WordPress Acting Weird? 10 Signs Your Site May Be Hacked
10 Signs Your Site May Be Hacked
We often try to see if a Website is hacked or not and if it is a WordPress Website here are the few things that you should look at to ensure if the website is compromised or not. Here you have 10 common signs that a website is hacked or not.
- Less Traffic
If suddenly one fine morning you see that the website traffic has gone down by a huge size, then it could be a sign that somebody has infringed with your site. The Google Analytics reading is something that is worrying then it is better you check if the website is not hijacked or redirected to some spurious website.
There is a Google safe browsing tool which alerts the visitors when they end up on a dubious website, so sometimes when your website is hacked or hijacked, this tool alerts the user beforehand, and thus your Google Analytics shows the bounce rate on the high side. Sometimes the website might end up being blacklisted, in that case, you need to check with the WordPress Security.
- Unethical Links
Data injection is the most common factor that you find on WordPress website. A backdoor is created which is used by the hacker to amend the database and WordPress files. Removing the link will be of no use, but you will have to fix the back door.
This is probably the most obvious one as it is clearly visible on the homepage of your website. Most hacking attempts do not deface your site’s home page because they want to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.
Your home page may not be much affected, because hackers will not deface the main page so that they notice, and if done they will try to extort money from the website owners.
- Not able to login
When the admin is not able to login to his homepage, there are chances that hackers might have changed your credentials, and you would not be able to reset the password. You can try to get into the website through FTP, but before that, you need to ensure how the hacker got into your website.
- Unauthorized Users
If your site is open to user registration, and you are not using any spam registration protection, then spam user accounts are just common spam that you can simply delete.
If you enter the website and happen to see unauthorized account being created in the WordPress account, then be sure your site is hacked. The suspicious account will hijack the admin rights, and you may not be able to delete the unauthorized account.
- Slow Website
All websites on the internet can become victims because these attacks use several hacked computers and servers from all over the world using fake IPs. They are actively trying to break into your website as they send too many requests to your server. Such activity will slow down your website, or even make it unavailable. So check your server logs and IPs to ensure there are no unwarranted requests if so you should block them. Sometimes the WordPress site also becomes slower, ensure that before you take any action.
- Unusual activity noted
Check for server logs which are plain text, these files will keep a record of the logs and errors on the server as well on the internet traffic. This can be done from the cPanel under statistics.
- Not receiving email through WordPress
The server that is hacked is normally used for spam by the hackers, and since most companies provide a free email account with hosting, many website owners opt for this service, though they may not be using it. Check if you are able to send and receive email through this account, if not, they probably your website is hacked.
- Doubtful task scheduler
The web server allows you to set a schedule for the different task you intended to, and if you happen to see any unwanted or unscheduled task on the server, be careful. Hackers can schedule a different post without your knowing it.
- Strange Search Results
If you happen to see different search results for your website, please have a look at the title and meta description, if it is different change it because it is a sign that your website is hacked. As said above, the hacker has made use of the backdoor entry and injected the code that has made all the changes to the search engines.
- Ads on Your Website
The most unusual thing on the website is to see Popups or Pop-Under ads, these are done just to swindle off your website for you and make money. The hacker will try to divert the website to a different area showing them spam ads.
Julia Sowells250 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.