WordPress is now a very popular platform for websites. As a result it attracts a load of attention, sometimes the unwanted attention of hackers and their malware. The WordPress team at Automattic works constantly to make WordPress a safe CMS to work with. But this is a continuous process, a kind of tug-of-war, as new malware and hackers keep popping up. In the past WordPress websites have been the target of attacks that redirected traffic to malicious URLs which is why it’s so important to regularly scan WordPress for malware.
When something like this happens, it is possible that Google can turn away visitors from your website. This is done to protect the visitors from being infected with malware. You will then begin to notice that traffic to your website begins to dip. If you want to understand how this kind of attack works, you can read Sucuri’s review of the attack.
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How Malware Reaches Your Website
WordPress users are spoilt for choice when it comes to themes. Pick any niche, and you will have a multiple choice of themes for your niche, both free and premium. One thing that users should watch out for while picking a theme, is bits of unwanted code that are embedded in themes. For most it’s unnoticeable as the majority of users aren’t developers, which is why you should have a process in place to scan WordPress for malware.
Being particularly cautious while purchasing themes from third party websites (not the author’s website) or when downloading free themes is a good place to start however. This is because some unscrupulous theme vendors can embed code that can harm the user’s website.
These bits of code can be innocuous snippets that do little harm. But they can also be harmful enough to bring down your site entirely. They embed themselves in your blog unobtrusively. Most likely you will never notice them, when it is work as usual on your website.
Themes are not the only way in which malicious code reaches your website. They can be included in plugins, left in the comments section, by hacking or brute force attacks.
Sometimes, you may opt to install software that comes bundled with some popular application that you download and install. That software can often be malware or spyware, disguised as an add-on feature. You may unknowingly allow these options on your website, where the malware lurks around, often adding more malware to the site.
Why do hackers inject malware?
What purpose do these bits of code serve ? Why do hackers infect websites ? Malware is embedded by hackers to be able to,
- Add back links and redirects to the sites that they want to promote.
- Track your visitors.
- Add their own banners and advertisements.
- Access sensitive personal information such as names, passwords and email addresses.
- Bring down your website completely,
This article was written by Vishnu and originally published on WPExplorer.