WiredTree Warns That SEO Malware Is Becoming More Common

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WiredTree has warned WordPress hosting clients to be vigilant for signs of SEO malware in response to an increase in the prevalence and sophistication of SEO malware attacks targeting insecure WordPress sites

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Bad actors are more likely to use SEO malware to bypass protections built into content management systems, with devastating consequences for businesses that depend on search referrals.

WiredTree, a leading provider of managed server hosting has warned WordPress hosting clients to be vigilant for signs of SEO malware. The warning is a response to an increase in the prevalence and sophistication of SEO malware attacks targeting insecure WordPress sites (as reported by Sucuri on November 15).

SEO malware is malicious software that attempts to leverage the resources of a server or hosting account to benefit the search ranking of a third party. SEO malware may inject links into a site’s genuine content, add new pages, or create entire WordPress sites at subdomains of the server’s domain.

Such attacks can damage the reputation of authentic sites hosted at the same IP or domain. If browser developers, including Google, discover that a site is infected with SEO malware, browsers may use security warnings to discourage visitors from loading the site.

“SEO malware is increasingly common. Search engines and site owners have become better at reducing the effectiveness of traditional black hat SEO techniques like link and comment spam,” says Zac Cogswell, President of WiredTree, “In response, bad actors are more likely to use SEO malware to bypass protections built into content management systems, with devastating consequences for businesses that depend on search referrals.”

It may not be immediately obvious to site owners that a site is infected with SEO malware. Attackers obscure the presence of malware by hiding malicious content from ordinary visitors and site administrators.

Malware scanning software may be able to identify SEO malware. If a site’s analytics begin to display search referrals for unexpected queries that aren’t relevant to the site’s genuine content, it’s likely the site has hidden content not visible to its owners.

The best way to protect a WordPress site from SEO malware is to ensure that the content management system and its plugins are updated to remove vulnerabilities, and that administrators choose complex passwords that don’t yield to brute-force attacks.

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About WiredTree

WiredTree specializes in delivering managed hosting experience that places the client in complete command; covering virtual, hybrid, and dedicated web hosting. As champions of customer care, it's no wonder that more than 5,000 clients enjoy WiredTree's free hardware level-ups and a <15 minute average ticket response time. All of this is built on top of only the highest-performing technologies, including LiteSpeed web server, MariaDB, memcached, SSD-driven hardware, and an in-house management system called Grove. To learn more about what WiredTree can do for your site, visit http://www.wiredtree.com.

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Zac Cogswell
WiredTree
+1 866-523-8733
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@wiredtree
since: 03/2009
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