This WordPress malware removal guide includes useful advice and tips to help you remove the malware from your website in order to recover and fix a hacked WordPress site. Malware can be a nightmare for website owners, as it can cause all kinds of problems, including website crashes, website slowdown, data theft, damage to your business and online reputation, and even legal issues. You can also get your website blacklisted in the Google search results and it can also harm your website visitors who could be infected with a virus after visiting your site.
What is Malware
Malware (short for malicious software) refers to any program or code that is designed to cause harm to a computer system, network, device, or website. It can take many forms, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and other types of malicious software. It can be used by hackers or cyber criminals to steal sensitive data, damage or delete files, take control of a computer or network or use a device’s resources to perform unauthorized tasks, such as sending spam emails or participating in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Types Of Malware
There are many different types of malware that can infect a website. Some of the most common ones include
These are hidden entry points that allow hackers to access your website and its files remotely. They can be used to install other types of malicious code to steal sensitive data.
These are programs that appear to be legitimate but contain hidden malicious code. They can be downloaded from infected websites or attached to spam emails.
This encrypts your files and demands a ransom payment to restore them. It can be very difficult to remove without paying the ransom.
This type of virus displays unwanted ads on your website. It can be annoying for visitors and can also slow down your website.
This tracks your website visitors’ activities and collects personal information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data.
Is My WordPress Website Hacked
These are just a few of the signs that your WordPress site is hacked. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action immediately to repair and recover the hacked WordPress website in order to protect your website, business, and your visitors.
Suspicious Activity in Your Site’s Logs
The first sign that your website may have been hacked is unusual activity in your site’s logs. This can include things like an unusual spike in traffic or a large number of failed login attempts. You should regularly review your site’s logs to look for any suspicious activity.
Your Website Is Redirecting to Another Site
If you visit your website and find that it’s redirecting to another site, this is a clear sign that your site has been compromised. Hackers often use these redirects to send your visitors to their own or a 3rd party website.
Your Site Is Slow or Unresponsive
If your website suddenly becomes slow or unresponsive, it could be a sign that it has been compromised. Attackers may use your site’s resources to run their own malicious code, which can slow down your site or even crash it.
If you notice new user accounts on your site that you didn’t create, it’s a sign that your site has been exploited. Cybercriminals often create new accounts with administrator privileges so that they can gain full access to your site.
Your Site Is Injecting Ads or Spam
If you notice ads or spam on your site that you didn’t put there, it’s a sign that your site has been exploited by the Hackers who have injected their own code into your site to display ads or spam links, which can damage your site’s reputation and harm your search engine rankings.
If you receive a warning from Google that your site has been blacklisted, it’s a clear sign that your site has been hacked. Google may blacklist your site if they detect malware or other malicious code on your site.
Changes in Your Site’s Appearance
If you notice any changes in your site’s appearance, such as new pages or altered content. Cybercriminals may use your site to host their own malicious content, or they may deface your site as a way of sending a message.
Your Site’s Search Rankings Have Dropped
If you notice a sudden drop in your site’s search rankings, Hackers may use your site to distribute spam links, which can cause your site’s search engine rankings to drop.
How To Remove the Malware From A WordPress Site
Step 1: Identify The Security Issue
The first step in removing malware from a WordPress website is to identify the security issue affecting your website.
This can be a tricky process, as the virus can be hidden in many different places on your site. If you suspect that your site has been infected, it is important to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more damage it will have on your website.
Some Common Signs Of A Website Virus Infection Include
- Your website is slow to load
- Your website Is showing a 500 internal server error
- The website is showing a white screen
- Your website has been marked as dangerous in Google and you have lost all your traffic and sales
- The hosting provider has suspended your hosting service
- Your website theme, plugins, or general functionality is not working as it should do
- Your site is redirecting visitors to other sites
- The website is showing popups
- The website email accounts are sending out spam
Step 2: Back Up Your Site
Before you begin to remove the malware from the WordPress site it is important to back up your website. This will allow you to restore your site to its previous state if something goes wrong during the removal process. You can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus or Jetpack to create a backup of your WordPress site. You can also use the backup options available via Cpanel or Plesk
Step 3: WordPress Malware Scanner
There are several tools available to scan your website. These tools will search your site for any suspicious files, code, or links that could be causing the problem. Once you have run a scan on your site, review the results to identify any malicious files or code that needs to be removed.
Some popular plugins which include scanners are
Step 4: Removing The Malware From Your Website
To manually remove the malware from your site, follow these steps. You can also use a plugin or your hosting provider may have an automated tool available
- Delete any suspicious files from your site
- Remove any malicious code from your site
- Remove any suspicious plugins or themes from your site
- Change all of your passwords (including your website login, FTP, and database passwords)
- Update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins to the latest version
Step 5: Secure Your Site
After you have removed all the malicious code from your site, it is important to take steps to prevent it from happening again. Some steps you can take to secure your site include:
- Install a security plugin like Wordfence or iThemes Security
- Keep your website, themes, and plugins up to date
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
- Limit access to your site by only giving out passwords and login information to trusted users
- Back up your site regularly to a remote location
We understand this can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but it is essential to protect your site and your visitors. By following the steps included in this WordPress malware removal guide and taking measures to protect and secure your site, you can prevent future attacks and keep your site running smoothly.