Spam connect injections are feared by WordPress site owners as one of the smartest and most well-disguised hacks.
If you’ve been a victim of a spam injection hack, you know how frustrating it can be because it’s one of the most difficult to find and repair.
We’ve seen a number of instances where clients attempted to remove the hack by restoring their backup. They also attempted to delete the malicious code from the files and database. However, the spam reappeared after just a few days!
Here, we’ll show you the most reliable and efficient method for permanently eliminating spam.
If your site has been harmed by spam connection injections, you must clean it right away. To check and clean your site, download and instal this Spam Link Injection Removal Plugin. Furthermore, the plugin will safeguard you against any potential attacks.
What Is a Spam Link Injection?
When hackers gain access to your WordPress account, they may perform malicious activities such as spam connection injection. This form of hack is referred to as SEO spam or spamdexing.
Hackers use your website – especially top-ranking pages – to hijack your SEO accomplishments rather than putting in the effort to get their pages to rank legitimately on SERPs (search engine results pages).
They do a variety of things, including:
- Adding hyperlinks to your web sites. If a user or visitor clicks on one of these, they will be taken to another website, usually one that sells or promotes illegal goods and content.
- Make new websites, often thousands at a time.
Incorporating such keywords that we consider spam into pages that perform well in search engine results.
- Your website will rank when a user searches for these keywords.
- On your website, place banners and advertisements for their goods and content.
- Sending spam emails to your customer database (phishing attacks) is a bad idea.
The tricky thing about SEO spam injections is that hackers would go to any extent to keep it hidden from website owners for as long as possible. As a result, it goes undetected for quite some time.
So the first move is to see if you’re a victim of SEO spam, and then we’ll figure out how to fix it.
How to check if you are affected by Injected Spam Link?
If you’re certain your WordPress account has been compromised, you can start detecting and cleaning it right away. However, if you think you’ve been hacked or just want to be certain, here are some ways to tell if you’ve been hacked.
Check If Google Blacklisted You
Google will blacklist you if your site has malware that will hurt users. Since these hacks go undetected for such a long time, Google normally discovers them before the site owners.
Your site will be blacklisted due to the existence of malware, according to an email you’ll receive. Users attempting to access your site might also see an alert or notification similar to this:
Even before users can click on the connection, Google may display an alert like this site may be hacked or misleading site on the search engine results page itself. Google does this because user experience is a top priority for the company. They aim to provide the consumer with accurate and safe results in a timely manner. As a result, they would not, under any conditions, jeopardise the protection of their customers.
Check If Your Web Host Suspended You
Your web host, like Google, will take down your site. They will send you an email informing you that your account has been suspended. Depending on your web hosting service, you may be informed that malware is present, or you may need to contact them to learn why your account has been suspended.
Why do web hosts suspend accounts that have been hacked? Per website, you are given a certain amount of server resources. If your site is compromised, these tools will almost certainly be exceeded. Furthermore, if you’re using a shared server, you could jeopardise the security of other sites on the same server.
Check Google Analytics & Console For Malicious Keywords
Google Analytics and Search Console are important tools for someone who runs a website. Start now if you don’t already have them. You can see the statistics of your website’s visitors using Analytics. Related keywords should be bringing you traffic. If you notice that you’re getting traffic for terms like “order viagra online” or “cheap gucci bags,” you’ve got a pharma hack on your hands. Use a security plugin to scan the website.
If none of the above has happened and you still think you’ve been hacked, we recommend installing MalCare, a security plugin. It will search your entire website and notify you if any malware, including SEO spam injections, is discovered.
We need to locate and remove the spam until you’ve realised you’ve been hacked.
Notice that manually locating and removing spam keywords and links is just a band-aid solution that will not eliminate the hack. You must address the root cause of the issue, which is the flaw in your website that enabled the hacker to gain access.
How to Find & Clean Spam Link Injection in WordPress?
We previously claimed that this is a complicated hack that can be difficult to correct, but the reality is that it is difficult only if you don’t use the proper tool. There are two methods for detecting and removing spam connection injection:
- You can do it by using a plugins (the easy way)
- You can do it manually (the hard way)
If you’ve tried manually locating and removing SEO spam, you’ve probably discovered that it doesn’t work.
