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How to Remove Malware From Hacked WordPress Website

Hey, are you excited to start a new website with leading software WordPress and want to share it with everyone? You immediately buy a domain or hosting, and then start building your website.

After that, you move on to the next phase of designing your site, installing themes that match your brand, and after some time you’re done with it all. Finally, you start to publish articles and create a login system for users and guests to register accounts… but now what?

You have a secure password to protect your Website from others who might try logging in using your password, right? And if someone did try logging in they wouldn’t be able to access anything else on the site right?

But, your site has just been hacked (yes we know it sounds cliché but trust us, it happens more than you think). Let’s break down why this happens and how you can prevent it from happening again in the future!

Why People Hack Websites

Hacking is the act of gaining unauthorized access and/or control of a computer system, network, or another digital asset with the intent to commit a crime. However, many different motivations can lead someone to become a hacker.

Many hackers are simply curious about how computer systems function. Others may be motivated by personal gains, such as stealing financial data or personal information. Some hackers have also been driven by political, social, or philosophical beliefs. In some cases, hacking can be an outlet for lashing out at society and the system that is perceived to be unfair or unjust.

Finally, some people become hackers because they enjoy the challenge of navigating complex systems to achieve their goals. Regardless of the motivation behind the hacking, it’s important to remember that it can have serious consequences if not done responsibly.

Why WordPress Websites Get Targeted to Hacked

In today’s digital world, cyber-attacks are no longer a thing of the past. It is almost as common as people using the Internet these days. Cyber attacks not only target businesses but also bloggers who have a WordPress blog to host articles online as well.

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in use today. It offers a variety of features that make it perfect for sites that need to be updated frequently and allow users to easily create and manage their blogs from anywhere via the web. Any hacker worth his or her salt can now find out your site has a WordPress because so many people use it for their personal and business blogs alike. These reasons will help you understand why more WordPress websites get targeted to hacking than not even if you haven’t used it before.

01. WordPress is the most popular CMS

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that is preferred by many webmasters for its simplicity and ease of use. It can be used for building any kind of website, from simple personal blogs to large corporate websites. WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg in 2003, and it quickly became one of the most popular CMS on the web.

The WordPress plugin ecosystem has grown to become one of the largest in the world (as measured by active installs). With such a large base of users and developers, it’s no surprise that WordPress has been targeted by hackers many times over the years.

WordPress was hit by one of the largest-ever known attacks in 2016 when a group dubbed “The Impact Team” took control of several high-profile sites and published sensitive data belonging to over 500,000 users.

02. WordPress website Hacked for lack of basic security

WordPress websites are often attractive targets to hackers thanks to the fact that they are easy to set up and maintain. As a result, it is not uncommon for WordPress site owners to have their WordPress website hacked for lack of basic security measures.

  • No two-factor authentication
  • No security hardening and protection
  • No records and activity logs

03. Using Weak Password

There are many ways that hackers can compromise a WordPress website, one of the most common ways is by using weak passwords. When users choose weak passwords, their WordPress website becomes vulnerable to hacking because it makes it easier for hackers to gain access to their user accounts. For this reason, it’s important for users to always use strong passwords when creating a WordPress account. This can be accomplished by using a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters like @ and #.

04. Outdated software is often used.

WordPress is not without its disadvantages, one of which is that it can be vulnerable to hacking attacks. If you are using an outdated version of WordPress, an attacker could gain access to your website and install malware. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you are running the latest version of WordPress.

How To Prevent WordPress Website From Hacking

01. Use a WordPress website firewall/security plugin

While the best way to keep your WordPress website secure is to have a robust security setup in place, some things can be done to make it more difficult for hackers and password stealers to get into your site.

One of the most common ways hackers gain access to WordPress sites is by using brute force attacks, where they try one password after another until they find the correct one. Using a WordPress website firewall and security plugin can help prevent brute-force attacks by making it harder for intruders to log in.

Another way hackers can gain access to WordPress sites is by having access to an admin account, usually because they have obtained admin credentials that were left open or poorly protected.

A WordPress website firewall and security plugin can help prevent this kind of attack by blocking unauthorized users from logging in with admin accounts.

