How to Scan your WordPress site for Malware and Other Security Threats
Setting up a WordPress site is easy and does not take more than 1 minute. But it is not the only thing. You should also keep updating the theme and plugins to the newer version to avoid any kind of security risk. Sometimes hackers also attack the blog, so security is another important thing you should take care of. A few months back, hackers started a Bruteforcing attack on WordPress based website. I wrote a guide to protect WordPress from the BruteForce password cracking attack. So, you should keep on checking your website for malware and other security threats.
There could be different kinds of malware. If you feel strange behavior, you must check if your website has been hacked or got malware. Here a few kinds of behavior a malicious or hacked website shows.
- Website is Redirecting to harmful websites
- Website is downloading malware/trojans/viruses
- The home page has been changed
If you feel your website has been hacked or someone injected malware in it, you must use any of the given ways. In this post, we will see some useful tools which help us to protect WordPress from malware and other security threats.
Scan your WordPress site for Malware
AntiVirus is a nice WordPress plugin that works as a safeguard for your blog. It helps you in protecting your WordPress blog from exploits, malware, and spam injections. It shows the virus alert in the admin bar and helps you in cleaning that malware. You can also set the daily scan with email notifications. It can scan the template and database tables too. If it shows anything suspicious that is not, you can whitelist it. If your website has been hacked, this plugin will surely tell you about the issue.
Also read: How to backup WordPress
2. Exploit Scanner
Exploit Scanner is another poplar WordPress Plugin which scans the files on your WordPress installation and database tables for suspicious exploits. It does not automatically remove the malicious code. It will report and you will have to fix it. It also examines installed plugins for suspicious behavior.
3. Anti-Malware (Get Off Malicious Scripts)
Anti-Malware is an Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware plugin which can search for Malware and other Virus like threats and vulnerabilities on your hosting server. It can automatically lock your login page if detects the brute-force attack. If it finds plugins vulnerable, it will automatically upgrade the plugin to the latest version. It comes with a virus database that is used to detect the known threat. You can schedule a scan or perform a manual scan. It also has a firewall that blocks malware from exploiting known vulnerabilities on your website.
If you are willing to pay for your website’s security, I will recommend you to go for Sucuri Security. It is a recommended security service for WordPress blogs. This service can scan malware, blacklisting, XSS, SPAM injection, Malicious redirects, Phishing attempts, social engineering attacks, hidden iframes, and website defacement. It is a complete security package.
With the available WordPress plugin, you can easily install this security service to your WordPress blog.
Quttera is also a similar kind of service that scans a website to check for Malicious files, spam external links, and Blacklisted status They also offer a service to clean the malware from the infected website and remove the blacklist status. This online tool can not just scan WordPress, but also Joomla, Drupal, Bulletin, and SharePoint websites.
4. Theme Authenticity Checker
Theme Authenticity Checker is another nice WordPress plugin that lets you check the authenticity of a theme. It can scan the theme and find if there is any hidden malware code in the theme.
How to Clean up Malware or Suspicious Code in WordPress?
Before you start cleaning the malware, change the WordPress password, hosting password and FTP or SSH user account password. This ensures if any of these passwords were compromised, hackers won’t regain access. Now take the complete WordPress backup. This will help if you in case you do anything wrong.
Now first thing you need to check what kind of malware is there. In most cases, there will be a harmful JS code injected in the header or footer of your theme. You have to identify and remove that code. There can also be a malicious code injected into the database. The tools I mentioned above will help you to identify the malicious code.