The terms “WordPress hacked” conjure up images of terror and perplexity in the minds of WordPress users.
A hacked WordPress website will result in the following losses:
Website traffic, revenue, and brand value are all important factors to consider.
And days of attempting and struggling to clean up the mess.
This is particularly true for WooCommerce pages, where you can see your store losing money right in your dashboard!
The most perplexing aspect is that you probably have no idea if your WordPress account has been compromised or not. WordPress is prone to a variety of issues.
As a result, the majority of people do the sensible thing and instal a malware scanner plugin. Then they notice that the majority of them aren’t doing a good job cleaning up the platform.
Best of all?
The hacker expects you to struggle at cleaning your site when you’re trying to get your life back on track.
It’s time to go back to square one.
In this post, we’ll show you how to:
- Determine whether or not your website has been hacked;
- Determine the type of malware that has compromised your hacked WordPress website.
- In 3 minutes, you’ll be able to restore your hacked WordPress site;
- Recognize the ramifications of being hacked;
- Learn how to avoid being hacked and how to avoid being hacked.
Regardless of the case, we will assist you in getting back on track.
MalCare defends a network of more than 250,000 company websites against malware infections and attacks.
The only WordPress security suite that allows you to concentrate on your company rather than website security is MalCare’s “one-click” malware removal. Every time, we assist businesses in defeating hackers.
Cleaning your hacked WordPress site is now a simple and fast operation. It can also be irritating and stressful. It all depends on the choices you make when it comes to cleaning up your hacked WordPress account.
Let’s get started.
TL;DR version: Using a WordPress malware removal plugin is the most effective way to patch your hacked WordPress account. There are other options, but manual cleanup methods are not recommended because they can completely destroy your site.
Do You Have a WordPress Site That Has Been Hacked?
We understand that you’re perplexed.
Do you have a WordPress account that has been hacked?
WordPress is built in such a way that it is prone to a lot of issues. The site isn’t compromised in many ways. It’s just… in a lot of trouble.
So, how can you say if your website has been compromised for sure?
MalCare’s free malware scanner can be downloaded here.
It takes 1 minute to set up and 1 minute to check your website.
You’ll know whether or not your WordPress account has been compromised in less than two minutes.
MalCare’s malware scanner is a super-lightweight WordPress plugin that builds a dedicated server replica of your hacked WordPress account. MalCare uses sophisticated scanning algorithms to pinpoint the malware on your site after the copy is made.
This way, the scan is deeper and more precise than any other malware scanner plugin.
What’s the best part?
There is no demand on your server at all. It’s also completely secure.
MalCare employs a learning algorithm that improves over time as it encounters more malware. MalCare currently covers over 250,000 sites and learns from them every day.
To check your site for malware, follow these steps:
Step 1:Install MalCare on your website.
Step 2: Enable the malware scanner to run in the background on your website.
At most, the whole procedure takes a few minutes. If you don’t have a compromised WordPress account, MalCare recommends that you seek WordPress troubleshooting help instead.
However, if MalCare reports that your WordPress site has been compromised, you will need to complete the cleanup process later.
In any case, MalCare should be used to search the web first.
WordPress Hacked: Common Symptoms Your website is in danger.
Let’s take a look at your compromised WordPress account right now.
We’ll figure out what’s wrong and figure out how to fix it so you can get back to making money.
It’s very likely that you came across this article as a result of one or more of these signs and symptoms.
Don’t be concerned.
We have articles on how to clean up popular hacks, and once we’ve identified your issue, we can discuss a solution.
Even if the malware on your compromised WordPress site is unusual, there is some good news:
“Almost all malware are variants of some other malware. Malware is just code at the end of the day. There are many ways to hack a WordPress site and many ways to infect it. But the ways in which hackers operate are almost always constant. Understanding the outcome is the best way to understand the hack – and then remove it”
– Akshat Choudhary, CEO of MalCare
To summarise, you must find a way to clean your site in order to avoid the hacker and reclaim control of your life.
Take a look at some of the most popular signs of a compromised WordPress site:
1. Google Chrome Shows A Warning When Visiting Your Website
The fact that Google Chrome warns your users that the “page ahead contains malware” is one of the most telling signs that your site has been hacked is one of the most telling signs that your site has been hacked.
Google Safe Browsing provides a tab warning for compromised WordPress pages.
