How to easily disinfect a WordPress blog

Categories: Quality Assurance | Technology | Testing |

How to easily disinfect a WordPress blog

As everyone knows, WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that is constantly being updated. If we don’t update it, we take the risk of someone entering and manipulating the site. Yesterday a customer called to tell me that his website, made in WordPress, redirected to another URL. In this case, his website was redirecting to

I spent a while googling but didn’t find anything about it, so I started to investigate a little more the behavior of the site. By checking FTP, I came across folders that had nothing to do with WordPress.

The site had clearly been infected and had a script that redirected to another site.

The next step was to delete all those directories, to see if I could avoid the redirection, but it didn’t work. That is why I went to the Firefox debugger.

I must clarify that this redirection was only done one time, so to see this anomaly again, I had to clear the cache or enter with private browsing.

By inspecting the behavior of the page, I came across this:

It seemed very strange… it was all in hexadecimal… I decided to convert everything to ASCII to know what it was.

As you can see above, it was a script that executed the URL:

Upon entering that URL I came across the following:

Code: Javascript
function process() {
window.location = "";
window.onerror = process;

Which is exactly the web that was redirecting me… By having this, I already had more tools to investigate. And I stumbled upon the fact that “” is a fake WordPress plugin called _bb_press that redirects to other sites, such as pornographic sites, among others…

Now comes the fun part… Find and break that redirection.

Since it is a fake Plugin, I simply went directly to the plugins directory that is in wp-content/plugins. I found one called press_test515215 and for obvious reasons, I knew that was it.

Upon entering the folder of that plugin, there was a file called press_test515215.php which included another file inside of it.

Code: PHP
include(dirname(__FILE__) . '/includes/_bb_press_plugin.class.php');

By opening this second file, I came across this:

And there you have it! That was the redirection that WordPress was doing. Solving it was easy. You just need to delete the plugin and the site will stop redirecting.

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