How to Tell If Your WordPress Site Has Been Hacked
One of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of WordPress as a CMS is its tight security. Sadly, thousands of attacks happen every minute to WordPress sites all over the world. Scary, isn’t it?
The truth is that weak passwords, hosting or domain level breaches, insecure plugins and themes, and even outdated WordPress core can make your entire site more vulnerable and susceptible than usual.
Good thing that there are now surefire ways that will tell you if your WordPress site has been hacked. Here are some telltale signs you have to look out for to know if your site has become fallen prey to the hands of hackers.
For users with installed Google Analytics on their website, noticing a drastic and sudden drop in user traffic is often a sign that your website is in big trouble. Trojan and malware attacks could take control of your site traffic, redirecting this to a spam website. It is also possible that your safe browsing has been directed to warn the users that your website is no longer safe.
Most websites give their users the chance to register. It often garners a good amount of spam accounts that are very easy to delete. However, the real problem happens when the owner of the site doesn’t allow user registration but there are still new user accounts that pop up. Make sure that you check the admin area of your site to see if there are any suspicious user roles which allow access to the administrator controls.
Called data injection, the hacker builds a backdoor to your WordPress website that gives them the ability to modify your database and files. They will then add bad links to the site which will direct the users of your website to spam messages. Look for such links in the footers of your web pages, and if you see them, find and close the specific backdoor used by the hacker. Remember that merely deleting these links will never solve the situation.
When your website becomes slow or totally unresponsive, it is another sign that it has been compromised. More often than not, it happens due to denial of service attacks that are the result of hacked servers and computers. There is a possibility that someone is trying to break into your website. Go through your server logs to determine the IPS that bombards requests to your site, and block them right away.
For hackers that try to squeeze some cash out of their efforts, a common tactic they use is adding popup ads to your site. They basically try to garner profit through displaying spam advertisements for illegal sites. However, logged in users don’t get to see these popups, instead, these are visible only to users that come to your site from search engines. The ads usually appear in new windows and stay unnoticed. These are difficult to remove so it is best to get the help of experts to address the issue.
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