In reality, Google’s blacklist is used by Opera, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari to verify infected sites and inform users of malware.
This type of notification will immediately ruin your credibility and traffic. It has the potential to fully shut down WooCommerce sites.
Take a deep breath if this describes the situation. We recognise how irritated you are right now. This is one of the most perplexing updates I’ve ever seen. Your website has been compromised, and this is a very public message. Around the same time, it says absolutely nothing about what’s wrong.
Then read on to learn how to restore a compromised WordPress account.
2. Google Search Console Sends A Message Saying Your Website Is Hacked Or Has Malware
If SEO is a big part of your business, you’re probably already familiar with Google Search Console. If Google detects malicious content on your compromised WordPress account, it will send you a message that looks like this in the Search Console:
So, what exactly is the issue?
The issue is that compromised WordPress sites are often infected with malware that is difficult to detect. An HTML scanner isn’t enough to find out where the hack came from.
To find the real issue, we suggest using a server-level scanner.
Your Web Hosting Provider Disabled Your Website
Most hosting companies run daily scans of their servers for compromised WordPress pages. Some telltale indicators that hosting providers look for include:
- Excessive usage of CPU resources
- Spam emails sent out in bulk
- Blacklisted domains on Google, Norton Safe Web, Spamhaus, etc.
In some cases, hosting companies collaborate with other hosting companies to conduct routine malware scans.
If this describes your case, you must act quickly until it is too late.
Some hosting companies, such as GoDaddy, would try to sell you their own security service. Although this seems to be a good idea, it is not. When you get hacked, most of these providers will charge you a hefty fee. Cleaning your site with a service can also take weeks.
Meanwhile, the site will continue to lose visitors, sales, and brand awareness.
Outbound Ports 80, 443, 587 and 465 For Your Account Are Blocked
Before deleting your site, hosting companies like BigRock, GoDaddy, and HostGator will give an alert. They will also lock down outbound ports 80, 443, 587, and 465 when they send you an alert email to prevent the malware on your site from spreading.
Shared hosting accounts make up the majority of their accounts.
As a result, their top priority is to contain the malware and prevent other websites on the same web server from being infected.
If you haven’t already, check your site for malware as soon as possible.
Users Complain About Their Credit Card Being Illegally Charged
Users of WooCommerce: This is a major one if you have a compromised WordPress account on your side.
If your customers are talking about their credit cards being used without their permission, you know your site has been compromised. All of the information a hacker will need to steal credit card information is stored in WooCommerce databases.
Typically, this indicates a loophole in the code – an entry point in a compromised WordPress website that hackers may use at any time to access your files and database.
This type of attack can come from any malware that has been written well enough.
Go ahead and learn how to clean up your compromised WordPress account right now.
Your Emails Are Sent To The Spam Folder
Most email inboxes will send your future emails straight to the spam folder if your inbox sends out too many spam emails.
Hackers will send a flood of spam emails to users all over the world using your hacked WordPress website.
Check out our post on what to do if your website is sending out spam emails if your ‘Sent’ folder is full of emails you DEFINITELY did not send.
Your website is extremely slow to load
The pace of a website is not a good predictor of malware. A WordPress platform can be slowed by a variety of factors. The most straightforward way to figure out what’s going on is to use GTMetrix to produce a site speed log.
If you see something unusual here, you may be infected with malware.
The following are some of the most common malicious attacks that cause your site to slow down:
- SQL injections
- Coinhive attacks
- Brute force attacks by bots
The good news is that both of these hacks are easily remediable.
If you’re feeling a little confused, don’t worry. Feeling a little stressed is perfectly natural. We’ve been in operation for over eight years. That’s why malicious code and various types of hacks don’t bother us. This can be a lot to take in for someone new to the industry, particularly if you’re dealing with a hacked WordPress website for the first time.
Ads & Pop-Ups Open When Visiting Your Website
If you’ve seen any advertisements and pop-ups that you didn’t put up yourself, you’re in desperate need of assistance right now. We’ve had a lot of experience with malware like that. This is just another form of website defacement that we frequently encounter.
Adware’s weakest feature is that it will siphon off a significant portion of your traffic. The long-term harm stems from the fact that these pop-ups have the potential to absolutely ruin your credibility. Ads for illicit drugs, pornography, and political hatred can all be found on a compromised WordPress website.
That’s not cool.
