How can I know if my WordPress site has been hacked Signs ? is a question we get a lot.
There are a few basic indicators that might help you determine if your WordPress site has been hacked or hijacked.
We’ll go through some of the most typical symptoms that your WordPress site has been hacked, as well as what you can do to clean it up, in this post.
Even if Google Analytics is correctly configured, a dramatic decline in traffic in your analytics statistics might indicate that your WordPress site has been hacked.
Different things might cause a dramatic decline in traffic.
Malware on your website, for example, might be routing non-logged-in users to spam websites.
Another cause for the abrupt dip in traffic might be that consumers are receiving warnings about your website from Google’s safe browsing tool.
Google blacklists over 10,000 websites every day for malware and many more for phishing. As a result, every website owner must pay close attention to WordPress security.
You may examine your website’s safety report by utilising Google’s safe surfing tool.
2. Bad Links Added to Your Website Signs
One of the most prevalent indications of a hacked WordPress is data injection. Hackers install a backdoor on your WordPress site, allowing them to change the files and databases on your site.
Some of these techniques include spammy website connections. These links are often placed at the footer of your website, but they might be placed elsewhere. Deleting the links does not ensure that they will not reappear.
You’ll have to track down and fix the backdoor that was utilised to inject this information into your website. See how to identify and fix a backdoor on a hacked WordPress site in our guide.
3. Your Website’s Homepage is Defaced
This is undoubtedly the most conspicuous, as it is prominently displayed on your website’s homepage.
The majority of hacking efforts do not deface your website’s homepage in order to go undiscovered for as long as feasible.
Some hackers, on the other hand, may deface your website in order to alert you to the fact that it has been hacked. These hackers frequently alter your homepage with a message of their own. Some may even attempt to extort money from webmasters.
4. You are Unable to Login into WordPress
If you are unable to enter into your WordPress site, it is possible that hackers have erased your WordPress admin account.
You won’t be able to reset your password from the login screen since the account doesn’t exist.
Other options include utilising phpMyAdmin or FTP to create an admin account. However, unless you discover out how the hackers got into your site, it will stay insecure.
5. Suspicious User Accounts in WordPress
If your website allows users to register and you don’t utilise any spam registration protection, spam user accounts are just spam that you may remove.
If you don’t recall permitting user registration and you’re still seeing new user accounts in WordPress, your site has most likely been hacked.
The suspect account will almost always have the administrator user role, and you may not be able to delete it from your WordPress admin area in some situations.
6. Unknown Files and Scripts on Your Server
If you have a site scanner plugin installed, such as Sucuri, it will notify you if it detects an unfamiliar file or script on your server.
To find the files, you’ll need to use an FTP programme to connect to your WordPress site. The /wp-content/ folder is the most typical location for harmful files and programmes.
These files are usually titled similarly to WordPress files in order to remain undetected. You’ll need to audit the file and directory structure to recognise them. However, removing these files does not ensure that they will not reappear.
7. Your Website is Often Slow or Unresponsive
Random denial of service, or DDoS, assaults may affect any website on the internet. Several hijacked machines and servers from throughout the world are used in these assaults, which employ phoney IP addresses.
They may just be making too many queries to your server, or they may be actively attempting to hack into your website.
Your website will become sluggish, unresponsive, and inaccessible as a result of such activities. You may monitor your server logs to identify which IPs are making too many requests and block them, but if there are too many or the hackers change IP addresses, this may not be enough to solve the problem.
It’s also conceivable that your WordPress site is simply sluggish and not infected with malware. In such situation, you should use our WordPress speed and performance recommendations.
8. Unusual Activity in Server Logs
Plain text files are saved on your web server as server logs. All faults on your server, as well as all internet traffic, are recorded in these files.
You can find them in the Statistics section of your cPanel dashboard for your WordPress hosting account.
When your WordPress site is under assault, these server logs might assist you figure out what’s going on.
They also contain all of the IP addresses used to visit your website, allowing you to ban any IP addresses that are suspect.
They’ll also alert you to server faults that aren’t visible in your WordPress admin but might be causing your site to crash or become unavailable.
9. Failure to Send or Receive WordPress Emails
Spam is frequently sent from hacked servers. Most WordPress hosting companies include free email addresses as part of their service. Many WordPress site owners send WordPress emails through their host’s mail servers.
If you can’t send or receive WordPress emails, it’s possible that your mail server has been hacked to transmit spam.
10. Suspicious Scheduled Tasks
Cron jobs can be set up on web servers. You may add them to your server as scheduled jobs. Cron is used by WordPress to schedule operations such as publishing scheduled posts, clearing outdated comments from the trash, and so on.
Cron jobs may be used by a hacker to do scheduled actions on your server without your knowledge.
See our tutorial on how to see and control WordPress cron jobs for additional information on cron jobs.
11. Hijacked Search Results
If your website’s search results reveal false titles or meta descriptions, it’s a clue that your WordPress site has been hacked.
When you look at your WordPress site, you’ll notice that the title and description are still right.
The hacker has used a backdoor once more to install malicious code that alters your site’s data so that it is only accessible to search engines.
12. Popups or Pop Under Ads on Your Website
These sorts of hackers are attempting to profit from your Signs website’s traffic by redirecting it to their own spam adverts.
Visitors who are signed in or who are viewing a website directly do not see these popups.
They are only visible to people who have arrived via search engines. Users are unaware of pop-under adverts Signs since they launch in a new window and remain unnoticed.
13. Core WordPress Files Are Changed
If any of your core WordPress files have been updated or modified in any way, your WordPress site has been hacked.
Hackers may simply edit a core WordPress file to include their own code. They may also Signs produce files with names that are similar to those found in the WordPress core.
Installing a WordPress security plugin that checks the health of your essential WordPress files is the simplest approach to keep track of such files. You may also manually search for any suspicious files or scripts in your WordPress directories.
14. Users Are Randomly Redirected to Unknown Websites
Another major clue that your website has been hacked is if visitors are being redirected to an unfamiliar domain.
Because it does not reroute logged-in users, this attack generally goes undiscovered. It may also fail to reroute users who enter the website’s address straight into their browser.
Backdoors or malware deployed on your website are frequently the source of these sorts of intrusions.
Securing and Fixing Your Hacked WordPress Site
Cleaning up a hacked WordPress site may be a hard and time-consuming process. This is why we advise you to hire professionals to clean up your website.
All of our websites are secured using Sucuri. See how Sucuri assisted us in preventing 450,000 WordPress assaults in only three months.
It includes website monitoring 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as a robust website application firewall that stops threats before they reach your site. Most importantly, if your website is ever hacked, they will clean it up.
Take a look at our beginner’s guide to cleaning up a hacked WordPress site if you want to do it yourself.
Keeping Your WordPress Website Secure from Future Attacks
After your website is clean, you can make it safe by making it incredibly difficult for hackers to access it.
Adding layers of protection to your WordPress website is the first step in securing it. For example, employing strong passwords with two-factor authentication helps keep unwanted users out of your WordPress admin area.
Similarly, you may restrict access to crucial WordPress files and folders to secure them, as well as carefully establish WordPress file and folder permissions.
See our comprehensive WordPress security guide for additional information, which will walk you through all of the actions you need to do to safeguard your WordPress site.
We hope that this post taught you how to recognise the indicators of a hacked WordPress site.
You might also be interested in our guide to getting a free SSL certificate or our expert analysis of the top small business phone services.