The fact that every open source is vulnerable and can be targeted by hackers is quite known to all the techies and software developers. Now, there are innumerable ways in which the WordPress site can be hacked. But, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so users can implement some very important things to avoid getting hacked in the first place and thus mitigate the risk of being hacked. Some of these include upgrades to WordPress plugins, regular backup, and security scans.
But prior to that, 10 common signs to prove that the site is hacked
1.Sudden Drop in Website Traffic :
If the Google Analytics reports indicate a sudden downfall in the traffic, then this is a powerful sign that the site has been hacked. There are numerous malware and trojans for hijacking the website’s traffic and redirecting it to the spammy websites. Some of them don’t even redirect the logged users which allow them to go unnoticed for a while.
Another reason for the sudden drop in traffic is Google’s safe browsing tool, which might be showing warnings to users regarding the website.
As per reports, each week, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing and is the reason why every blogger and business owner needs to pay serious attention to their WordPress security.
The safety report can be viewed by checking the website using the Google’s safe browsing tool.
2. Bad Content is added to the Site:
If the site is hacked then Hackers might gain access to one of the theme files. If this is the case, hackers would be able to add the following things to the site:
- The Site would have the inclusion of numerous invisible code. These would be visible to Google but not to the human and ultimately get the site slowed down and then added to the blacklist.
- Sites that have unwelcome links and content added into the footer on every page.
- Sites that have been completely replaced with new content
Even if such things occur, the user would be unknown of such happenings as such contents would be invisible.
3. The website becomes slow or crashes:
There might be various causes for this. The primary one being, the hacker infusing quite a significant amount of bad code into the site that has slowed down the site. Another one being that the hacker has added the site into a network of sites or a spam email network where traffic is sent to the site and being re-directed.
4. The Website disappears:
Sometimes when a site is hacked, a hacker can actually get hold of the files and then remove the whole site. In the worst scenario, every single site on a single server can also be removed.
5. Unable to Login to WordPress:
If users are having trouble login into the WordPress site, then chances are there that hackers might have deleted the admin account from WordPress. Since the account doesn’t exist now, users would not be able to reset their password from the login page. Of course, there are other ways to add an admin account using phpMyAdmin or via FTP. However, even after this the site still remains unsafe until the user has detected the way the hacker got into the website.
6.Suspicious User Accounts in WordPress:
If the site is open to user registration, and any kind of spam registration protection is not being used, then the spam user accounts are just the common spam that might be simply deleted. However, if the user doesn’t remember allowing user registration and notices new user accounts in WordPress, then the site is definitely hacked. Usually, this suspicious account would have administrator user role, and in some cases might not be able to delete it from the WordPress admin area.
7.Failure to Send or Receive WordPress Emails:
Hacked servers are commonly used for spam. Majority of the WordPress hosting companies offer free email accounts with the hosting. Many WordPress site owners, in fact, use their host’s mail servers to send WordPress emails. Now, if the users are not being able to send or receive WordPress emails, then there is a chance that the mail server is hacked to send spam emails.
8. Suspicious Scheduled Tasks:
Web servers allow users to set up cron jobs. These are nothing but scheduled tasks that are added to the server. WordPress itself uses cron to setup scheduled tasks like publishing scheduled posts, deleting old comments from trash, and so on.
Now, a hacker can exploit cron to run scheduled tasks on the user’s server without even his/her knowledge.
9. Hijacked Search Results:
If the search results from the website show incorrect title or meta description, then this is a sign that WordPress site is hacked.
Looking at WordPress site, users would be still able to perceive the correct title and description. The hacker has again exploited a backdoor to inject malicious code which would modify the site data in a way that it would be visible only to search engines.
10. Popups or Pop-Under Ads on Your Website:
These types of hacks are an attempt to make money by hijacking the website’s traffic and showing them their own spam ads for illegal websites. These popups do not appear for logged in visitors or visitors accessing a website directly.
Rather, they only appear to the users visiting from search engines. Pop under ads open in new window and remain unnoticeable by users.
So, in all probability, this article would definitely help users to look for signs that prove that WordPress site is hacked. So read on and be safe. Also, for any help or to recover your site visit us.