SQL injection attacks are responsible for the majority of advertisements and pop-ups. You can clean up your database if you’re seeing illegal advertisements and pop-ups.
Your Website Is Being Redirected to Hacked Sites
We’ve already said this, but it doesn’t get any easier than this:
Your WordPress site has been compromised!
This can happen in a variety of ways. The majority of the time, it’s a redirection code in the wp-config.php or.htaccess file.
The following are some of the potential symptoms:
- Your website displays a blank page and will not load.
- Your website is redirected to a potentially harmful website.
- Your website takes you to Google.
- Google is unable to access your website.
- Your .htaccess file is constantly changing.
For more information on the malware and how to remove it, see our post on WordPress web redirecting to Spam.
You See A Traffic Spike, Sometimes On Pages That Don’t Exist
A compromised WordPress account can be used for spamvertising.
This results in a massive increase in traffic. Spam emails are sent from your server with links to the hacker’s current or newly generated sites.
Spamvertising uses hyperlinks to vandalize blogs, websites, forums, and comment sections in order to boost the hacker’s website’s search engine rating.
Of course, this no longer works, as any SEO expert would tell you.
It’s an antiquated blackhat tactic that Google totally ignores. However, the hacker who is loading your compromised WordPress website with malware is unconcerned about this. Regardless, the malware will wreak havoc on your website.
WordPress Hacked: Some Simple Diagnostics To Run
Apart from these signs, there are four basic diagnostics you can use to determine whether or not your WordPress website has been hacked:
Here’s what it can do to a compromised WordPress website if you’re not a techie:
This is one hack that, thankfully, can be pinpointed a little more precisely.
On your compromised WordPress account, you have one of the following malware:
- WordPress hacked redirect
- XSS scripting
- SQL Injection
Take extreme caution!
These hacks inevitably result in the defacement of websites. You could easily lose control of the compromised WordPress site if you don’t act now.
You Find Unexpected Error Messages In Your Error Logs
Not everybody who uses WordPress looks at their error logs.
There’s not anything you don’t already know if you’re one of the few super-technical people who can read and understand error logs.
All we can say is that you already know how much harm a hacker can do if they have complete access to your website.
Go straight to the section where you’ll learn how to restore your hacked WordPress account.
You Find New Admin Users Or FTP Accounts Which You Haven’t Created
This is a difficult one for large websites. Keeping an eye out for suspicious WordPress admin accounts and FTP accounts can be challenging.
However, if you’ve found this, it’s time to take a look at your WordPress core data. When a WordPress account is compromised, it is normally corrupted in a way that affects the whole site. As a result, the WordPress core files are an excellent objective.
In certain instances, files that appear to be harmless contain secret executable code. It’s even possible to hide it in a favicon.ico file! Check out our article on WordPress hacked redirect malware for more details. For this type of malware, fake WordPress admin accounts and FTP accounts are very popular.
Files Have Been Recently Modified
Most malware infects a compromised WordPress site by infecting it with malicious code mixed in with standard WordPress code.
Inserting the code into WordPress files like wp-config.php,.htaccess, and others is the easiest way to do so.
With malware like wp-vcd.php, editing files on a compromised WordPress website is a common occurrence. Removing edit access to your core files is a basic safeguard. If your WordPress account has already been compromised, you must clean it up immediately.
How to Clean a hacked WordPress Website?
There are two ways to clean a compromised WordPress website and delete the hack:
- You may use a malware scanner and cleaner to detect and remove malware.
- Alternatively, you should manually clean the code on your website.
For the most part, we never recommend doing a manual cleanup.
At any time.
What is the reason for this? It’s far too hazardous.
Malicious code is normally concealed within benign code on a compromised WordPress website, and the website will not run without it. Manually deleting snippets of code can result in the site being permanently broken.
You may believe that using the WordPress backup plugin, you can restore your site from a backup. But how can you tell if the backup isn’t still infected? Is the backup capable of replacing contaminated files?
However, we do suggest that you use a WordPress malware scanner and a cleaner plugin.
How to Clean Up Hacked WordPress site Using MalCare Security Plugin
A malware scanner and cleaner’s goal is to make it simple to locate, pinpoint, and clean an infected website.
The bad news is:
- Most malware scanners are unable to identify the source of complex malware.
- They rely on rudimentary scanning techniques that result in false alarms.
