What's a Possible Sign of Malware

What’s a Possible Sign of Malware? Exploring 7 Possibilities that Your Website is Infected

If your website suddenly acts strangely and doesn’t perform normal functions correctly, it is most likely infected with malware!  

You will likely see websites automatically taking unnecessary actions, many unwanted files downloaded without your permission, and unusual pop-ups suddenly appearing. All of these are signs of a malware attack.  

There are more, but that’s not the most harmful part though! 

Well, malware may not seem like a big deal, but a malware-infected website’s damage can reach to a user’s end, ultimately facing a ban from Google itself. Even after recovery, your website might never rank again. 

Today, let’s see what other signs malware leaves after infecting a website, 

What is Website Malware? 

Website malware is a type of malicious software that can exploit or damage a site’s overall functionality. 

This harmful behavior doesn’t remain on a website, it can also destroy valuable visitors’ experience, search engines’ crawlability, and owners. 

A common type of website malware will infect a visitor’s computer, leading to widespread infections because users unknowingly download malicious code on their devices. 

There are types of malware that can steal data from the user side. They harvest sensitive information such as payment details, login information, and personal data, causing severe damage to both website owners and their users.

Another risk of malware is that it can enlist compromised websites in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults, employing them as part of a botnet to flood other websites with traffic, causing substantial disruptions and outages.

How Malware Can Infect Your Website? 

How does malware detection work- What's a Possible Sign of Malware

Most malware attacks happen to websites with weak security measures. Here are a couple of examples of weak security measurement examples. 

> Exploiting vulnerabilities

Having outdated plugins, themes, or content management systems (CMS) on your WordPress site can make your website vulnerable. 

Many website hackers can regularly exploit and inject your site with malicious code. So, try to keep your tools and software updated to prevent any sort of risk. 

> You put weak passwords in your website 

Recently, there have been many brute-force attacks that can easily overcome weak passwords and gain unauthorized access to your site. That’s why it’s best to put strong passwords in your WordPress site’s backend. 

> Some of your uploaded files are insecure 

If your website has a system that allows other users to upload files, it is vulnerable to various types of malware, trojans, and other disguised threats. To make file uploads more secure, you can implement strict file validation and monitoring activities. 

> Compromised third-party services

If they are trusted, third-party services are not that risky, and they put on to our website. 

However, untrusted third-party services can be a huge security risk to your website because they can infect your site with unknown and dangerous elements like malware, phishing, and DDoS. Basically, they serve as a gateway for malware. 

9 Possible Signs that Your Website is Infected with Malware 

Malware can affect your site in many ways, but you might not immediately know its presence. However, it is pretty fast! 

1. You started to notice unexpected redirects

One of the earliest signs of malware is that when you try to visit your website, you might get redirected to another one. The attacker wants to redirect you to automatically install a bug or threat on your device and take control of it later. 

This also affects the user experience, as users will most likely feel quite uncomfortable and have disruptions while visiting your site, driving away potential customers who have lost trust in it. 

Check if your site is frequently redirecting to another website, if so try to investigate and identify the source of the redirects. Here are some solutions for the redirect issue, 

  • You can delete browser-side cache and cookies, which should delete any problem regarding redirects. 
  • Try to clean your site cache from WordPress. 
  • It is best to clear the server-side cache from your hosting service. The server-side cache is most likely storing all the threats causing the redirects. 

2. Website is drastically slow 

Does elementor slow down your site- What's a Possible Sign of Malware

Sometimes even after many speed optimizations, you might realize your website is slower than expected. This happens because your site may contain malware, causing the website speed to slow drastically. 

Malware, especially Botnets, Adware, and Worms, can cause your website to slow down from its original speed. Another instance of website slow performance is cryptojacking. In cryptojacking, your site’s resources are used to mine cryptocurrency. 

You can fix these slowdowns with regular performance monitoring and comprehensive security assessments.

3. Unusual pop-ups suddenly appears on your site

Unusual popups on your site can be by far one of the most annoying problems in case of a malware attack. You will have Google automatic ads, but any other pop ads are most likely a sign of malware attack on your site. 

Most pop-ups are like phishing, a method of earning revenue for the attacker through ad impressions or clicks. Try to invest in a better security tool and keep your website updated all the time. This way, you can search for and remove the malware behind these unwanted pop-ups. 

4. Changes in some settings might happen on site without your knowledge  

You may witness plenty of unwanted changes, 

  • Some meta tags such as their description were changed. 
  • There have been unwanted changes happening in your home page. 
  • You may see some file permissions have been automatically altered. 
  •  Modified existing content without admin’s permission. 
  • Unauthorized changes happened in database entries, like data alteration. 

