WordPress Malware Removal Plugins – A cooperative Study to select the best one
WordPress is getting popular day by day in terms of hosting and building websites. This full-featured content management system is used by more than 1 million companies around the globe. This is why hackers are targetting this CMS(Content Management System) to gain profit by taking unethical approaches. Before discussing our topic we should understand Malware.
Malware is the short form of “malicious software”. Cybercriminals or hackers develop this intrusive software to damage and destroy computers or computer systems. They can steal data with the help of this software. Hackers use malware for various reasons, such as:
• To steal financial data or credit cards
• Tricking users for getting personal data
• Infecting computer systems to mine bitcoins
• To take control over multiple computers
Now let us have a look into how does this malware work and how to remove it.
Websites made with WordPress can have some vulnerabilities and hackers look for those weak points so that they can ambush those websites and make money. Sometimes they do not want you to know that your website is hacked so that they can get a longer time to explore your site. Now the crucial question comes, how would you know that your website is hacked?
The most common thing users see when they get hacked is they get some attention pictures where it says “DANGER!”. They want you to click on that site saying they are gonna save your system from hacking. Unfortunately, that is the trap. When you click it they get all login credentials in their system and hack your website.
You might receive an email from your web hosting provider. That email will look unusual and will try to convince you that your site got hacked so you should be providing useful information to get out of this trap.
Sometimes you can see a sharp drop in traffic. Usually, this happens when your internet connection is not good but not always. When your site gets hacked you can face something similar. You should immediately take the necessary steps to avoid danger.
When we browse for particular information does it take us to the same page where the information is shown correctly? The answer is NO. Sometimes it will take you to a malicious site showing you a lucrative advertisement. Which means you just got hacked.
There are other ways by which you can find out that your system got hacked. Now let us get to the main topic of our discussion. There are many WordPress plugins by which you can keep your website virus-free. You can have a look at a few plugins and their services.
WPForms contact form is considered to be the most user-friendly contact form plugin. The forms created with WPForms are incredibly fast and SEO-friendly. It’s used by over 4,000,000 sites. The drag & drop online form builder makes it easy for you to create a beautiful contact form, email subscription form, payment form, or any other type of online form with just a few clicks. At the same time, it has all the features you will need to create a powerful and flexible form for your site.
These are the feature sand add ons in WPForms –
• Drag & Drop Form Builder – To create various online forms in WordPress Wpforms comes with a drag and drop builder. It allows users to easily build forms in a very limited time. You can add and remove form fields with one click only.
• Spam Protection – Online forms are a huge target for spammers. That’s why WPForms provides several ways to prevent spam. It uses the latest spam defense methods to combat spam, automatically. When any user creates a new form, their anti-spam feature is enabled by default inside your form settings.
• Form Templates – This feature speeds up your workflow significantly. Instead of making things from scratch, you can use a pre-made form. It will help you save time in your industry.
• Responsive Mobile Friendly – All forms created with WPForms are completely responsive, mobile-friendly. They are built for cross-browser compatibility which means your site will work on all modern browsers. It is smart enough to adapt to the settings that you select and dynamically generate a mobile-friendly form layout.
• Smart Conditional Logic- Its conditional logic allows users to create smart dynamic forms that help them collect the most relevant information. With conditional logic, WordPress forms will dynamically change based on the selections the user makes while filling out WPForms.
• Instant Notifications – Customers will get notifications instantly. When a user submits a form, WPForms will instantly notify him via email. He can choose to notify multiple users to ensure faster response time. All he has to do is enter each email separated by commas, and WPForms will do the rest.
• Entry Management- WPForms makes it easy for you to view all your leads in one place to streamline your workflow. All your entries are stored in the WordPress database and are easily accessible inside your WordPress dashboard.
• File Uploads for WordPress Forms – This feature allows users to collect files and media through online forms. They easily add a file inside their WordPress forms with just a single click through the drag & drop online form builder. Security is a huge priority at WPForms, so they restrict file types to safe files and have a maximum upload size to save storage space.
These are a few important features picked up from their website. You can go through their official site to know more about the features.
But there are some Pros and Cons of it which is discussed below –
• As discussed earlier it has one of the best drag-and-drop form builders and it is very easy to use, even a beginner will be able to create forms in no time.
• You can build forms for anything with this. Multiple templates include all important areas of our day-to-day lives.
• For connecting web apps we need various tools. One of them is Zapier and Wpforms lets you integrate with Zapier.
• To stay organized WPForms use conditional logic for the notification emails.
As a con, the only thing I have noticed about this is pricing. You gotta pay a good amount of money which is $199 to get its premium features. So if you have a tight budget then I would suggest going for cheaper ones.
Wordfence is one of the most popular security plugins for WordPress. The company distributes a free version and a premium version starting at $99 per year which is cheaper than WPForms. It is an all-in-one security solution for WordPress websites that includes an endpoint firewall, security scanner, login security, alerts, centralized management, and more.