- Most protection plugins require manual clean up after the scan;
- Manual cleanups are costly, and when you’re in a hurry, you’ll pay through the nose;
- Then there’s the extra fee for repeat hacks.
In short, the protection plugin designed to secure your website keeps you hostage and then offers you a flimsy solution at best.
That is why we advise you to check your website with MalCare.
MalCare comes with a full set of security tools that can search, clean, and secure your WordPress account from malware attacks.
MalCare is by far the best WordPress Security Plugin available, and it keeps getting smarter over time thanks to the most sophisticated learning algorithms.
We understand that this might come across as a little bias, so here are a few key MalCare statistics to keep in mind:
- In 3 minutes or less, one-click malware removal;
- Without any manual cleanup, 99 percent of malware is automatically detected and cleaned.
- Over a network of 250,000+ websites, there were less than 0.1 percent false positives.
- There are never any hidden fees or gimmicks;
- This for just $99 a year!
If this appeals to you, we can improve it with only two words:
Install MalCare and clean your hacked WordPress website today, if you haven’t already.
Here’s how to go about it:
Step 1: Sign up for MalCare
Sign up for MalCare WordPress plugin from our site.
Step 2: Scan Your Site
Use MalCare to Scan Your Site automatically.
Step 3: Clean Your Site in 1 Click
Click on ‘Auto-clean’ to clean instantly.
After you’ve completed all of this, you can definitely read our guide on how to defend your site from potential attacks.
All of this is yours for just $89 a year!
Install MalCare today and join the 250,000 other sites that have already done so.
How to Clean Hacked WordPress site Manually (NOT RECOMMENDED)
Cleaning a compromised WordPress site by hand consists of three steps:
- Scanning the server for malicious code in infected files;
- Scanning the database for malicious code;
- Detecting backdoors and fake WordPress admin accounts;
Then, from your compromised WordPress account, delete malware.
However, this is an oversimplification.
You may have been blacklisted by search engines and blocked by your web host in many cases. In this case, cleaning your site isn’t enough; you’ll also need to take steps to delete it from a blacklist.
But first, let’s get this party started:
#1 Looking for Malicious Code in WordPress Files and Folders
The most obvious way for a hacker to insert malware into a compromised WordPress website is by uploading a file directly. This isn’t always the case, but it’s worth a shot.
Keep an eye out for files with unusual names. Begin by looking through the WordPress files, such as:
Continue reading if this doesn’t work out.
#2 Looking for Malicious String Patterns
String patterns are common bits of code that most malware leaves across a hacked WordPress website.
The next move is to look through the WordPress files for these lines of code. They’re usually found in the main WordPress files, such as:
Look for snippets such as:
- function wp_temp_setupx
- stripos($tmpcontent, $wp_auth_key)
If these two ideas didn’t work, we have some even more advanced ideas that you can try.
#4 Compare WordPress Core Files with a Diffchecker
A diff checker is a program that compares two pieces of code and identifies differences.
Here are some options:
- From the GitHub repository, download the original WordPress core files.
- Using cPanel, save the files from your server.
- Compare the two files using a diff checker.
The bad thing about this plan is that you’d have to go over each file on a compromised WordPress site one by one, looking for variations. Of course, you’d have to figure out whether or not the different code is malicious.
If this is too complicated or time-consuming, we suggest that you install MalCare.
It’s a simple, fast, and inexpensive repair.
Why Did Your WordPress Site Get Hacked?
It is said that prevention is preferable to treatment.
We concur. However, when it comes to hacked WordPress websites, it’s not that easy.
Every day, hackers build 300,000 new pieces of malware. This means that, within days, if not hours, almost all security software becomes outdated or irrelevant.
The majority of hacked WordPress pages have one or more of the following flaws:
- Outdated WordPress Version: Many webmasters believe that upgrading their WordPress version would cause their site to crash. To some degree, this is right. Not updating WordPress on your blog, on the other hand, is a far worse idea. WordPress vulnerabilities are freely declared, and hackers may easily target obsolete versions due to WordPress vulnerabilities. We suggest testing the updates on a staging site before rolling them out after all vulnerabilities have been fixed.
- Outdated WordPress themes and plugins: Outdated WordPress themes and plugins generally have exploits that are well documented and easy to find by hackers. Simply upgrade the program if there are newer versions available. It’s worthwhile to put in the effort.
