Ultimate solutions to unmask hidden WordPress malware by Zehra Ali


WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) that holds the largest usage all around the world. According to the W3Techs, WordPress is used by 29.2% of all the websites and has grown 5.6 % over the previous eight years.

With such popularity and recognition, WordPress is equally risked to criminal attacks and vulnerability invasion. That’s what the WPScan Vulnerability Database reports, showing almost 10,000 WordPress Core, Plug-in and Theme vulnerabilities. Most of us don’t care or are generally not receptive to the intensity of risk our website could have. Sometimes, a hacker might inject a SQL injection into your database and exploit vulnerabilities into a plug-in. For instance, recently a Remote Code Flaw has Exploited WordPress Renown Plugin.

Yet, the hackers are desperate to exploit the security holes and access the valued information through common malware techniques such as Phishing, Drive-by Downloads, Pharma Hacks, File and Database injection, Backdoors, and Malicious Redirects.

So, What Could You Do To Evade Malware Risks?

When most website owners receive a hack depicting message, they think it’s as an execution by the hackers who have placed this display on their website. However, it’s common for a hacker to act silently so that he gets the maximum benefit while the owner is unaware.

Therefore, it is necessary for you to protect your website with pre-installed malware detections instead of reacting after a vulnerability invasion. In this article, you will get the best WordPress plug-in solutions that could help you in detecting and removing a malware before any potential loss.

Yet, it is important to carefully select a plug-in for your website. The research at RIPS technologies suggest that,

Almost 8,800 plug-ins in official WordPress directory had one breaching capability each, whereas approximately 2,800 were marked with high severity and 41 had severe critical flaws.”

Sucuri Security

Sucuri is a WordPress plug-in that takes all the site responsibilities upon itself so that you don’t have to worry about your website security. This plug-in makes sure to scan the website and also offers a firewall to enhance site protection.

With a long list of security features, Sucuri contains a “last logins” section that accurately highlights the most recent login information. Despite its efficiency and various functionalities, the services are absolutely free. However, they have a premium version for the ones who are willing to avail more features.

Feature Round-up

  • Security notifications
  • Post-hack security actions
  • File integrity monitoring
  • Security hardening
  • Blacklist monitoring

WP Antivirus Site Protection

Source img: wordpress.org

This is a security plug-in offered by SiteGuarding that could be an effective defense against backdoors, rootkits, Trojan horses, worms, fraud tools, adware, and spyware. They execute scanning for all these possible vulnerabilities every week. Yet, you can pace up the scanning process to daily monitoring through their basic plan of the premium version.

WP Antivirus Site Protection offers website malware and antivirus removal with their standard plan.

However, it is an effective solution for the ones who download WP themes and plug-ins from torrents and sites that offer free services. It’s better to be protective instead of being reactive.

Feature Round-up

  • Quarantine and malware eradication
  • Notifications via email and in admin area
  • Detection of various malware types
  • Security reports are available online
  • Scan all the website files


Source img: wordpress.org

Wordfence is an extraordinarily performing WP security plug-in that has more than 2 million active users. It has many security enhancing features that are absolutely free.  They provide their user an opportunity to clean website after a hacking attempt, which is a complicated task without such plug-in. It also encompasses a firewall feature that hinders the complex and brute force attacks.

Malware or vulnerability detection is made easy through Wordfence as it provides you the insights about traffic and hacking attempts. Yet, it has a security alert system that discloses a security issue when it occurs.

Feature Round-up

  • Security alert which is configurable
  • Security incident recovery tools
  • Wordfence remains up-to-date with latest security data through
  • Threat Defense Feed
  • Effective login security features

Anti-Malware and Brute-Force Security

Source img: wordpress.org

Anti-Malware is a popular WordPress plug-in that has more than 200,000 active installations that make sure to update their services regularly.

This security plug-in regularly runs the scan process to figure out the security threat and backdoor scripts on your website. With such execution, the anti-malware plug-in automatically evades the issues.

Most of the security features by this WP plug-in are provided for free. Yet, they have a premium version to upgrade the privacy.

