How To Detect And Remove WordPress Redirects
January 27. 2020
In this glorious day and age, WordPress has proven time and time again just how potent and great it is. This time, the proof hides behind a very important number – 35%! It is now known that approximately 35% of all internet websites are running on WordPress, which is an amazing statistic. This means that it is now so widely spread that you can’t deny its overwhelming dominance. This incredible popularity is not there for no reason. The many benefits of using WordPress has led it to where it currently stands. However, there are downsides to the said popularity. The bigger you are – the more you become attractive to the malicious side of things. This is why we are going to help you detect and remove WordPress redirects, placed by hackers with malicious intent.
This is one of the most common attacks that hackers and other malicious computer users place upon websites. What it essentially does is that your files get compromised in a way where they are redirecting users to a different location, steering them away from your website and sending it to another. This brings plenty of harm to your website, given that it will be sending users away from you and towards any content, usually nothing positive. This malicious redirection can be removed and detected, and this is exactly what the article will be talking about. So, let’s see what you can do, aside from the regular WordPress security patches!
Detect and remove WordPress redirects – where to begin?
Before we start talking about how you can detect and remove something, we need to understand the fundamentals. This is aimed at those who are yet to be faced with this problem. Those who know all too well what this is, and just wish to learn how to battle it should skip to the next section. However, we deem that knowing what it is and how it happens is a prerequisite for being able to detect and remove WordPress redirects. Our services also offer help and protection in these scenarios.
The main problem with this issue is the fact that once the redirection happens, visitors who wished to see your website are not only transferred elsewhere – but are also taken to a dark corner filled with malware, spam or other phishing attacks. Never are they really transferred to a nice place, filled with positive things. Hence, the problem is twofold. Not only are you losing your website traffic, but you are also sending your potential visitors to malicious content. A terrible combination.
How do they do the redirect-attack?
In order to make this entire ordeal possible, the hacker has to essentially gain access to some (if not all) of your WordPress built website files. Just so that we are clear, this is not something everyone can do. It is by no means easy. However, those who are skilled and know what they are doing are more than capable of achieving this. In order to gain access to your website files, they have to use several different techniques:
- Completely entering your server, being able to update essentially all website files. This update would remove certain files and replace them with others. The ‘others’ are the ones that will be redirecting your visitors to other places.
- Trick you into installing a plugin that is not as legitimate as you may think. This plugin will be adding malicious code in the back office of your website. This code will essentially achieve the above-mentioned redirects.
- Trick you into installing a theme that will do exactly the same thing as the above-mentioned plugin.
So, since there is such a wide number of options that one can use to attack your website, how do you defend yourself? Is there anything you can do, or should you just hope nothing goes wrong?
Detect and remove WordPress redirects – the first and last line of defense!
In the sea of bad news, there is some good news! Fighting these redirects is actually rather simple. Of course, when you are doing it for the first time you need a little bit of assistance. But, once you get the hang of it, it becomes very simple to battle. All you need to do is to be consistent and diligent with testing whether these attacks have happened or not. So, what are these simple steps you can take to deal with this, or maybe to even entirely prevent it?
Make sure to frequently change your password and look at all your registered users
If by any chance a hacker manages to get access to the admin section of your WordPress you will have to address this by changing all passwords. What do we mean by all passwords? It means that all users will have to have their passwords changed. You could start doing this ‘frequently’, every couple of months, just to be on the safe side. Also, if the above-mentioned happens you will have to keep track of all users, in case the hacker managed to add new ones (for which you won’t initially change the password since you won’t see them). This is one of the easiest ways to detect and remove WordPress redirects. Also, make sure to frequently follow all the WordPress updates that in themselves protect you from attacks.
Also, add new keys and passwords for all FTP accounts and databases.
If you see any weird plugins and themes – remove them
If you notice that you have some themes and plugins you never remember adding, or some that are simply suspicious – remove them. Delete all the files relating to them. This way you will ensure no file corruption happens.
Use appropriate tools to scan your website
There is a wide variety of online tools you can get your hands on and use them to scan your website. This scan will allow you to have insight if there is any malware on your website, as well as if there are compromised files around.
All in all, this is a big threat, but fortunately, one that you can battle easily. When it comes to wanting to detect and remove WordPress redirects, all you need to be is diligent and aware of this threat. Once you reach this, battling it becomes easy. If you have any more questions on the topic – feel free to contact us!