- Nulled or pirated plugins and themes: If you use nulled or pirated plugins and themes, your WordPress will be completely compromised as a result of the vulnerable plugins and themes. If you don’t want to pay for plugins or themes, use a free option. That’s what there is to it.
- WordPress Login Page That Isn’t Secure: WordPress login pages are easy to find and vulnerable to brute force attacks. By default, there is no defense against bots. A Multiple Login Attempts blocker is the best you can get in an off-the-shelf WordPress installation. To be honest, it’s far too easy to get around those plugins as well.
Weak Passwords: You’d be surprised how much you’re the one who gets hacked. The most common passwords are phrases like ‘p@ssword’ or ‘Password@1234.’ A brute force algorithm will get through anything like that in less than a second. Do not depend on simple rules like using numbers and special characters to determine the strength of a password. Those steps are woefully inadequate.
- WordPress Roles: Do not use the administrator function as the default WordPress user role. There’s a reason WordPress has many useful functions. You’re more likely to be compromised if you give too many people admin access. Best of all? You’ll be compromised on a regular basis without even realizing it.
- Execution of Codes in Unknown Folders: Only trusted folders should contain executable code, particularly PHP code. Only directories containing the WordPress core data, theme files, and plugins should have executable code, in theory.
- Using HTTP to run your website: If your website is still using HTTP rather than HTTPS, you’re encouraging hackers to give you a compromised WordPress site. God help you if you’re running a WooCommerce site without an SSL license. If you don’t use an SSL license, you risk getting all of your data stolen.
- Using the Wrong File Permissions: Although it may seem insignificant, incorrect file permissions may allow hackers to write code into an unprotected file. The file permission value for all of your WordPress files should be 644. The file permission for all folders on your WordPress site should be 755.
- Unprotected WordPress Configuration wp-config.php Documentation: When anyone wants to log in to your site, the wp-config.php file is loaded, and it includes all of your database credentials. If the file is left unprotected, a hacker will use it to gain access to your database. But it’s an easy enough patch. Simply paste the following code into yours.htaccess file:
<files wp-config.php> order allow, deny deny from all </files>
- Changing the WordPress Database Prefix: The default database prefix for WordPress is ‘wp_,’ but you can change it during the WordPress installation process. If you leave this field blank, hackers will be able to guess the names of your databases with ease. As a result, we strongly advise you to change the database prefix in the wp-config.php file.
As you would possibly imagine, there are a plethora of forms for you to be hacked.
However, as a general rule:
- Secure your website with a strong firewall and bot security.
- Install an SSL certificate to protect your website from future attacks.
- Stop using WordPress themes and plugins that have been nulled.
- Never put your faith in a vendor without double-checking the URLs for anything you do.
- If you suspect some kind of wrongdoing, search and clean your website right away.
To be honest, most malware doesn’t start wreaking havoc on your hacked WordPress site right away. You can successfully uninstall malware without causing any harm if you search and find it early on.
Post-Hack Measures: How to Prevent Your WordPress Site From Being Infected
The rest of this article will discuss how to protect your website from malware attacks by implementing stronger security measures. We’ve also decoded some of the most popular security jargon so you don’t get confused when using other tools.
Please feel free to look through them all and contact us if you have any questions.
Install a Firewall to Keep Out Malicious Traffic from Your Site
A firewall is an extra layer of security that protects your website from unwanted visitors. It serves as a firewall between a trusted and an untrustworthy network. In this case, a firewall between a bot and your site prevents the development of hacked WordPress pages.
In layman’s words, a firewall prevents the website from receiving malicious traffic or attempted hacks.
A WordPress firewall is a tool that is intended to keep WordPress websites safe from hackers. It sits in the middle of your website and the internet, analysing all incoming HTTP requests. When a malicious payload is included in an HTTP request, the WordPress firewall closes the link.
A WordPress firewall can search for malicious HTTP requests in the same way as a malware scanner searches for malicious malware signatures in compromised WordPress websites.
Some firewalls, such as the one we use in MalCare, have the ability to learn from past attacks and improve over time. MalCare will monitor incoming traffic and identify a malicious IP from a large database it’s built up over the years of defending over 250,000 websites.
Your website will not even load WordPress if MalCare flags an HTTP request as suspicious or malicious. It’ll be as if there wasn’t any malicious traffic at all.
