Do you want to secure your WordPress Site from Malicious Plugins? We all are aware that WordPress is an open source platform, meaning that anybody can contribute content to it. Hence this platform is also a common target for hackers. The most common source of the attack is through code add-ons such as Plugins and Themes.
Plugins let you add and customize WordPress features. In this article, we will help you to secure your WordPress Site from Malicious Plugins.
What are Malicious Plugins?
Malicious plugins are much similar to legitimate ones. They function as they should and perform in the same way as you expect them to. The only difference between malicious and legitimate plugin is in their coding. These infected plugins will allow the attacker to get an entry to your site, which they can use to upload malicious files or alter with your site’s existing content.
According to Denis Sinegubko of the Sucuri Blog, there are a few universal types of malicious code that are added to these plugins.
Suppose, a hacker include functions in the plugin’s code that creates a new user with a known username and password and set it up to send themselves an email when a site has installed the plugin. Then they can go to a different address they’ve set on that site’s server and do anything they want like stealing personal information or uploading malicious files. You can read this article to check for vulnerabilities in WordPress website.
How Does Plugin Get Infected?
Legitimate Plugins end-up getting infected with these malicious codes through a process called Patching. These plugins are purchased and stolen. After that, they are patched and then re-uploaded on those sites that offer “free download” of premium Plugin. These malicious Plugins can be downloaded freely from multiple websites.
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How to Secure your WordPress Site from Malicious Plugins
Here are few ways to prevent your site from Malicious Plugins:
1. Use WordPress.org for Free Plugins
It is always suggested to download free Plugins from WordPress.org Plugin Directory because all the required Plugins are available there according to the WordPress strict guidelines. They are very serious towards the quality of Plugins and won’t include those plugins which fail to meet their standards.
2. Use Developer Sites only for Premium Plugins
Never download free or premium Plugins from random websites. Don’t click on suspicious-looking download links posted in forum threads. For downloading a premium Plugin just find the developer’s website then download it from there.
3. Research Developers Thoroughly
If you have not heard about the developer then you should research about them. What other Plugins they have made? What’s their reputation within the WordPress community? Have people left reviews of their past work? Use all this for your decision making before acting to purchase and download a plugin.
4. Never Steal Plugins
Never steal a Premium Plugin or download free versions of Premium Plugin. Only download legitimate copies of the plugin, this will help you to avoid Patching and will also save your time of cleaning it up later.
As usually said, “Prevention is better than cure”. So just because it can happen doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything within your power to prevent it. Surely by having a fair idea of what malicious plugins look like and following the tips above, you’ll retain your site clean.