1. Isolate and Secure Your Website:
- Take your website offline to prevent further damage and to protect visitors from potential threats.
- Change all passwords, including your WordPress admin, FTP, and database passwords.
2. Identify the Malware:
- Use a security plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri Security to scan your WordPress site for malware. These plugins can identify malicious code, infected files, and suspicious activities.
3. Make a Backup:
- Before making any changes, create a full backup of your website, including your database and files. You can use a WordPress backup plugin for this purpose.
4. Clean Infected Files:
- Manually review your WordPress files, especially those in the
wp-contentdirectory, for suspicious code or files. Pay attention to themes, plugins, and uploads.
5. Scan and Clean the Database:
- Malware can inject malicious code into your database. Use a tool like phpMyAdmin or a security plugin to scan and clean the database for malware-related entries.
- Be cautious when making database changes; incorrect changes can break your site.
6. Update WordPress, Themes, and Plugins:
- Ensure that your WordPress core, themes, and plugins are up to date. Outdated software can be vulnerable to malware.
- Remove any themes and plugins you no longer use or need.
7. Review User Accounts:
- Check your WordPress user accounts for any unauthorized or suspicious users. Delete any unfamiliar accounts and change passwords for existing ones.
8. Remove Backdoors:
- Malicious actors often create backdoors to regain access to your site. Look for and remove any suspicious files, especially those with names unrelated to WordPress.
9. Harden Security:
- Implement security best practices like limiting login attempts, using strong passwords, and disabling XML-RPC if not needed.
- Consider using a security plugin to enhance your site’s security and monitor for future threats.
10. Verify Google Search Console:
- If your site was blacklisted by search engines due to malware, use Google Search Console to request a malware review and removal from the blacklist.
11. Check File Permissions:
- Ensure that file permissions on your server are correctly configured to prevent unauthorized access.
Remember that preventing malware is as important as removing it. Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins, use strong passwords, and maintain good security practices to reduce the risk of future malware infections.