The spam will just keep coming back. This may be due to one of two factors:
- Hackers are gaining access to your website because of a loophole.
- Cron jobs are a method of building backdoors on your website that the malware on your site uses every other day.
We discourage manual detection and cleaning in the case of SEO spam hacks because the hack can be widespread, concealed, and disguised. Finding the hack and backdoors built by the hacker is time-consuming and difficult.
So, first and foremost, we’ll walk you through the simplest and most reliable method: Using A WordPress Security Plugin. It saves time and accomplishes the task quickly.
If you want to do a manual cleanup, we’ve included instructions in the following section.
Fixing SEO Spam Link Injections Using a Security Plugin
You will quickly locate the hack and clean it up with the help of a WordPress security plugin. However, there are so many plugins on the market that picking one can be difficult.
Not all protection plugins are capable of detecting secret malware. Many of them rely on antiquated techniques that can’t detect modern or disguised hacks.
To remove a spam injection, you’ll need an automated process that searches all of your website’s files and databases for the malware.
We’ll show you how to use MalCare to clean up a spam hack using one of the many plugins available.
Why Use MalCare Security Plugin?
The following is a quick rundown of the plugin’s features:
i. Detects Hidden, Disguised, & New Malware
We understand that SEO spam is masked and concealed from view. It’s difficult to tell by looking at the files and database alone.
Regular scanners now detect malware using a technique known as signature or pattern matching. It searches for code that has previously been identified as malicious. Any new malware will be missed by these plugins.
These antiquated approaches are not used by the MalCare scanner. It finds malicious code on your website using over 100 intelligent signals and analyses how the code behaves. This aids in the detection of malware and the detection of all secret links and code.
Finally, some of the same code used in hacks can also be used in legitimate plugins. Many malware scanners are unable to distinguish between the two. MalCare’s approach for analysing actions and code patterns allows it to eradicate false alarms in this case.
ii. Automatically Takes a Backup for You
Restoring a compromised website necessitates the deletion of code or data. This is why it’s a good idea to have a backup. MalCare will take a backup of your data before starting the scan and archive it securely on an offsite server.
iii. Finds Spam Links Within Minutes
The plugin will then begin scanning your website automatically. The length of time it takes to search your site is highly dependent on its scale. However, it usually only takes a few minutes.
iv. Cleans Website Instantly
By simply clicking a button, you can Auto-Clean your site and remove the malware. It could take a few minutes, but once you’re finished, you’ll be totally free of spam and malware!
v. Helps Prevent Future Attacks
After that, the plugin provides other features that keep your site safe and stable, so you can continue to stay protected from SEO spam.
- You can prevent malicious IP addresses and bots from accessing your site.
- You can also set a cap on how many times per user can log into wp-admin in a given time period (recommended read – brute force attacks).
- Change all of your site’s users’ login credentials, and switch off plugin instals and the file editor.
- Finally, you can update your WordPress installation as well as any plugins or themes installed on your blog.
How to Use MalCare Security Plugin to Scan & Clean Your Site?
We’ll teach you how to use MalCare to clean up a spam-infested website.
To make the process go faster, keep your FTP and WP-admin credentials handy.
Step 1: Register for MalCare and create an account. MalCare will then begin searching your website automatically.
You may need to exercise patience during this phase, as the time required varies depending on a variety of factors such as the size of your website.
Step 2: Once you’ve upgraded to the premium plan, all you have to do now is click on ‘Auto-clean,’ and you’re done. The nuances of the backend are taken care of for you. You’ll see the prompt that your site has been cleaned after it has finished cleaning it. After that, you will return to your dashboard.
You can be assured that your website is malware-free. However, we recommend that you double-check your website.
If you’ve been blacklisted by Google, you’ll need to file an appeal to get your name removed from the list. This article on How to Delete Google Blacklist Easily might be of assistance to you.
Then, using the same MalCare plugin, you can take immediate preventative steps to keep yourself safe from potential hack attacks. We suggest that you take the steps below.
