Website Backdoors – Should You be Worried?

Your first clue to understanding if your site is vulnerable because of the presence of a backdoor is the frequency of hacking attempts. As long as these security risks and loopholes are there in your website, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve cleaned your site, you’ll still keep getting hacked. Hackers are looking to […]

Website Backdoors – Should You be Worried?

Posted on Mar, 25, 2021 I Elise

Your first clue to understanding if your site is vulnerable because of the presence of a backdoor is the frequency of hacking attempts. As long as these security risks and loopholes are there in your website, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve cleaned your site, you’ll still keep getting hacked.

Hackers are looking to retain access to a site with admin privileges and control over the site’s visitors, content, and purpose, and backdoors are their answer. Even though backdoors take the form of malicious code commonly, they can be some hidden files or a rogue admin account as well. Website backdoors are quite hard to detect since they’re designed (and disguised) so well, and therein lies their secret to success.

Why remove backdoors?

They can cost you everything you’ve worked hard for. The damage is often long-term, such as losing customer trust and website traffic because of the redirects to malicious sites and increased possibility of infection and frequent spam emails. Visitors will also encounter pop-ups and ads that ask them to download software onto their computer, push them onto other sites and get their systems infected.

Hackers will use your site’s storage and resources for saving their own files, compromising your site speed and optimal performance. They will also create ways of leaking sensitive information of customers, such as their financial details or medical records, and push their own ads, spam pages, and portals for counterfeit products onto your site.

All of these will eventually drag down your SEO ranking as visitors stop trusting your site, search results show SEO spam, speed and performance become slow, the purpose of the site is slowly eroded and fake advertisements take up most of the space. When the presence of suspicious content is detected by search engines like Google, they’ll immediately index your site, leading to blacklisting, suspension of the account by the hosting provider, and the Google Adwords account.

Backdoors can also come in different types, ranging from simple to complex, so one must keep an eye out for these as well.

Removing Website Backdoors

All of these reasons are possibly enough inspiration to get those backdoors removed completely – and permanently. An efficient malware scanner offered by security professionals like Astra Security, can detect backdoors on your website and leave you worry-free. If your WordPress site is hacked with a backdoor you should immediately clean your site otherwise it will impact your business in many ways.

The next strategy is to understand the individual steps one can take to protect your site against the presence of these backdoors. For this, your WordPress security should be up-to-date and efficient against repeated hacks and automated bots that usually cause brute force attacks.

If there’s a loophole that you weren’t able to predict and hackers get in eventually, your security strategy should still be strong enough to prevent the placing of backdoors and creating vulnerabilities.

1. Keep everything updated

Frequent updates are often the solution to the simplest and most complex problems. If you use the WordPress platform, make sure that the platform, themes, extensions, and plugins are all updated and only necessary ones are installed on the site.

Developers and those in charge of these platforms and extensions are always on alert for vulnerabilities and loopholes that may arise, and quickly release updates with security patches once they detect any. Delaying this update makes your site vulnerable to a hacking attempt.

In this note, limit (completely, if possible) the use of pirated themes and plugins even if they come to you free of cost. The occurrence of backdoors in these extensions is too high to neglect and often serves as an entry point to hackers, so delete these immediately.

2. Firewall

Efficient firewalls – like the one offered by Astra Security – verify and secure your website from any threats through incoming site traffic, from any country or device. They will supervise all visitors to the site and flag down suspicious IP addresses, especially if they have been detected as malicious previously. This will prevent hacking attempts even before they occur.

3. Protect your login credentials

Your login page is the entry point to both desirable and undesirable elements – therefore, it should have the most protection. There are a lot of vulnerabilities on this page, which can be easily misused by automated bots who employ brute force tactics and try multiple combinations of usernames and passwords within a short span of time to gain entry.

Your best strategy lies in using strong and difficult to guess usernames and passwords (by following the guidelines of using letters, numbers, special characters, capitalization, etc.) and barriers such as 2-factor authentication methods (captchas).

Beyond these, there are various measures you can employ to harden WordPress security which includes blocking the installation of themes and plugins without your approval, disabling file editing to prevent the placing of malicious code, ensure that appropriately skilled and trustworthy developers are helping you, and separate user privileges into various categories to avoid giving everyone admin access.

Mar 25 2021

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