When WordPress was hackedthe first step is usually to use a WordPress malware scanner. The best WordPress malware scanners and how to use them are described here.
Key functions of a WordPress malware scanner security plugin
WordPress malware scanners offer essential functions to protect a website from malicious software.
The core functions include the detection of malicious code, suspicious links, redirects and other security risks. These WordPress malware scanners can check WordPress files, databases and even external connections.
Advanced scanners offer customizable deep scans that can target specific threats. In addition, many scanners offer features such as real-time malware signature updates, automatic scans and notifications when malware is detected.
Some WordPress malware scanners also integrate additional security measures such as web application firewalls, login protection and spam defense. These comprehensive tools are crucial to effectively protect a WordPress website from a variety of online threats.
Wordfence Security is a comprehensive security plugin for WordPress that stands out for its powerful and customizable malware scanning feature. In the free version, Wordfence offers a configurable malware scanner that allows users to customize the depth of threat detection.
Other security features include protection against brute force attacks and a web application firewall (WAF) equipped with a learning mode to minimize false positives.
A big advantage of Wordfence is that it offers performance optimization settings, which can be especially useful for a website on resource-constrained servers. The WordPress Malware Scanner is designed in such a way that it does not affect the performance of the website.
The free version of the plugin schedules security scans every three days without users being able to intervene. For more flexibility and unlimited scanning sessions, Wordfence offers a premium version.
In summary, Wordfence Security combines advanced features such as configurable malware scans, scheduled security checks, performance settings and additional protection through login security and a WAF to comprehensively protect a WordPress website.
- Comprehensive safety functions
- Customizable WordPress malware scanner
- Performance settings for websites with limited server resources
- Login protection and a web application firewall
- Scheduled scans only every three days in the free version
- Less flexibility without the premium version
Sucuri Security - Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening
Sucuri is a globally recognized website security provider specializing in WordPress security.
The Sucuri Security WordPress plugin is free and offers a range of security features to complement your existing security posture. Features include security activity audits, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blocklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack actions and security notifications. A premium service is available for advanced features such as the website firewall.
- Provides a comprehensive security package, including file integrity monitoring, malware scanning and security alerts
- Includes advanced features such as blocklist monitoring and security hardening to improve overall security
- Some advanced functions, such as the website firewall, are only available in the Premium version
- As Sucuri is a comprehensive tool, it might be a bit complex for users with less technical knowledge
Quttera Web Malware Scanner Plugin
It also checks whether your website has been blocked by Google and other blacklisting authorities. Features include one-click scan, unknown malware detection, external link detection, blacklist status check, no signature or pattern updates, AI scan engine, cloud technology, detailed investigation report, and PHP malware infected file detection.
- Offers an AI scanning engine and cloud technology that enable advanced and efficient malware detection
- Does not provide automatic signature or pattern updates, which could affect detection of the latest threats
- Some advanced functions may be too complex for less experienced users, especially when examining and analyzing reports in detail
Jetpack Protect Plugin
Jetpack Protect is a well-known WordPress plugin that specializes in performance and security features.
The malware scan feature is part of a paid subscription and provides automatic daily scans for constant and proactive protection against threats. When malware is detected, Jetpack sends immediate email notifications.
An outstanding feature of Jetpack Scan is its ability to not only detect malware in the content management system, but also to remove it with one click. This makes the management of a compromised website much easier.
In addition to malware detection, Jetpack offers other security features such as database backups, activity logs and spam protection. These additional functions make it a comprehensive security tool for a WordPress website.
- Automatic daily scans
- One-click malware removal
- E-mail notifications and additional functions such as database backups and spam protection
- Malware scan function requires a paid subscription
All-In-One Security (AIOS) Security Plugin
All-In-One Security (AIOS) is a comprehensive WordPress security plugin that offers a wide range of security features. These include a web application firewall (WAF), spam protection and login security to ward off bots and brute force attacks on a website.
The AIOS malware scanner, which is added as a third-party premium feature, automatically performs security checks for malicious content and notifies the user of any issues within 24 hours. AIOS also monitors the website's response time so that it can react quickly in the event of downtime.
The plugin also offers a file scanner function for your site that can detect changes to WordPress files, a common sign of malware. For users of the free version, protection against cross-site scripting (XSS) is also available through a special cookie.
- Round-the-clock automatic malware scan,
- dedicated support team,
- Uptime monitoring and file change detection.
- Malware scanner runs as a premium third-party function.
Defender Security security scanner plugin
Defender Security is a user-friendly solution for WordPress website security and part of the WPMU DEV WordPress plugin set. It allows you to detect malicious code on your WordPress site by comparing the WordPress core files with the main software version.
The malware scanner is available in the free version of Defender and does not require a WPMU DEV account. After completing a scan, Defender suggests actions for the detected malicious files and security risk, which can then be deleted immediately.
The Pro version allows you to schedule scans to automate security tasks and can send notifications about security vulnerabilities in outdated plugins or themes. Other security tools include firewall protection, IP blocking settings and the implementation of two-factor authentication.
- Manual or automatic malware scans,
- One-click malware removal,
- Warnings about known security leaks with the Pro version.
- Manual scans and limited functions in the free version.
SecuPress is a complete security solution for WordPress websites that includes a comprehensive malware scanner. This scanner checks for security leaks in the WordPress core files, logins, plugins, themes, data and firewalls.
The SecuPress user interface is designed to be user-friendly. A click on the "Scan Site" button starts the scanning process to localize security problems on the website. An overall security level for the website is then displayed.
The Security Risk Report lists both positive and negative security items, with the malware scan section focusing on malicious files, databases and bad file extensions. SecuPress Pro offers the ability to quickly fix the listed security issues, while users of the free version have to solve the problems manually.
