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The Threat of Pirated Themes And Plugins to WordPress Sites

Malicious files on WordPress sites are often hidden in pirated themes and plugins. Security firms found that more than 70 million malicious files were contained in over 1.2 million sites in 2020 alone. 

In that year, this particular WordPress malware operation was so successful that it accounted for 13 per cent of all infected sites. 

Here’s why pirated themes and plugins are the biggest threats to WordPress sites today.

The Threats of Plugin Downloads

Today, more than 55 per cent of WordPress themes and plugin downloads come from third-party sources. According to one security firm, the second-most common type of WordPress malware is malicious plugins. 

Spam comments and spam emails cause more than 80 per cent of the attacks on WordPress sites. A research study has found that a malicious plugin is almost always the cause of a hacked WordPress site. 

The study found that one out of three hacked WordPress sites had one or more compromised plugins. Furthermore, the study found that one out of every five hacked WordPress sites had a malicious file active in the wp-content folder. 

The study also found that 20 per cent of hacked WordPress sites had a malicious file in the wp-includes folder.

The Future Of WordPress Security

WordPress Security has been continuously improving over the years. As the platform continues to gain popularity, it also draws attention from cyber attackers. There have been some excellent improvements in how WordPress is secured and updated.

There is a strong possibility that cybercriminals will attack WordPress in the near future. However, the WordPress development team is constantly improving its security features.

The development team has worked hard to create a more secure WordPress plugin marketplace. Security experts hope that it will be impossible for anyone to hack a WordPress site in the future.

How to Avoid Hacking WordPress Sites

There are several ways to avoid having your WordPress site hacked.

  • You should only use reputable plugins, themes, and hosting companies. Only use WordPress versions tested and marked safe by reputable security companies. 
  • Make sure that you have a backup of your site whenever you update.
  • Have your site’s firewall consistently monitored. An expert can do this, or you can use automated security to help ensure your safety. 
  • Install and maintain a backup plugin that can be routinely tested and updated.
  • Make sure that you never access third-party purchase sites, as they often contain malicious files.
  • You should never download a plugin that was not downloaded from the WordPress repository.
  • Never download a theme or plugin from a site, not on WordPress.org.
  • Never disable security features in your WordPress installation.

Conclusion

In WordPress, numerous plugins can scan your site and get rid of malicious files. You should use tools that check your site for vulnerabilities regularly.

You should never download a theme or plugin from a site not on WordPress.org. You should also never download a theme or plugin from a third-party source. Be sure to keep your WordPress installation and all of your plugins and themes updated at all times.

Hosted WP manages specialised WordPress hosting and management service for your peace of mind. Hosted WP was founded based on the desire to provide real solutions for WordPress users in a secure and managed environment. 

We pride ourselves on giving you, our client, a premium service, so you have one less thing to worry about. Leave your WordPress website in our hands to work on your business. If you need a WordPress malware removal service in Australia, get in touch with us today! Let us know what we can do for you.

About the author

David Sullivan
Owner of Hosted WP.