This plugin consists of 3 core features:
WordPress Security Scanner – Malware scanner checks core files, themes, and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects, and code injections.
WordPress Firewall – Web Application Firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic. Built, maintained, and continuously updated by the team at WordFence focused 100% on WordPress security.
WordPress Security Tools – The plugin also offers an array of security features such as live traffic monitoring, limit login attempts, spam comment filter, and IP address and user agent blocking, email notifications, and monthly reports.
Wordfence has some powerful features. Let us have a look at them –
Leaked Password Protection – Sometimes hackers hack passwords by writing some piece of code. Wordfence protects your site against attacks that leverage password information stolen in data breaches. It blocks logins for administrators using known compromised passwords.
Advanced Manual Blocking – Whenever it finds any malicious networks it quickly and efficiently dispatch site security threats by blocking entire malicious networks and any human or robot activity that indicates suspicious intentions based on pattern matching and IP ranges.
Country Blocking – Wordfence country blocking is designed to stop an attack, prevent content theft or end malicious activity that originates from a geographic region in less than 1/300,000th of a second. Blocking countries that are regularly creating failed logins, a large number of pages not found errors or are engaging in malicious activity is an effective way to protect your site during an attack.
Two-Factor Authentication- Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds a second layer of security to your users’ accounts. It requires them to not only enter their password but also the second piece of information only they have access to. An account protected by 2FA is virtually impossible to compromise. Even if an attacker discovers your username and password somehow, they still can’t log in.
Repair Files – Wordfence uses a source code verification feature to tell you what has changed and helped repair hacked files. It checks the integrity of the core files, theme files, and plugin files against what is stored in the official WordPress repository. It maintains a record of every WordPress core, theme, and plugin file ever released to the official repository to provide this feature.
Now, let us discuss the pros and cons –
• It has comprehensive malware removal features
• In-depth investigation report
• Repairs files and folders which gets hacked
• It does vulnerability investigations
• Sometimes it takes a bit longer for the cleaning process
• A bit expensive when it comes to cleaning multiple attacks
• It affects website speed
• False alarms
Sucuri platform ensures website security, it is globally recognized. It is an all-in-one security solution for websites with protection, monitoring, and unlimited hack cleanup. Albeit currently the ownership of Sucuri has been transferred to GoDaddy.
Functionalities of Sucuri are given below –
The dashboard of Sucuri shows that how much secure your website is. After activation of Sucuri, you will see every activity which has been happening on your website. In starting it shows the core integrity of your website. It scans your WordPress files for any type of malware and unknown files. It keeps a list for all of them.
• In case you have lost your login –
This function keeps a record of all the logins on your website. Check your admin users’ logins and along with that, you can also check who is currently logged into your website. It also shows failed login attempts and blocked users. This will give you an idea about any kind of threat before it happens.
• Scanning all malware in your system
Sucuri has also a malware scanner the same as Wordfence. Once you click the button for scan, it will scan your website for malware, errors, and any out-of-date components. The best part about it is that it also checks that if your website ended up in spam lists of some of the famous search engines like Google, Norton, AVG, etc. Once you set the scan timer it will automatically do a scan within the time limit for that. You can set the time limit for every three, twelve, or twenty-four hours. Even if you don’t set the time limit it has a default setting to scan twice daily. After completion of a scan, you’ll get the result and according to that result, you can take action.
• Post Hack
From this section, you will know what you should do if your system is already hacked.
You can take the following steps –
• Generate new SALTs under the section of wp-config.php and reset all the security keys
• You should reset your password and the password should be strong. Try to mix up multiple characters and symbols to create a strong one.
• If your plugins get infected by the malware then you should re-install them by just doing some clicks.
• Update all the components over time to prevent these kinds of attacks.
Make sure you perform all these actions manually if your site has been breached.
• Site Info
It shows all the info about your website. You can see the scan reports of some other times also. It also oversees all the tasks which are being performed on your website along with the information like the scheduled task, the integrity of your .htaccess file, database name, table prefix, and many more.
Pricing for this tool –
• Basic Plan – Their Basic plan is affordable and it scans your website every 12 hours for the security check. It comes with a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and costs $199.99 per year.
• Professional Plan – The Professional plan has fewer intervals for scanning your website. It scans every 6 hours to protect your WordPress website from security threats. Other than that, it comes with a custom SSL certificate and costs $299.99 per year.
• Business plan – Sucuri’s most advanced and powerful plan is their Business plan. It has the fastest response to security threats and attacks. If you purchase this plan, it comes with instant chat support with the Sucuri team, blacklist notifications, advanced DDoS protection, and much more. This plan costs $499.99 per year.
However, all 3 plans include unlimited malware cleanup, website firewall (WAF), attack prevention capability, blacklist removal, and protection from hacks.