02. Install a two-factor authentication (2FA) plugin

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security measure that requires two forms of verification to access an account or service. The most common form of 2FA is a phone call, but it can also be in the form of an SMS message or keyfob.

It’s easy to install: just visit the plugin page for your webmail provider and follow the instructions to verify your account. Once you’ve done this, a second login attempt will not be allowed without a backup. You can install 2FA plugins for Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and other popular email services. Some providers offer a standalone app that can be installed on your phone as well.

Once you’ve configured 2FA for your account, you’ll want to keep it up to date: hackers have been known to bypass 2FA when they discover new vulnerabilities in popular services. Having a backup method of accessing your account is crucial if something happens to one of your devices.

03. Keep a log of everything that happens on your WordPress

A good way to keep track of any problems or issues that might occur on your WordPress website is to create a log. This can be done by either creating a text file or using an online tool like Google Docs. By keeping a log, you can easily see what’s going on with your site and take action if necessary. You can also use this log to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

In addition to tracking issues, you can also use logs to share information with other team members, such as how many visitors your site is getting at different times of the day.

04. Install a plugin to enforce strong password policies

A strong password policy is the best way to prevent unauthorized access to your network and data. Unfortunately, many organizations have lax or nonexistent policies. One of the most common failures is a lack of consistency in assigning passwords.

Ideally, all users should use the same password and should be required to change it periodically. This not only prevents simple dictionary attacks but also exposes users to account takeovers if they reuse their passwords across multiple systems.

Another common pitfall is leaving the default admin accounts open for other types of remote access. While this might provide some convenience for users, it also provides an attractive target for intruders who want to control your network from afar.

You must enforce strong password policies at all levels – from the top down and bottom up. Start by creating a strong password policy document and requiring employees to sign off on it before they can log in to any system. Then ensure that each system has a secure configuration (e.g., no default admin credentials) and that users are regularly reminded about the need to change their passwords when necessary.

The most effective way to enforce these policies is through a plugin that monitors login activity and flags changes in behavior, enabling you to quickly intervene when necessary.

05. Keep updated on your web server software

Make sure that you keep your web server software updated. This will help prevent hackers from gaining access by exploiting known vulnerabilities in your software.

Recover Hacked WordPress Website Manually

If you suspect that your WordPress website has been infected with malware, there are a few steps you can take to try and remove it:

Scan your website for malware

Several WordPress plugins can scan your website for malware, such as Wordfence Security or Sucuri Security. These plugins will identify any infected files on your website, so you can take action to remove them.

Backup Database & WordPress Files

Keeping a backup of your website is important. If something happens to your site, you’ll want to be able to restore it to its previous condition.

It’s also helpful to keep a backup of your database, so you can make sure you can still access all the information on your WordPress site. Make sure you make regular backups and store them outside of your hosting account in another location if possible.

You can also install an extension for Chrome or Firefox that shows which files have changed recently, so you know what needs backing up right away.

Change all passwords

If your website has been hacked, your passwords have likely been compromised. Change all of your passwords, including your WordPress login password, database password, and FTP password.

Update WordPress and all plugins

Make sure that you have the latest version of WordPress and all of your plugins installed. Outdated versions of WordPress and plugins can be vulnerable to attacks.

Secure your website

Once you have removed the malware and updated your website, it’s important to take steps to secure it. This might include installing a security plugin, enabling two-factor authentication, and regularly updating your passwords.

Clean Out Your Database If Necessary

One of the most important things you can do as a WordPress site administrator is to keep your database clean. If a hacker compromises your site, they’ll access your all information in your database, including user accounts and passwords. As such, it’s important to keep your database free of any unnecessary data. This includes clearing out old posts, cleaning up bad links, and removing non-public pages.

You should also regularly back up your database using one of the many tools available online – such as WP-DB-Backup or Backup Buddy.

Once you’ve cleaned up the database, you should also make sure that none of the settings are set to “production.” This will prevent hackers from being able to use your site by exploiting settings that don’t apply in normal use cases (such as leaving the page cache enabled).

Finally, be sure to update all of your plugins and themes as soon as possible.

Remove users that shouldn’t be there.

If you suspect that there might be unauthorized users on your account, you should remove them immediately.