Preventing SEO Spam Injection Attacks With MalCare
MalCare can search your site for malware on a daily basis if you use it. You will be notified if it detects anything unusual. It also effectively protects the website from malicious IPs and bots. Aside from that, there are several steps you could take on your own, known as website hardening. MalCare, on the other hand, allows you to do anything in only a few mouse clicks.
Update Your Website
You can check if your WordPress installation is outdated from the dashboard. It’s also possible to see how many themes and plugins need to be modified. Both of them can be modified directly from the MalCare dashboard.
Apply Website Hardening
Access ‘Protection’ from the dashboard, and your site’s security information will appear as follows:
When you click on ‘Apply Hardening,’ you can see the following options:
- Essentials – This will allow you to disable the Files Editor and block PHP execution in any untrusted folders.
- Advanced – Plugin/Theme Installations may be blocked.
- Change Security Keys and Reset All Passwords for All Accounts if you’re paranoid.
Fixing SEO Spam Link Injections Manually
As previously mentioned, this approach is more complicated and fraught with risk. However, if you want to do it manually, we’ve outlined the steps below.
Following that, here are the steps to restoring your hacked website:
Step 1: Scanning Files & Removing Malicious Code
Go to cPanel > File Manager > public html after logging into your hosting account.
Three folders should appear here: wp-admin, wp-includes, and wp-content.
Examine all of your files for malicious code. Spam link codes are hidden by hackers using styles that conceal links from view within the page, such as:
<div style=”position: absolute; top: -132px; overflow: auto; width:1259px;”>
If you’ve identified the spam codes, all you have to do now is delete them. If you’re fortunate, the spam code will appear on all of the sites. In that case, you can simply locate and replace them.
Tip: Pay close attention to the plugins and themes files and folder under wp-content because these outdated/vulnerable plugins are the most popular entry points for spammers.
Step 2: Scanning & Cleaning Your Database
Click cPanel > phpMyAdmin from your hosting dashboard. Choose your database from the left-hand list, then click “Export.”
Allow the default settings of the Fast export method and SQL format to remain unchanged. After you’ve downloaded the database, open it in Notepad or another text editor as a text file.
You must now look for PHP functions such as base64 decode, gzinflate, eval, and shell exec. These are a few of the most widely used PHP functions by hackers, but they are far from exhaustive.
Then, either by editing out the malicious text or by deleting the document, you must disable these functions.
Once your database is clean, you can use phpMyAdmin to import it back into your website.
Please be aware that these PHP functions are not necessarily malicious. It’s possible that deleting non-malicious ones would destroy your website’s functionality.
If you’re confident that your website is free of malicious scripts, you can take steps to address the vulnerability.
How to protect WordPress Site from Spam Link Injection in future?
On your website, we suggest that you adopt the following security measures:
- Both of your passwords should be changed.
- Make sure your WordPress installation is up to date.
- Check all of the users and make sure none are unknown.
- Keep the number of people with administrative access to a bare minimum. Those who do not need admin privileges can be given editor and subscriber access.
- On your website, allow two-factor authentication.
- All users’ login attempts should be restricted.
- File Editor should be turned off.
Themes and Plugins
- Delete any themes and plugins that are no longer available on your website. Just keep the ones you really use.
- Update all of your plugins and themes to the most recent versions.
- Never use pirated, nulled, or cracked plugins or themes.
- In the wordpress.org repository, look up the specifics of your plugins and themes.
- Make sure you’re using a reputable web host with adequate security measures.
- Consider upgrading to a dedicated server if you’re already using a shared server.
VCD malware and SEO spam have a lot in common. Here’s how to get rid of WP-VCD malware.
Even if your website is now free of malware, you must ensure that it remains safe in the future. Here’s what we recommend you do to get there:
- Install a protection plugin like MalCare that continuously tracks, warns, and protects your website.
- Make a full backup of your website with a WordPress Backup Plugin so that you can quickly restore it to its previous state.
- Take effective site hardening steps as well to keep your website secure from future hacking attempts.
You should stop thinking about your website and start working on growing your company once you’ve taken all the precautions you can.