24 Oct How To Check Your WordPress Website For Hidden Malware with these 5 Methods
WordPress, the number one CMS in the world. Yes, it is that awesome. But, with popularity comes the drawbacks. As most of the website uses WordPress CMS, hackers are more keen to target the platform than any other platform.
They can find loopholes as there are so many targets. If one website is secure, they just move on to the next one, until they found a soft target.
Also, the open source nature is easily exploitable. The reputable names in the market make sure that their themes are clean and secure to use. But, not every WordPress developer likes to keep it clean. They can easily inject malware in the code, and you become the easy target.
Forgot those scenarios, just please forget. Today, I will go through the ways, you can check your website for malware infection and also able to remove it from your website automatically. No need to go through code or hire expensive security experts — the WordPress ecosystem offers their help in the form of plugins.
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Common ways a malware can enter your website are through the following channels.
- Backdoors: Hackers can create a backdoor using FTP or WordPress admin area to inject the site with malware.
- Malicious Redirects: By making people visit a different website and mislead them to download a separate file.
- Phishing: Getting access to your WordPress dashboard using phishing method and then injecting the website with malware.
- Database Injections: Inject database with malicious information.
With these four attacks, the hackers can easily take control of your website. There are many other ways, malware can be injected, but we will keep it simple for now, and focus on the solution.
Without much ado, let’s go through a small collection of Security plugins that check your website for malware and clean it if they found any.
How To Scan Your WordPress Website For Hidden Malware
Theme Authenticity Checker(TAC) is an advanced theme checker that looks for any malicious code in your theme. It also looks for any unwanted code that might not be related to the theme itself.
Once it finds out any malicious code, it provides a report to you. It also looks through obfuscated code and warns you of any possible issues.
It has over 100,000+ active installs and speaks volume about its usability.
Sucuri Malware Scanning
Sucuri is well known for their security products for WordPress platforms. They are also known for malware scanning and provide an online portal to check the website for any potential malware infection.
The online scanner provides a remote external check on the website and is free of cost. It does no harm to your website and makes it clear that it is not 100% accurate.
Security was never a 100% thing; there is always a loophole waiting to be exploited. The idea is to make the website more secure than ever.
The online scanner service offers website scanning for defacements, malware, spam injections or blacklisting.
So, does the scanning with Sucuri Malware scanner makes the website malware free? The answer is NO! You still need to do a manual scan for accurate results. Sucuri Malware Scanner offers a good starting point.
You can try out their security plugin, Sucuri Security, which can scan your website thoroughly compared to the online scanner.
You can also try out some plans that they offer online for advanced malware protection.
Antivirus is a free WordPress plugin that you can use to scan for malware infection. The plugin automatically scans the website each day, but it has a serious limitation. It doesn’t scan inactive themes.
CodeGuard is a good online backup service. It automatically backup your website daily or the schedule you set it to. So, how come it is good for malware detection? During the backup, it does the scanning process and alerts you immediately if it finds any malware or malicious code.
The service is available for only $5 per month and is a great for backing up your website and checking it for malware infection.
WordFence is my favorite antivirus and malware removal plugin. The plugin offers everything you can ask. It sends an email notification whenever something suspicious happens.
The plugin is 100% free and offers a paid service for some premium support. You can do a complete website scan with the help of the plugin.
From my personal experience, the plugin was able to find hidden malware link in the themes file. It is also able to scan inactive themes and plugins, and that’s why I would always prefer WordFence to any other plugin out there.
The plugin is also frequently updated and offers great support in the form of the community.
Exploit Scanner is a simple plugin that aims to find out if the themes or plugins are infected with any malicious code or malware. The plugin is quite useful, and you can try it to keep your website clean and safe.
Anti-Malware is fully focused on finding any malicious code in your website. It scans for Viruses, malware and any other security threats that can harm your website.
Anti-Malware automatically fixes any loophole and hence is a better option compared to other malware detection plugins or online services.
From the admin menu, you can run a Quick Scan or go for a complete scan from the settings page. The Anti-Malware plugin also downloads new definitions to take care of new threats(manual downloads).
The plugin is also available in premium version. The premium version offers more functionality including integrity check, patching wp-login to block Brute force attacks and automatically downloading new definitions.
So, is my site safe now?
Probably, Yes. It is much safer compared to when you were not scanning your website for any potential malware attacks or hacks. No system is 100% secure, the philosophy of security is to me as secure as possible and not completely secure.
But, if you are still worried about any malware infection, I would recommend hiring a security expert and scanning your website manually. This way you can be 100% sure that your website is malware free.
If you still have questions, don’t forget to use the comment section below. Also, share the article with your friends and family.