Malware infections can be a serious problem for WordPress websites. Malware is a type of malicious software that can infect your website and cause damage, steal sensitive information, or even take over your website. In this article, we will discuss what malware is, how it infects WordPress websites, and how to remove it.
Let’s dive right into it!
What is Malware?
Malware is a type of malicious software that is designed to harm your website or steal sensitive information.
Malware can take many forms, including viruses, trojans, and worms, and can be spread through various methods such as email attachments, downloads, and infected websites.
How does Malware infect WordPress websites?
WordPress websites can become infected with malware in many ways, including:
Outdated software, plugins, and themes can contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers to inject malware into your website.
Based on Sucuri’s reports more than 95% of WordPress infections happen due to outdated & vulnerable software.
We have a blog post explaining that the best way to stay safe, is to update your plugins.
Weak & compromised passwords
Weak passwords can be easily guessed by hackers, giving them access to your website and allowing them to inject malware.
Compromised passwords available on public data leaks are also a big risk. You can use tools such as HaveIbeenPwned.com to check for compromised credentials, or use security plugins such as WordFence Premium that do come with such feature built-in.
Be sure to read our blog post about Using strong but easy to remember passwords.
Infected files can be uploaded to your website and used to inject malware.
Be sure to filter & sanitize all uploads forms to prevent malicious actors from upload executable files to your website.
WordPress by default does not allow the upload of PHP files and other extensions, but some users disable this feature unaware of the risk that this opens on their own website.
Infected plugins and themes
Infected plugins and themes can be downloaded from untrusted sources and used to inject malware into your website.
These are usually known as NULLED Plugins/Themes. They come with backdoors, webshells and other malware that allows them access to your site.
Always download the plugins either from the Developer website or directly from WordPress.org repository.
How to remove Malware from WordPress websites?
Removing malware from WordPress websites can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to remove it:
Backup your website
Before you begin removing malware, it is important to backup your website.
This will allow you to restore your website if something goes wrong during the removal process.
It is important to keep the backup on a different location to avoid any possible contamination of this backup.
Identify the malware
Remove the malware
Once you have identified the malware, you need to remove it from your website. This can involve manually removing infected files, updating software, and removing infected plugins and themes.
Secure your website
After removing the malware, it is important to secure your website to prevent future infections.
This task involves:
- Updating software: WordPress core, Plugins & Themes.
- Removing inactive plugins and themes.
- Resetting all Administrators passwords and forcing the usage of strong passwords.
- Removing Administrators that are no longer needed. WordPress does offer other roles depending on the tasks that the user needs to perform.
- Rotating SALT KEYS within the
wp-config.phpfile. This will invalidate any existing logged in session on the site.
- Installing & customizing settings of security plugins.
In conclusion, malware infections can be a serious problem for WordPress websites. If your website has been infected with malware, it is important to take action quickly to remove it and secure your website. If you need help removing malware from your website, WP Mechanics can help. They are a team of WordPress experts who specialize in website optimization and security and can help you remove malware and ensure that your website is secure.