WordPress Hacked by MuhmadEmad
If you open your website and see the message that says your WordPress is “Hacked by MuhmadEmad”, you will surely be terrified, right?
However, there is nothing to worry about as we will see a step by step guide on how you can fix this issue with the easiest method possible. We will also see some of the things you can use to keep your website secure from further attacks. In the same way, we will see how you can remove the content and remove all the vulnerabilities.
Overview of WordPress Hacked by MuhmadEmad
If you are seeing WordPress Hacked by MuhmadEmad on your website. Don’t worry, it is not a personal attack. No one is trying to steal the information only from you. This is a mass attack that has been happening on many vulnerable WordPress websites.
If you are seeing this hacking message, you probably have been targeted along with millions of others. Yes, you read it right. There are millions of others who are also the victim of the same kind of attack. Therefore, we will be seeing a complete tutorial of how you can fix this issue with ease. For that, we will begin with the normal scanning technique and then we will head over to the main part.
Before that, let’s understand how this hack was made.
MuhmadEmad is an attacker that used one of the vulnerabilities which were present in the older version of WordPress. No doubt, when there were millions of websites victim of this issue, the vulnerability was fixed in the next security update.
However, if you have not updated your WordPress version, you might be a victim of this hacking vulnerability.
This is not a new vulnerability. This was first seen back in February 2017. The vulnerability was present in REST API and that’s the reason why the attacker was getting complete access to your website with the help of REST API.
Later on, the issue was fixed by the team and the new version was released. If you are using WordPress older than 4.7.2, you might be facing the same issue.
That’s the reason why we tell you to keep your website updated regularly.
Will Updating WordPress Resolve it?
The first thing that comes to your mind is if it’s because of the older version of WordPress, will updating WordPress solve the hacking issue?
The answer is NO. It will surely remove the vulnerability but it won’t fix your website.
Once the attacker has got into the website, they might have affected other files too.
Therefore, you also need to keep in mind that and scan the entire website for malicious code. For example, the theme files might also be affected. Now, even if you update WordPress, the theme files won’t be fixed.
Also, if there are no updates in themes and plugins, you will never be able to fix them. If you are paid plugins, there are good chances that you might not even have paid for the plugin updates. So, you will have to scan and fix them instead of waiting for the update.
Now, it’s not just a WordPress version issue, you will have to scan all the files. Don’t worry, it’s easy and we will see the step by step guide to do it. So, even if you have no idea about anything, you will come to know how you can fix this issue. We will begin with the basic tasks and then we will see a little advanced task.
As we already know where the vulnerability was, it won’t take too long to solve the issue. You will get the clean website in few minutes. The only thing you will have to do is follow the steps correctly.
Backup your website
This is a vulnerability from 2017. If you are facing this issue, it simply means that you might not have updated your website since then. Therefore, you will have to back up your website and make sure that the things stay as it is.
There will be many plugins that won’t be compatible with each other after we update the website. So, having a backup will help you.
For example, if you are using the XYZ plugin which works along with the ABC plugin. Now, what if the XYZ plugin has no update and the ABC plugin has updated their integration process? This will result in the plugin failure. There are good chances that one of your features will also stop working. Therefore, you need to keep a backup.
Even if it isn’t true, this is a mandatory step that you should do. Keeping a backup is always helpful. You never know what you might do wrong which will end up crashing your website. Therefore, you should surely back up your website before you take any steps further.
You can also take the backup using a plugin known as Updraft Plus. Go to Plugins > Add New and then search for the term. Install the plugin and open the plugin. Now, you will see an option called “Backup now”. Click on it and it will take the backup of the website. Make sure you have selected all the options. You need to backup your database, themes, plugins, content, and other things too. So, select all and keep it as it is.
You can also use other tools for backup. It is surely your choice.
Once you take the backup, you can proceed to the next step.
Update your Website
The next thing that you will have to do is update your website. We will first remove the main vulnerability due to which the website hack occurred. Later on, we will clean WordPress Hacked by MuhmadEmad messages and all other stuff.
So, you can do this in two ways. One is the regular way by going to the Dashboard > Updates and then update your WordPress version.