Pro Tip: MalCare keeps track of all attempted links to your site in its traffic logs. So, if you’re using MalCare, keep an eye on what kind of traffic you’re having. Every login attempt is color-coded so you can quickly assess it.
Brute force attacks and DDoS attacks are the two most popular hacks that a firewall can defend against. Let’s take a quick look at both of them so you know what to expect.
What is a Brute Force Attack?
A brute force attack entails attempting to guess the access codes by using any possible password. It’s a crude and ineffective hack. The machine does all of the heavy liftings, while the hacker sits back and waits for the software to complete its task.
A brute force attack is usually used for two purposes:
- Brute force is used by a bot to identify vulnerabilities that it can exploit.
- Infiltration: To take control of the compromised WordPress website, a bot attempts to guess the login credentials.
The dictionary attack is the most basic form of brute force attack, in which the program uses a list of password combinations based on certain assumptions about the password.
Credential recycling is a poor type of dictionary attack that tries to break into your website using WordPress usernames and passwords from other popular hacks.
An exhaustive key quest, on the other hand, is a more modern version. These brute force attacks test any possible combination of characters in a password.
Pro-Tip: An eight-character password with capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters can be cracked in two hours using an exhaustive key check brute force algorithm. To make it more complicated, make long, random passwords with a strong mix of characters.
Brute force attacks are also used by attackers to find secret websites. Live web pages that are not connected to other pages are known as hidden web pages. A brute force attack checks various addresses to see whether they return a legitimate webpage and then looks for one that can be exploited.
Bonus Pro-Tip: Check your analytics if you notice a sudden increase in traffic for no apparent cause. You’re probably being targeted by a brute force bot if you’re getting a lot of 404 errors from pages that don’t exist.
You can avoid a brute force attack by doing the following:
- Using passwords that are longer
- Using passwords that are more complicated
- limiting the number of login attempts
- Implementing Captcha on the Login Page
- Adding Two-Factor Authentication to WordPress
This should go without saying, but your WordPress website also needs a serious firewall. On top of all of these safeguards, a firewall will help defend the company from hackers who try to break in through brute force.
You should install MalCare as an alternative to all of this. MalCare has a premium firewall built in that detects suspicious traffic and prevents the website from loading the WordPress login page.
What is a DDoS Attack?
DDoS is a malware attack that sends too much traffic to your WordPress website for your server to manage.
Hackers don’t just target a single website or gadget. Rather, they create an army of hacked computers and websites to launch targeted DDoS attacks.
A botnet is a series of compromised computers used in a DDoS attack that operates on the internet. After establishing a botnet, the hacker sends remote commands to it, causing other servers to become overloaded by a massive influx of traffic.
Pro-Tip: Check your analytics right away if your website is loading slowly or if your web host refuses to serve it. DDoS attacks can be identified by their patterns:
- Traffic that originates from a single IP address or a set of IP addresses;
- Users sharing a common behavioral profile, such as device type, geolocation, or web browser version;
- Unexpectedly high traffic to a single page or WooCommerce endpoint;
- Surges in traffic at odd hours of the day or every 10 minutes;
All of these are signs of a DDoS attack.
Extortion under threat of property destruction is one of the main motivations for a DDoS attack. The only way to avoid a DDoS attack is to use a good firewall that can quickly shut down suspicious traffic.
Install an SSL Certificate to Secure Your Traffic
Almost all cPanel hosting providers and resellers now need SSL certificates. An SSL certificate is a small digital file that encrypts the information of a company. When SSL certificates are mounted, they usually bind:
A domain name, server name, or hostname; and the identity and location of the organization.
The traffic between the server and the browser is encrypted using this secure link.
Let’s take a look at how an SSL certificate operates before we discuss the level of protection it offers.
SSL certificates encrypt data using a technique known as public-key cryptography.
For encryption, public-key cryptography uses two sets of keys: a public key and a private key. In certain ways, it’s close to WordPress Salts and Keys in terms of definition.
If, in this form of encryption:
Angelina sends a message to Brad, which is then encrypted with Brad’s public key.
Brad, on the other hand, must use his private key to open the message in order to read it.
Without Brad’s private key, a hacker intercepting the message can just see encrypted code that no computer can decrypt.
What is Man-In-the-Middle Attack?
When a third party intercepts a conversation between two individuals, it is known as a MITM attack. In this case, the hacker acts as a ‘man in the middle.’