Remove unwanted files from the File manager

Always try to clean your file manager of unwanted or Dump files. It can create several issues. If you see any unwanted files or folders immediately delete them. Do not store anything on your website root folder.

Delete Replaceable Plugins, Theme, and Files

You can delete replaceable plugins, themes, and files if you think that not to create any issues.

Clean PHP, and JavaScript Malwares Codes

Now, the most important thing you have to do is clean PHP and JavaScript Malware code from your site. If you do not have any knowledge about coding, I recommend you don’t try to do that.

Stop Backdoor & Shell Attacks

Find the backdoor through which the hacker entered your site and close it.

Reset passwords

Now change your site password. So that no one else can access your site using the old password.

Update Login Security

Especially strengthen your site’s login security. Try using a custom login link. and add a fail login limit. So, your IP will be blocked if a hacker or someone tries to break your password.

Install Firewall and Security Plugin

There are various types of security plugins available in the market. If possible, use security plugins to protect the site.

Update backdated plugins and themes

Always try to keep themes, and plugins updated. Most of the time, hackers enter the site by extracting old versions of themes and plugins.

Clean out your sitemap

If there is anything unwanted in the sitemap, remove them.

Remove Bad Indexed Link

Hacked sites get indexed in search engines before we notice them. This is the main reason of domain is blacklisted. So try to remove links from search engines as soon as possible.

Type of Malware

There are many types of malware, and the specific type of malware that a computer or website is infected with can have different characteristics and effects. Here are some common types of malware:

Virus: A virus is a type of malware that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. Viruses can be transmitted through email attachments, instant messages, or infected files that are downloaded from the internet. They can cause a range of problems, including slowing down your computer, deleting or corrupting files, and displaying unwanted pop-ups.

Worm: A worm is a type of malware that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another without requiring human intervention. Worms can be transmitted through email attachments, instant messages, or infected files that are downloaded from the internet. They can cause problems such as consuming bandwidth, slowing down your computer, and deleting or corrupting files.

Trojan: A Trojan is a type of malware that disguises itself as legitimate software, but is a malicious program that can gain access to your computer and steal sensitive information. Trojans can be transmitted through email attachments, instant messages, or infected files that are downloaded from the internet.

Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files and demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware can be transmitted through email attachments, instant messages, or infected files that are downloaded from the internet. It can also be delivered through drive-by downloads, where a user’s computer is infected just by visiting a compromised website.

Adware: Adware is a type of malware that displays unwanted ads on your computer or website. Adware can be transmitted through email attachments, instant messages, or infected files that are downloaded from the internet. It can also be delivered through drive-by downloads or bundled with other software.

Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware that tracks your online activity and sends the information back to the hacker. Spyware can be transmitted through email attachments, instant messages, or infected files that are downloaded from the internet. It can also be delivered through drive-by downloads or bundled with other software.

By understanding the different types of malware and how they can be transmitted, you can take steps to protect your computer or website from being infected.

How to Secure WordPress website

There are several steps you can take to secure your WordPress website:

Keep WordPress and all plugins up to date: Outdated versions of WordPress and plugins can be vulnerable to attacks. Make sure you are running the latest versions of WordPress and all of your plugins to reduce the risk of your website being hacked.

Use strong passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts, including your WordPress login, database, and FTP account. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your website by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your account.

Use a security plugin: Security plugins can help protect your website from malware and other threats. Some popular options include Wordfence Security, Sucuri Security, and iThemes Security.

Limit login attempts: Limiting the number of login attempts can help prevent brute force attacks, where hackers try to guess your password by repeatedly trying different combinations. A plugin like Limit Login Attempts Reloaded can help with this.

Use SSL: SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts the data transmitted between your website and the visitor’s browser, making it harder for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive information. Many hosting providers offer free SSL certificates, and you can install one on your website through your hosting control panel or a plugin like Really Simple SSL.

Regularly scan your website for malware: Use a plugin or other security tool to regularly scan your website for malware and other threats. If you find any infected files, remove them immediately.

By following these steps, you can help secure your WordPress website and protect it from being hacked.

NOTE: If you are unable to remove the malware from your website, you may need to seek professional help. A web developer or security expert may be able to identify the source of the malware and help you remove it.