How to Scan Your WordPress Site for Potentially Malicious Code?

Is there a way to search the WordPress site for potentially malicious code? We’re sometimes questioned by our customers. YES, YES, and YES are the answers to that question. To search the WordPress site for potentially harmful or unauthorized code, there are both free and paid resources available. Usually, unless you constantly check your website, viruses and malicious code will go unnoticed for a long time. In this post, we will teach you how to quickly search for malware and potentially malicious code on your WordPress account.

When to Check Malware and Malicious Code for Your WordPress Site?

The best time to check for viruses and malicious code for your WordPress account is now. A WordPress security scanner is not installed automatically by many newcomers, which ensures that an intrusion of ransomware or malicious code will go unnoticed for a long time.

Until any telltale signs make them suspect, often users don’t find it. See our list of popular signs that you are hacking the WordPress account.

You should also be learning how to search your WordPress site for malicious code, even though your WordPress site is not compromised or affected. It will assist you in defending your website from potential assaults.

Most notably, to secure your WordPress site like a true pro, you should strengthen WordPress protection (it doesn’t take any technical skills).

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to search your WordPress site extensively for potentially malicious malware.

1. Sucuri

Sucuri is the leader of WordPress security in the industry. They are a paid service but offer free, limited scanning features for WordPress.

The free Sucuri Security plugin needs to be installed and activated to quickly scan your website. See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for more details.

To see if they are changed, the plugin checks your WordPress files. It also checks for potential malicious code, iframes, connections, and suspicious behavior.

The real value comes from their pay plans that come with the best firewall protection for WordPress. Even before it reaches your website, their DNS level website application firewall blocks any suspicious activity or malware.

We recommend using a website firewall at the DNS level, because it is more efficient. The Sucuri firewall also serves static content on your website via its own CDN, giving you a significant performance boost and improving the speed of WordPress.

Most importantly, Sucuri experts will clean your website at no extra cost if your website gets affected. Even for experienced WordPress users, cleaning up a hacked WordPress site is quite difficult. It’s an enormous peace of mind for business owners to know that you have real security experts available to clean your website.

On our website, we use Sucuri. To learn more, see our complete review of Sucuri.

2. Wordfence

Wordfence is another popular security plugin for WordPress that allows you to easily scan for suspicious code, backdoors, malicious URLs, and known patterns of infections on your WordPress site.

In the background, it automatically scans your website, and you can also initiate a scan manually at any time.

On the scan page, you will be able to see the progress of the scan in yellow boxes. Wordfence will show you the results once the scan is done.

If it finds any suspicious code, infections, malware, or corrupt files on your website, it will notify you. To fix those problems, it will also recommend actions you can take.

Wordfence also comes with a firewall at the app level. This firewall lets you avoid assaults and hacks by brute force. It runs on your website, though, which makes it a little less efficient.

See our step by step guide on how to install and configure Wordfence security in WordPress for more details.

3. Anti-Malware Security

Another very powerful WordPress security plugin that can help you to scan WordPress for malicious code and malware is Anti-Malware Security.

The plugin checks all folders and files on your website for suspicious code, scripts, .htaccess threats, backdoors, and known-patterns of infections. It conducts a comprehensive scan that may take a while to complete.

The author of the plugin actively maintains definitions, which means that they are continually improving as they are discovered to detect new threats.

Keep in mind that many potential threats that are actually false positives may be shown by the plugin. These files will have to be compared manually to the source files, which could be a lot of work.

It also includes an option for a firewall. The firewall is actually a firewall at the software level, which is less effective than a firewall at the DNS level.

How to Clean up Malware or Suspicious Code in WordPress?

The first thing you need to do is modify all your WordPress passwords immediately. This includes your WordPress user accounts, WordPress hosting account, user accounts for FTP or SSH, and your password for your WordPress database.

This ensures that hackers will not be able to use it to regain access if one of these passwords has been compromised.

Next, either by using a plugin or manually through phpMyAdmin and FTP, you need to create a complete WordPress backup. This step means that you can still revert back to the infected state of your website if something happens during the cleanup.

We suggest hiring a WordPress security professional to clean the website for you after that. We recommend Sucuri, with malware removal services included in each of their paid plans. They will clean it for you even if your website is already affected.

Also, you can try and clean it yourself. It’s a hard job and may take a lot of your time. In our step by step guide on how to fix a hacked WordPress website for beginners, stay calm and follow the instructions.

We hope that this article has helped you learn how to scan for malware and potentially malicious code on your WordPress site. You might want to see our guide to fixing a backdoor on a hacked WordPress website as well.

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