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Detect and cleanup a hacked WordPress site

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 by Servage

In an earlier article we wrote about how to identify hacked code on WordPress pages. Unfortunately page hacking is still an issue sometimes when users use insecure or very outdated scripts, e.g. forget to maintain their open-source installation of something in their hosting account. Servage would love to make sure this is always up-to-date for customers, but the self-hosted scripts of customers are simply too varying in type, to make it possible. Also many users need to maintain a specific version of a script, for something else to work properly. In that case security fixes and updates have to be done manually.

This article has some great tips to move on from a hacked WordPress site:

If you’ve been hacked

  1. Upgrade to the latest version of WordPress.
  2. Make sure there are no backdoors or malicious code left on your system. This will be in the form of scripts left by the hacker, or modifications to existing files. Check your theme files too.
  3. Change your passwords after upgrading and make sure the hacker didn’t create another user.
  4. Edit your wp-config.php and change or create the SECRET_KEY definition. It should look like this, but do not use the same key or it won’t be very secret, will it?
define(‘SECRET_KEY’, ’1234567890′ );

The article linked above goes into details about what to do in order to fullfil the steps 1-4 above, and make sure that your WordPress installation is ready to move on – without the unintended visitor.

Good luck :-)




Detect and cleanup a hacked WordPress site, 2.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Categories: Tips & Tricks


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