SweetCaptcha Cause of WordPress Pop-Ups

SweetCaptcha Cause of WordPress Pop-Ups

6 July, 2015

Sometimes a security feature can be the cause of headaches on WordPress. The SweetCaptcha WordPress plugin turned out to be the culprit on several sites that were producing pop-up ads selling products or warning of malware infestation on SustainableCityNews.com, CalendarofAntiques.com and ArtistBios.com.

Rick Risemberg, my co-editor on Sustainable City News first noticed the pop-ups. As suggested, I called the server host. They did not find malware and offered to sell me anti-malware products. I decided to attempt to tackle the issue myself first. A few scans didn’t produce a definite culprit, but on the fourth or fifth scan, an item related to SweetCaptcha, was sent to quarantine.

It turns out the three affected sites were all using this security plugin. Removing the plugin and deleting the related files solved the problem.

It’s too bad, SweetCaptcha is a nice product that uses images to enhance site security.