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How to clean malware from the website?

MALWARE or MALICIOUS codes sucks the traffic and user interest too. So, How to clean malware from our website? How to remove malicious code from the website?

What is Malware or Malicious code?

malware
malware

Malicious code/Virus is an associate application security threat that can’t be with efficiency controlled by a typical antivirus package alone. Malicious code describes a broad class of system security terms that has attack scripts, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, backdoor, and malicious active content.

Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network (by contrast, software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency is typically described as a software bug).  A wide variety of types of malware exist, including computer viruses,  worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, and scareware.

Source Wikipedia

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What’s the difference between malware and malicious code?

What’s the difference between a gun and a bullet? The bullet is the part that generally kills. Same with malware and malicious code. The malware us the gun. The malicious code is the bullet.

A large part of the malware isn’t malicious. It can be the GUI part displaying a ransom note or some code that’s checking disk space or searching for other applications. The malicious code is the part that uses the vulnerabilities of computers (like security holes and dumb users) to infect a system and do the bad stuff.

And you can copy it from one piece of malware to another piece of code and thus turn lots of programs into malware.

What can malicious code do?

malicious-code
malicious code

Mostly malicious code grants an outside 3rd party root/admin access to your device.

Then the code can basically do anything the attached wants.

That’s of course the simple answer, and the case is often on a broad range of nothing -> everthing.

But also do look at the Threat Model, the Attack Chains, and the vulnerabilities, that the attackers want to exploit.

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For your particular malicious code issue. Do you see below files in your /wp-includes/ directory?

wp-feed.phpwp-vcd.php

If, yes then these files are not the default files and generated by some infected code coming from your some of the theme of the plugin. If you delete those files they will generate again till the time you won’t remove the actual code generating those files and infecting other files.

Most of the time a malicious link is in the decrypted form inside your website files. You can’t simply search malicious links and found them in any website file or database. Usually, these malicious codes are hidden somewhere in your theme or plugin files and further corrupt core files too. 

This might also be a result of using some nulled plugin/theme from an unknown source. It is also possible that you are using some outdated plugin/theme and some hacker try to exploit the vulnerability of that plugin/theme. 

Sometimes this infected code can corrupt the main core file and database. These can come again or generate again after some time if you are not able to delete/clean the code from some files or completely. 

How to clean malware from website
How to clean malware from website?

Some possible causes of entry of malware into your site:

  1. You are using a nulled theme, which contains the malicious code or maybe a backdoor.
  2. You are using a nulled plugin, which contains the malicious code or maybe a backdoor.
  3. You continuously visiting the unsecured websites.
  4. You are using third-party chatrooms and other platforms.
  5. You are using third-party ads services like:
  • Audience play
  • PropellerAds
  • Infolinks
  • Adsterra
  • PopAds
  • Adversal
  • RevenueHits
  • Amazon Associates
  • RevContent
  • AdNow
  • Skimlinks
  • Adcash
  • ylliX
    • Adblade

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Some Possible Ways to Find the Code: 

  1. Check your all files and database with the help of some reputed scanning plugin or tool and identify that some changes had been made close to the date when your ads were disapproved. 
  2. Any changes you, your developer, or your hosting company made close to the date of disapproval of ads. (Example – Install, Update, Addition of any code/plugin/file/js/CSS etc.) 
  3. Check the Google console for any signal and also see if your website is blacklisted for any malware activity. 
  4. If you are using WordPress then there are many good plugins are available try to use 2-4 different plugins because every plugin has a different way of finding the code. 
  5. Take the help of your hosting provider to scan the website for you. Usually, they have a better tool in place to check and scan code for you. 

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Some Possible Ways to Fix the Website:  

How to clean malware from website
How to clean malware from website
  1. First thing, take a necessary back-up for your files and database before attempting any fix or changing any code. 
  2. Contact the Google Ads support team via phone and request them to email the reference links of malicious code so that you can investigate further. (This will help you, your developer, or hosting company to fix the problem). 
  3. Now, try to restore all your website files and database on 2-3 days prior to your ads got disapproved. This will undo any changes you and anyone else made on the website after the restore date. 
  4. Update all plugins and themes to the latest reversion. Make sure that you are not using any theme, plugin, and code with any known vulnerability. 
  5. Ask your developer or web designer to manually scan all website files and databases for any encrypted code and fix them before asking for another review. 
  6. Try to remove any suspicious base64_decode, eval, referrer, decoded payload, etc. 
  7. After making any change and fixing the code, clear the cache on the server and any cache on the website to make sure that code is not seen by any scanning tool again. 
  8. After fixing the code wait for 10-12 hours and rescan the website to check if code is not generated again. If you are sure that you cleaned the malicious code completely, then only ask for another review

Now I’d Like to Hear From You

Now I’d prefer to hear what you have got to say: Which tip from today’s post does one need to do first? Leave your answers in the comments section or mail me.

What do you think?

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