- Comprehensive scan tool for various vulnerabilities
- user-friendly interface and automatic security corrections with one click with the Pro version.
- Users of the free version must fix security problems manually
miniOrange Malware Scanner
The miniOrange Malware Scanner is part of miniOrange's versatile security plugins for WordPress. It offers malware scanning, web application firewall (WAF), login security and spam protection.
In the free version, users can scan for malware on request. There are different scan modes for your site: The Quick Scan checks all WordPress plugins, themes and core files, while the Standard Scan looks for suspicious external links on the website.
For premium users, the Deep Scan is available, which scans for advanced malware, blocked domains and remote file inclusion attacks. A disadvantage of the miniOrange Malware Scanner is that users are responsible for fixing detected malicious files themselves, which may require technical expertise.
- Scans on request
- Several scan modes
- Detection of remote file inclusion attacks
- Manual malware cleanup required
- Deep Scan only available for Premium users
Security Ninja security scanner
Security Ninja is an intuitive WordPress security plugin that automatically monitors the website for vulnerabilities such as outdated plugins and informs the user via the dashboard or by email if it detects problems.
The paid version offers additional features such as a scheduled scanner to detect malicious and suspicious code, brute force firewall protection, IP blocking and activity logs.
In addition, it carries out tests to assess the security of the website and offers suggestions for improvement if security deficiencies are identified. However, the user is responsible for implementing these changes.
- Malware and vulnerability monitoring,
- Advice on improving anti-malware security
- Warnings for detected malware
- Additional functions, including scheduled scans, only available in the paid version
BulletProof Security is a versatile WordPress security plugin that focuses in particular on protecting against malware when installing themes and other files. Its MScan malware scanner allows users to run scans manually or, in the case of the premium version, to schedule them automatically in the backend of the site.
The plugin provides access to scan reports, activity logs and additional configuration options, such as selecting whether to scan the database, hosting account root folders or image files.
A special feature is the ability to check theme ZIP files for malicious code before installation. As soon as suspicious files are found, users can view, ignore or delete them.
- Manual or scheduled scans for Premium users
- Ability to scan theme ZIP files for malware and various configuration options.
- Limited functionality of the free version compared to the premium version.
Titan Anti-Spam & Security
Titan Anti-Spam & Security is a WordPress plugin that specializes in anti-spam, firewall and malware protection. It scans for potential backdoors, malicious redirects, malicious code in WordPress files and code injections. With a premium license, users can schedule scans and choose the scan speed to minimize the impact on website performance.
After a scan, Titan lists all detected malware incidents on the WordPress website, and users can decide how to proceed in each case, including deleting the files or overwriting them with original files from the WordPress repository. In addition, the plugin creates a weekly summary of the security threats identified during the scans.
- Comprehensive scans, configurable scan speeds and schedules in the Premium version
- weekly summary of security problems.
- Premium license required for full feature set, including scheduled scans.
Security & Malware Scan by CleanTalk
Security & Malware Scan by CleanTalk is an effective WordPress security plugin from CleanTalk that features user-friendly setup and automated background malware scanning. It requires little monitoring and can automatically take action when malicious code is detected. The "Cure malware" function enables the plugin to decide independently whether infected files should be deleted or quarantined. It creates backups in case the removal fails.
Another important feature is the ability to identify spam, hidden or phishing links, which can avoid SEO penalties. Although the plugin is free to download, a CleanTalk license is required to continue using most of the features, including the malware scanner, after a 7-day trial period.
- Automated background scans
- Automatic malware removal service
- Recognition of outgoing links
- Requires a CleanTalk license after a 7-day trial period for full functionality.
Choosing a WordPress malware scanner
When selecting a WordPress malware scanner for WordPress installations, various factors should be taken into account. The efficiency and accuracy of the scanner in detecting and removing malware are important. Ease of use and customizability are also crucial, especially for less tech-savvy users. The cost of the scanner, including any subscription fees for premium features, should also be considered. It is also important to choose a scanner that offers regular updates to guard against the latest malware threats. Ultimately, choosing the right scanner depends on the specific needs and resources of the WordPress website.
Instructions for scanning WordPress for malware
- Select a malware scanner: Based on your requirements and resources, select a suitable WordPress malware scanner. To do this, go to WordPress.org in your browser, for example, and search for "security scanner" or "malware removal".
- Installation and activation: Install and activate the malware scanner via the WordPress dashboard.
- Configuration of the scanner: Configure the scanner according to the instructions. This may include setting scan intervals, notification options and other specific settings.
- Carrying out the scan: Start the scanning process. This can be done manually or automatically based on the configuration.
- Checking the scan results: Once the scan is complete, check the results for possible threats or anomalies.
- Take measures: If malware is found, take the necessary measures as suggested by your malware scanner to eliminate the threat.
- Schedule regular scans: To continuously protect your WordPress website, make sure that regular scans are scheduled.
Preventive measures and best practices
Always keep WordPress, themes and plugins up to date to close security gaps.
Use strong, unique passwords for the WordPress admin area, FTP access and your database.
Implement two-factor authentication for additional login security.
Restrict user authorizations and avoid unnecessary administrator access.
Install trustworthy security plugins to provide additional protection for your WordPress system.
Carry out regular backups of your website to enable quick recovery in the event of malware attacks.
Continuously monitor your website for suspicious activity and anomalies.
Be careful with downloads:
Be careful when selecting and installing plugins and themes; only use trustworthy sources.
Web Application Firewall (WAF):
A WAF can help block attacks and unwanted traffic before they reach your website.
Education and training:
Keep yourself regularly informed about current security issues and train all users of your website in basic security practices.