How to Scan WordPress for Malware in 4 Easy Steps

An illustration for scan WordPress for malware showing a lady with a magnifying glass scanning WordPress for potential malware.

There are around 90,000 attacks targeting WordPress sites every minute. Malware attacks are nothing to joke about. If you don’t manage your cybersecurity properly, it could put your site and business at risk.

However, malicious activity doesn’t have to be something to fear. Scanning WordPress for malware can help you identify and eliminate any harmful content if your site has been compromised. There are also lots of ways to prevent attacks on your website in the future.

This post will cover what malware is and why searching for it is essential for site maintenance. We’ll also explain how to scan for malware and remove it if you think your site has been hacked.

Let’s get started!

What Is Malware?

Malware stands for “malicious software.” It’s a catch-all term for any harmful software hackers use to gain unauthorized access to or damage your WordPress website. It can negatively affect your site in many ways and poses a severe security risk to both you and your website visitors.

If malware is present on your website, you’ll usually know about it. You might notice signs such as:

While these problems can all have multiple causes, if you’re seeing one or more of them, it’s worth looking into the possibility that malware has infected your site.

Did you know that there are around 90,000 attacks on WordPress sites every minute? ? Deep breaths. With help from this guide, you can keep your site safe & secure. ?Click to Tweet

How Malware Gets Installed on WordPress Sites

Malware can get installed on WordPress sites in many ways. Usually, a hacker or bot will exploit some security vulnerability.

For example, if you don’t have security measures in place to prevent repeated incorrect login attempts, or if your password is weak, a hacker may gain access to your site. They can then install the malware via a brute force attack. This is when a bot cycles through hundreds of username and password combinations on your login page until they hit on the right one.

Out-of-date plugins and themes are also security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Bot networks search through the internet for websites with these vulnerabilities and use them to install malware.

Malware can also infiltrate your website via phishing links. It can happen if you accidentally click on a phishing link in an email or visit a compromised website. By doing so, you can inadvertently download malicious software to your machine. This may then find its way onto your WordPress server.

Why Scanning WordPress for Malware Is Important

As we mentioned, there will usually be some signs that malware is present on your website. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, you might not be aware that your website has been compromised.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to find out: you have to run a malware scan. Regularly scanning for malware is very important, especially since 83 percent of hacked CMS-based sites are built on WordPress.

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This article was written by Jeremy Holcombe and originally published on Blog – Kinsta®.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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