Make sure you also update all the other stuff too such as themes and plugins. Sometimes, they are also vulnerable and you might never know about it. If you have not updated your WordPress version since 2017, you will have many updates that need your attention and you can work on it. So, just click on the update button and wait for a while till it gets completed.
PS: The new features are amazing; you will surely love them.
If you are not doing this, you can also manually update it. For that, you will have to download the zip file from the official website of WordPress. You can head over to wordpress.org and then download the zip.
Extract it on your computer. Now, remove the wp-content folder and then remove the wp-config.php file. Once you remove them, you will have to compress it back to zip and upload it on your file manager.
You can upload the file on the main WordPress directory of your file manager. Replace all the files and you are done.
Get a Security Plugin
Now, the next thing you will have to do is scan your files. You can easily scan it with the virus scanner. As WordPress Hacked by MuhmadEmad was a popular hack that most people know about, there is enough data about it.
So, it will make your work easier. You will not have to check all the files manually. The software will do the work for you.
You can head over to Plugins > Add new.
Now, you can either install Wordfence or you can install Sucuri. Both of them are great security plugins which will surely fix the issue. It doesn’t matter which plugin you choose; you can easily fix the issue.
So, don’t think more when you are choosing the plugin, you can choose any plugin. The end thing is that you will have to install one plugin and start working on the next step.
Scan the Files
Your next job is to scan the files. You can easily scan the files with the plugin.
You will see a new option in your WordPress dashboard. This is the menu that you will have to click on.
For example, if you used Sucuri, you will see the option of Sucuri and if you have installed Wordfence, you will see the option for Wordfence.
Either way, you will need to click on it and there will be an option to open the plugin dashboard.
You can start the scan from there. It will then scan the entire WordPress website. You can wait till the task completes.
If your website is big, it might take several minutes to complete. However, if your website not big, it will be completed in few minutes only. Once the task is completed, you will see the list of infected files.
So, the next step is to fix them.
Fix the Files
You can easily fix the files by clicking on the fix option on the plugin. When you see the list of infected files, you will also see an option to fix the files. You can click on the fix button and wait till the process is completed.
Like the above step, this will also take some time. Once the process is completed, your website will be as new.
You will have an updated website and also the vulnerability is now gone. So, there will be no issues of further hacking.
We recommend you to keep the plugin as it is. This plugin will make sure that there are no further attacks. If there is anything that needs your attention, you will get notified about it.
You can then work on it as per the requirements. In this way, you can have the website secure.
How to Keep your Website Secure?
Once you do all these things, your website will be secure. So, these are the most important things that you should do if you want to keep your website secure.
- Update your website regularly. It doesn’t matter how small the update it. You will have to update your website regularly. It includes updating all the things and not just WordPress. You will have to update WordPress core files, themes, and the plugins files too. You can also set it on auto-updates if you want. The new WordPress version allows you to enable auto-updates.
- Have a security plugin which we just did? Don’t even think of removing the plugin. You can surely replace the plugin. Keep the monitoring on.
- Keep the passwords strong and don’t give access to your WordPress website to unknown people (of course).
- Remove the plugins that are not updated in a while. If any of the plugins are not updated for more than 1 year, you can find an alternative for that.
- Install an SSL certificate on your website to keep the website secure. This will make sure that your website’s URL starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP. The S is for security. Today, even free SSLs are available that you can get.
- Don’t install themes or plugins from unknown sources. Some of them might have vulnerabilities that will damage your website. So, only download it from a trusted source or official plugin directory. The same applies to themes.
If you can’t handle your website technical side, you can also hire a maintenance team that will do the thing for you. In this way, your website will be secure and you will face no issues. This is surely your choice.
To conclude, this was all about how you can fix WordPress Hacked by MuhmadEmad. No doubt, it was an attack that was carried out several years ago. However, you still might see it due to the outdated plugin or theme. That’s why you will have to make sure that your website is updated and there are no themes/plugins from an unknown source.
Lastly, you can surely hire a maintenance team if you want. This will take out the headache. You don’t need to maintain the technical side of the website. The team will do it for you and your website will always be secure and open to all the visitors.
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