WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world and currently, it is used by more than 40% of all websites. However, this makes it a target for cybercriminals since it is widely used by people from all over the world. In the past, there have been many famous viruses that have attacked WordPress sites and inflicted a lot of damage and losses.

In this blog post, you will read about the eight most dangerous WordPress viruses in Internet history and learn how to avoid them.


1. RevSlider Vulnerability (SoakSoak)

The RevSlider vulnerability that was used by the SoakSoak malware is one of the most famous WordPress security issues. The Revolution Slider plugin had a vulnerability which enabled the hackers to enter the WordPress site and execute the code.


SoakSoak infected more than one hundred thousand WordPress based sites and changed the url of the visitor to a fake site, hence losing the trust of users and also suffering a lot of SEO losses. Google had blocked many of the affected sites, which led to the reduction in traffic and hence the revenues.


  • Update Plugins Regularly: Make sure all plugins, especially those widely used such as Revolution Slider are always up to date.
  • Security Plugins: There is a variety of security plugins such as Wordfence and Sucuri to use to track or prevent any malicious activities.
  • Regular Backups: It is important to back up your site regularly so that in case of an infection you can easily restore your site.

2. WP-VCD Malware

WP-VCD is a highly popular virus that specifically attacks WordPress themes. It is usually distributed together with nulled (pirated) themes and plugins, which people with their websites unintentionally activate.


It can add new admin accounts, post unwanted content and forward users to other undesirable websites. It has a very strong influence on the site’s performance and credibility.


  • Avoid Nulled Themes/Plugins: Always ensure that you download the themes and plugins from reliable sources.
  • File Monitoring: Monitor files to check for any changes that have been made without your permission to your site.
  • Security Audits: Conduct periodic security assessment to determine the level of risks.

3. Pharma Hack

The Pharma Hack is a malicious script that injects spammy pharmaceutical advertisements into WordPress sites, and frequently does so without the site owner’s permission. This hack leverages on outdated software and poor security measures.


The sites that are affected by spammy content lose their search engine ranking and the organic traffic and credibility of the site are compromised.


  • Strong Passwords: Always use complex and different passwords for all the WordPress accounts.
  • Regular Updates: Always ensure you update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
  • Security Plugins: Use security plugins to detect and eliminate the code containing malicious elements.
  • Traffic Encryption: Using various cybersecurity tools like VPN to encrypt your traffic is very important. Looking at the pros of VPN, it is clear how they enhance the security of your WordPress site on the internet.

4. TimThumb Vulnerability

TimThumb is a well known image resizing script that is used by a lot of WordPress themes. A vulnerability in TimThumb enabled attackers to upload and run any PHP code on the compromised sites.


This made it possible for site defacements and data breaches to occur on thousands of WordPress sites.


  • Update or Remove TimThumb: Make sure you are using the latest and most secure version of TimThumb or better still do not use it if it is not essential.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF): Block bad request to your site using a WAF.
  • Server Permissions: Limit file access and execute permissions to reduce the vulnerability of running unwanted code.

5. WP-Base-SEO Malware

WP-Base-SEO is a relatively new type of malware that affects WordPress sites by inserting SEO spam. It is usually propagated through infected plugins or themes.


Malicious sites contain links and spam information that can cause problems such as loss of ranking by search engines and loss of visitors’ trust.


  • Regular Scans: Run a scan with the security plugins to find out the malware and delete them.
  • Careful Plugin Selection: Do not install plugins from any unknown sources and always read the reviews and ratings of the users.
  • Website Hardening: To ensure that your WordPress site is protected from common threats follow the WordPress hardening best practices.

6. EITest Malware Campaign

EITest was active for several years and its main goal was to use hacked WP sites to redirect users to exploit kits and other malicious pages. It mainly targeted outdated plugins and themes on the websites.


This campaign impacted hundreds of thousands of sites for data theft, ransomware infections, and other adverse effects on users.


  • Comprehensive Security: Implement reliable protection tools that can provide security in real time and monitor the processes.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct periodic security checks to ensure that there are no weak points and fix them where necessary.
  • User Education: Inform site administrators about security measures and advise them on how to keep their sites secure.


7. Cloudflare XSS Exploit

A critical vulnerability in the Cloudflare plugin for WordPress was an XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) that let the attackers inject scripts into sites. This makes it possible for a third party to gain access to user information and perform other unlawful activities.


This exploit had a potential to endanger millions of WordPress sites because Cloudflare is used by many for performance and security boosting.


  • Plugin Updates: Always update all plugins to their latest versions.
  • Input Sanitization: All the user inputs should be sanitized to avoid cross-site scripting attacks.
  • Content Security Policy (CSP): Use CSP headers to reduce the effect of XSS threats.

8. WP GDPR Compliance Plugin Vulnerability

The WP GDPR Compliance plugin had a critical vulnerability that allowed the attackers to have unauthorized access to the WordPress sites. This was especially worrying since the plugin was popular after the GDPR laws were enacted.


This flaw was used by hackers to create new admin accounts, and thus gain control over the sites in question and perform various illicit actions, including data theft.


  • Prompt Updates: Plugins need to be updated as soon as possible when the security patches get released to the public.
  • User Role Management: Ensure proper management of the roles and privileges of the users.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): To increase the level of security, enable 2FA for all the admin accounts.


There is a number of significant security breaches in WordPress history which impacted millions of websites. Although these viruses and malware campaigns have affected the websites and their owners greatly, they are also good lessons to learn. Thus, it is possible to prevent such and other threats with the help of the following recommendations: update software and plugins, use powerful passwords, and install security solutions.

Just to remind you, the best way to keep your WordPress site secure is to be very careful and take all necessary precautions. Be up to date on the current threats and enhance your site’s protection so that it cannot be compromised by hackers.