. Some really handy tips in that post!
Installing a firewall can aid in the blocking of malicious requests. WordFence provides one of the most popular services.
Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on your website. It’s also good to run a virus scan on your computer.
It is important to note that a malware-infected website should not be taken lightly.
Your account may be suspended as a result of the fallout. Search engines may also blacklist your site, and web browsers may display a security warning each time your site is accessed. Furthermore, a drop in search engine rankings is a likely outcome that could have a negative impact on your company’s online revenue. Of course, your online reputation may suffer as a result. Most customers are unforgiving, and your site may be perceived as an untrustworthy service.