Recently I have downloaded a wordpress theme . I use Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC) (http://wordpress.org/plugins/tac/) plugin to find any malicious data . According to it's report the theme contains some encrypted code like this

$pid        = base64_decode($_POST['control_id']);  

I don't understand , is it really harmful for site ? If yes , then how can I get rid of this ?

  • 1
    What is the theme? Aug 15, 2013 at 13:52
  • Without seeing the theme code in context I couldn't say with confidence but I'd guess this is not malicious. You should be able to echo or var_dump the $pid variable and exactly what the encoded (not encrypted) data is.
    – s_ha_dum
    Aug 15, 2013 at 14:01
  • This is the site smile auction theme Aug 15, 2013 at 16:51
  • What is the different between encoded and encrypted ? Aug 15, 2013 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


That is most likely a false positive : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_I_and_type_II_errors

base64_decode is not bad in of itself : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base64

The plugin is not smart enough to know a legitimate reason to use base64_decode of which there are many.

  • Thanks , do you know any other plugin which will be smart enough ? Aug 15, 2013 at 16:54
  • No I don't use "security" plugins , sorry.
    – Wyck
    Aug 16, 2013 at 1:05

It does not seems to be harmful. Looks like, base64_decode function is just used to decrypt the encrypted the numeric IDs. Common reason for such encryption/decryption is to hide the real ID of the database record.

TAC plugin pointed it out because base64_decode function is widely used in malicious scripts to hide programming code which is later used in eval for execution.


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