Feature Round-up

  • Protects against new threats via downloading definition updates.
  • Upgrades vulnerable versions of timthumb scripts.
  • A firewall that blocks SoakSoak and other malware from intervening revolution slider and other plug-ins from popular vulnerabilities.

WP Security Audit Log

Source img: wordpress.org

WP Security Audit Log is a WordPress plug-in that takes your website security checks into its command. It keeps an audit log of each and every execution on your WordPress and WordPress multisite. This helps you in detecting a security issue on your website before it becomes a complex security problem.

It helps in monitoring the user activity via various checks such as user login or log out, the location of user login, and monitors almost all the activities a user performs in WordPress. However, they offer a premium version in which a user could enjoy the perks of email alerts, Search, Reports, and monitor who is logged in to your WordPress.

Feature Round-up

  • User appearance shown in alerts
  • The most recent critical activity is highlighted through Configurable WordPress dashboard widget
  • Generates security alerts on most of the user activities

6Scan Security

Source img: wordpress.org

6Scan is a comprehensive security plug-in for WordPress website. It not only detects the vulnerability but will also auto-fix the issues through the placement of sophisticated algorithms. This is an extremely beneficial feature that could stop a hacker before any potential loss of your website data or your reputation.

Feature Round-up

  • Web Application Firewall
  • Scan results are delivered through notifications
  • Automatic malware and vulnerability fix
  • Dual Scanning

BulletProof Security

Source img: wordpress.org

BulletProof has more than 90,000 active installations and it regularly updates their services to maintain high efficiency.

It helps to maintain your website security through malware scanner, firewall, login security, DB backup, Anti-Spam, and much more. There is a long list of security features that are free with BulletProof download. These features include all the main security protections such as vulnerability detection and issue resolve.

The bulletproof security bonus custom code could be used to enhance your website security. Yet, it’s an effective, easy-to-use, and reliable WordPress security plug-in.

Feature Round-up

  • Hidden plug-in folders
  • Security logging
  • .htaccess Website Security Protection (Firewalls)
  • HTTP error logging
  • Setup Wizard AutoFix

Ultimate Security Checker

Source img: wordpress.org

The Ultimate Security Checker scans your website for the possible threats and vulnerabilities which might infect your site’s efficiency. It renders your website a grade so that you can get a better idea of your privacy status.

This security plug-in offers you an option of ‘Help’ in order to fix the detected issue automatically.

Feature Round-up

  • Easy installation
  • Automatic security scan

All In One WP Security & Firewall

Source img: wordpress.org

This plug-in solves your WordPress security issues with an extra firewall and reduces the security risks through checking for vulnerabilities. It has the updated and latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.

This plug-in is 100% free, is easy-to-use and claims to maintain your website speed without slowing it down. They also offer three types of categories, ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ so that a user can apply firewall rules without breaking the site’s functionality.

All In One WP Security has a unique feature of security points, grading which displays the scale of how well you are protecting your site depending on the security features you have activated.

Feature Round-up

  • Login lockdown feature to stop “Brute Force Login Attack”.
  • Schedule automatic backups and email notifications.
  • Access control facility.

Some more security plug-ins

Make 2018 More Secure For Your Site

It might be possible that your website hasn’t yet experienced a security breach, even without any security plug-ins. However, you should not remain negligent regarding your website as it probably contains your sensitive data with lots of user trust. By the way, it’s never too late.

2018 has just started and you could make it a more secure year for your website. It is recommended that you scan your websites regularly so that you are capable of detecting any suspicious activity or malware invasion before a potential loss.   


About the Author:

Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist with 2 years of experience in infosec industry. She writes on topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters on various platforms. She is also the Editor at PrivacySniffs.

November 2, 2018


Hakin9 TEAM
Hakin9 is a monthly magazine dedicated to hacking and cybersecurity. In every edition, we try to focus on different approaches to show various techniques - defensive and offensive. This knowledge will help you understand how most popular attacks are performed and how to protect your data from them. Our tutorials, case studies and online courses will prepare you for the upcoming, potential threats in the cyber security world. We collaborate with many individuals and universities and public institutions, but also with companies such as Xento Systems, CATO Networks, EY, CIPHER Intelligence LAB, redBorder, TSG, and others.
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