This might seem to be all in good fun, but this is a very dangerous assault. Any request coming in and out of your website, including all transactions, is visible to the hacker.
If the hacker is unable to gain access to the admin account, they can give your users fake web pages that capture their login credentials.
Consider the following scenario:
All your users post on your compromised WordPress website is freely accessible to a hacker, including credit card numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Installing an SSL certificate is the safest way to defend against attacks like this one.
Pro-Tip: Look for the ‘HTTPS in the URL of all your web pages. You can have a mixed content problem if some pages are lacking information. That should be fixed as soon as possible. A brute force attack may be used to locate the vulnerable pages and launch a MITM attack.
Implement WordPress Hardening and Basic Hygiene
This section focuses on preventing the WordPress website from being hacked again.
Implementing WordPress hardening steps is now the simplest thing you can do. And if the website is compromised again, hardening ensures that the hacker is unable to edit any files or databases.
Another important piece of advice we have is to avoid using nulled WordPress themes and plugins. Themes and plugins that are nulled are basically cracked versions of the plugin. The only issue is that nulled themes and plugins are often infected with malware.
Also, be aware of zero-day vulnerabilities if you use a tonne of plugins. A zero-day vulnerability is a security bug that developers and vendors are aware of but have yet to address. Many compromised WordPress sites have zero-day vulnerabilities in their plugins.
The most concerning aspect of a zero-day vulnerability is that many people believe that upgrading a plugin or theme would immediately repair a hacked WordPress website. However, this is not the case. To avoid potential attacks, you must first clean up the website and then upgrade the program.
WordPress Site Hacked: What Are The Consequences?
One of the most common questions we get is, “Why does it matter if my website is hacked?” Why should I care unless it absolutely defaces the website?
Short answer: yes, you should be concerned because even though your website is not clearly defaced, a hacked website may cause significant damage to your company.
A WordPress hack can harm your site’s traffic, sales, and reputation (more on this soon).
However, the most compelling reason to be concerned is:
Almost all malware is written with the intention of profiting from your efforts.
In other words, you spend a lot of time and money building traffic and sales, and then the hacker makes money instead of you because your WordPress website was hacked.
That’s not cool.
How do hackers benefit from your WordPress site that has been hacked?
Hackers profit from your website by exploiting the traffic. Here’s how it works:
- Illegal advertisements and pop-ups divert a significant portion of the traffic to other websites, and the hacker is compensated for that traffic.
- URL redirections operate in the same way – the hacker will redirect traffic from your compromised WordPress website in order to profit quickly.
- If a hacker gains access to your WooCommerce site, they can steal your customers’ credit card details.
- A hacker can redirect to a page that appears to be yours in some cases. When people purchase something from a fake website, the hacker is compensated, and you are unaware of it.
- A bank account linked to your WooCommerce store can be easily replaced by a hacker. You’ll still hit your sales target, but the hacker will have taken all of your money.
According to a survey of more than 4,000 businesses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands, 73 percent of businesses are not prepared for a cyber assault. (Image courtesy of hiscox.co.uk)
We realize this is a terrible situation. However, when it comes to compromised WordPress websites, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It really gets even worse in the long run, believes it or not.
A WordPress hack will do the following in the long run:
- Stop all traffic to your company because it has been blacklisted.
- No one wants to be a target of cybercrime, so destroy the brand’s image.
- Essentially, by destroying confidence and stealing traffic, you’re destroying your revenue networks.
That isn’t even the most heinous part.
Worst of all, the hack does not even have obvious ramifications. You could be robbed on a regular basis without even realizing it.
Maybe a protection plugin already detects malware among ten other false alarms. And now you are aware of it. How much do you check all of the alarms and take action?
Even if you find and remove the malware, if you skip a single loophole on your hacked WordPress website, you might become infected again.
Installing an automated malware scanner and removal tool is the easiest way to break free from this vicious loop.
Take the time to set up security mechanisms to deter potential attacks now that you know how to search and clean a compromised WordPress website. The hacker has been defeated by you. After you’ve set up the basic security measures, you can get back to building your company.
Bonus Tip: You can manually harden WordPress or use MalCare to do it in 3 minutes or less.
It’s time to unwind with a cup of sweet, steaming tea, particularly if you use MalCare. You’ll never again have to be concerned about WordPress protection.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions. We have a team of WordPress security experts who can assist you with any problem you can encounter.