If these changes happened on our website without your knowledge, then consider this a red flag. You can fix this issue by monitoring your website for a certain period of time, seeing all the changes, and quickly reverting any unauthorized modifications.

To prevent them, you can use strong passwords and 2-factor authentication for your website’s backend. You can also use firewalls like SonicWall TZ270, Fortinet FortiGate 90G, and Sophos XGS 87. All these are great firewall services that protect your software from malware. 

5. Often suspicious login activity happens on your website

Did you ever encounter suspicious login activity within your website? You may get notice by WordPress about these logins, which is pretty concerning. These login attempts happen because hackers try to infiltrate your website data using malware, ultimately jeopardizing your site’s security. 

In most cases, suspicious login activities include multiple failed login attempts, logins from unfamiliar IP addresses, or login attempts at unusual times. 

6. You see blacklist warnings from search engines 

remove wordpress site from google blacklist

Other malware issues might not cause too much damage to your site, but seeing blacklist warnings from Google greatly impacts your website’s future. 

A blacklist warning is pretty much a death sentence, it means that your website is eligible for visitors, appearing in search results as warning not to visit. This can only occur if Google has found serious issues within your site, signaling to users and search engines that your site is potentially harmful.

So, you can say when Google blacklists a website, it means that the site has been identified as distributing malware, phishing content, or engaging in other malicious activities. 

7. Your site emails are considered as spam 

Email newsletters can be crucial for a website’s marketing, but if the emails are marked as spam, your visitors will most likely instantly ignore them. Your emails may be legitimate, but the malware that affects your site has compromised your site’s email server, hence using it to send spam emails without your knowing. Sending a large amount of spam emails can lead to your domain being blacklisted by email providers, causing legitimate emails to be flagged as spam. 

But how will you know that your emails are flagged as spam? Well, you can sign up on your website using an alternate email and sign in as a visitor. Later, check if the website email is in the spam folder in your mail. 

8. Your site security settings are automatically changing  

This issue is pretty similar to the 4th issue, where automatic changes happen on your site without your awareness. But for this instance, the changes are primarily focused on your security settings. 

This is a pretty concerning matter because the process that is helping you protect your site is being altered by external attacks. Different types of malware can especially put your website in danger by manipulating the site’s security measurements. 

So, how do you counter malware that already counters your security counter? It’s basically hitting a stone with another stronger stone, here are some tricks you can apply, 

  • Regularly monitor your website of any suspicious activities. 
  • Only trust a handful of people with your site’s backend. 
  • Try to implement as many security measures as possible. 

FAQ on What’s a Possible Sign of Malware

Can a URL contain malware?

Yes, URLs can contain malware, redirecting you to malicious sites or automatically downloading harmful software on your device. Moreover, they can lead you to phishing pages, or compromise your system without leaving any trace. 

Which type of URL is safe? 

URLs that start with “https” are legit URLs and belong to trusted domains. To ensure a website’s legitimacy, you can check the padlock icon like this, 

How can you check a fake website?

Here are a couple of ways to check if a site is fake or real, 

  • Misspellings in domain: a misspelled domain name can indicate that the site is fake. 
  • Poor content information: Fake sites often have poor grammar, unusual URLs, or lack legitimate contact details.
  • SSL certificate: A fake website doesn’t contain an SSL certificate. 
  • Unprofessional: Almost all fake websites have an outdated style, look unprofessional, and lack essential features. 

Can malware affect my website's SEO performance?

Indeed, malware not just put your website’s security in danger but also makes it more vulnerable to future ranking factors. Google can blacklist websites with malware, making your website lose rank permanently. 

Is “https” safer than “http”?

https uses TLS (SSL) certificates to encrypt data between your browser and the website. With https, you can be sure login credentials, personal and payment information are secure during a transmission. 

Oppositely, http directly transmits data between your browser and the website without encryption, making it quite dangerous because anyone can look through your data and steal it. Is it an unsafe way to transmit data! 

So, we can say https is indeed safer than http. 

Be Aware and Keep Your Website Safe from Malware

Now that you have a broader knowledge of the possible signs of malware, you can easily take the necessary steps to ensure your website’s perfect security. 

Also, keep in mind that malware works pretty fast. If you ever encounter any signs on your website, consider taking necessary steps as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more complex the problem can become. 

And, that’s all! Thank you for reaching this far! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top