• Sucuri gives you an instant support
• It has a good backup plan feature
• It saves all the data and patches the server
• The core plugin is free
• Firewall plans are also available starting from $10/month
• I have felt like there are some limitations of functionalities here in terms of other plugin tools
• Pricing is too high on some plans for small business
Astra Security is U.S. & India-based web application security & solutions company. They offer holistic website security solutions. It gives you real-time malware monitoring, threat protection, malware removal & website protection services. Astra Web Security is the go-to security suite for your WordPress website. With Astra, you don’t have to worry about any malware, credit card hack, SQLi, XSS, SEO Spam, comments spam, brute force & 100+ types of threats. This means you can get rid of other security plugins & let Astra take care of it all.
Astra is installed as an extension by following self-served, easy-to-follow steps (takes less than 5 minutes). It means there is NO need to change DNS settings, unlike other security plugins. We offer a Web Application Firewall to protect your website in real-time, on-demand machine learning-powered malware scanner, immediate malware cleanup, community Security & Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing (VAPT) to find all possible flaws & business logic errors.
Astra Web Security is a Techstars company & the winner of the French Tech Ticket Program. Awarded as The Most Innovative Security Company at the Global Conference on Cyber Security.
Astra’s vision is to make cyber security a five-minute affair for businesses.
It has the following features –
1. Web Application Firewall
2. Robust community-powered security engine
3. Real-time SQLi, XSS, LFI & 100+ threats protection
4. Malware scanning & removal
5. Bad bots blocking
6. Country blocking/whitelisting
7. IP range blocking/whitelisting
8. IP profiling & tracking
9. Malicious file upload prevention
10. Controlling file upload size
11. Limiting upload by extension type
12. Admin login activity logging
13. Blocking automated vulnerability scanners
14. Admin brute force protection
15. Fake search engine bots blocking
16. File Injection/Webshell protection
17. Code Injection protection
18. Directory traversal protection
19. Automatic blocking of known hackers
20. Layer 7 DDoS protection
21. Smart honeypot system to trap hackers
22. Rate limit web requests
23. Automatic spam blocking
24. Content stealing & scraping prevention
25. Preventing spam comments
26. Access security
27. No latency (Our turbo security engine takes fewer than0.002s to detect threats)
The dashboard of Astra Security is easy and clean. So it is user-friendly.
• It has great customer support.
• Central management with excellent features.
• A helpful team manually reviews your site to find any malicious code and will even send you a well-documented report of what happened.
• Users can easily blacklist IPS, mostly from previous attacks.
• It is not capable of detecting some malware attacks that slip through.
• Occasionally throws a false positive.
• Lack of other platforms for notifications
• Some functions don’t seem to work as expected.
• Malware scan and removal require a manual selection.
Like many Security Plugins, SecuPress has a bunch of awesome features. But it’s not only about features, it’s also about performance, loading speed, memory usage. And less technically the comfort of using a well-done plugin with a beautiful user interface and a great user experience counts. Then, we have in mind to secure a large number of websites, you can be part of this. The most important for us is that you have a secured website, using SecuPress or not.
Professional Configuration (€99) –
For precise and customized SecuPress settings, and configuring the plugin for users.
Malware Removal(€299) –
To make websites clean and repaired this portion works well.
WordPress Security Training(€499) –
They created training, accessible to anyone because Web Security is not dedicated only to developers.
Security Maintenance(€29) –
For security purposes, this is a cheaper deal.
Key features of Secupress –
• In Secupress you can automatically schedule Malware Scanner.
• It has a database and File Backups
• Here the theme is vulnerable and it has plugin detection
• It is anti-Spam
• It provides built-in backups
• It gives you security key protection
• A clear and intuitive step-by-step interface. So, users will not get confused during the process.
• It provides a feature of the native French translation.
• A fast set-up, even for beginners, thanks to the integrated scanner.
• Simple and quick explanations of each available option.
• The choice of offers and the possibility of changing offers at any time.
• No need to install the free version and the pro at the same time (since version 1.3).
• It is a French product with support in French, fast and quality (and English of course).
• Possibility to modify or add a site using the pro version in a few clicks.
• The alert module sends emails (every 15 minutes, configurable) in case of critical external action.
• SecuPress for a single site is more expensive than multiple sites.
• Users can have the experience of multisite only with a more premium version
In conclusion, it can be said that having our website hacked or infected by malware is one of the worst things that can happen to any website, and it’s every site owners’ worst nightmare. The website gets infected by malware or malicious software all the time, the best way to prevent it is with the best WordPress malware removal plugin. There are multiple options for removing malware from our website. But we should always be careful while clicking any URL links or any suspicious sites. Hackers do that intentionally to hack our websites. In case we get affected by any kind of malware we can use a paid or unpaid version of plugins. Depending on the requirement of our websites we should choose the right plugin for our system.