How to deal with WordPress security issues!

Posted on May 4, 2017 at 3:40 AM

How to deal with WordPress security issues!

Do you know WordPress is used by over 30% of the total websites? It’s presently the most popular CMS out there. However, even with so much popularity, it’s not 100% safe. Sadly, sites on WordPress are targeted quite a lot by the hackers.

Here in this piece we have discussed WordPress security issues in detail and have listed a few methods to tackle them.

Why is WordPress targeted?

A simple question really. Not only WordPress is popular among bloggers and entrepreneurs, it is quite popular among the hackers too. Also, not every site uses good security measuresention here is that WordPress in itself is really secure. However, same cannot be said about the sites running on WordPress!

WordPress security Exploits

Okay, here are the most common WordPress security issues exploited by the hackers and what measures to use in order to keep a site safe!

01- Cross-site scripting a.k.a XSS

XSS attacks are the most common exploit used by the hackers and around 60-65% of the total cyber-attacks are XSS.  A malicious payload/script (generally a Javascript) is injected into the victim’s site with the motive of infecting users of the site/web application.

The worst thing about this attack is that the owner of the site cannot find out whether the site is infected. This is because it does not affect the site itself, instead, it’s users. Identity theft, Phishing scam, cookie stealing and keylogging can all be done through XSS attacks.

How to tackle this?

Performing security checks frequently can be an efficient way to spot XSS attacks. Also, monitoring the comments of users and taking care of any suspicious comment would ensure the safety of your site.

02- DDoS attacks

WordPress is quite vulnerable to DDoS attacks and the hackers are aware of it! A simple DDoS attack have the capability to overload the server of a site, making it unavailable to the legit users.

Here’s how the DDoS attack works:

DDoS is a kind of DOS attack in which numerous Trojan infected IoT devices/servers are used to target a single victim.

DDoS attacks explained

The motive: overwhelming the target with multiple requests, messages or traffic to slow down or even crash the target website!

Related: know all about DDoS attacks in detail.

How to stay safe?

  • Keep your plugins, themes, WordPress version updated.
  • Block IPs of suspicious traffic and use firewalls.

03- Brute-force attacks

Brute-force attacks is a common WordPress security issue. It’s a simple yet effective technique for the hacker to gain access to the targeted website.

The hacker, in Brute-force attack, uses different methods to try thousands of different combination of username and passwords until he gets the right one!

brute force attacks

What to do?

The best to ensure that your site doesn’t get affected by Brute-force attacks is to use strong passwords. By strong password, I mean a random combination of Alphanumeric keys as well as some symbols. Also, make sure that your password contains at least 14 characters..!

Using “Akismet” plugin is a good option too. This plugin will limit the attempts of wrong login credentials per IP.

04- SQL-injection exploit

SQL-injection attack is generally targeted towards the database of vulnerable plugins and the sites using those plugins can be easily victimized.

With an SQL-attack, the hacker can gain customer data of the targeted website, sensitive information including personally identifiable information (PII) and etc.

SQL

SQL-injection attacks are highly sophisticated attacks and there’s not much you can do against them. We would suggest hiring professionals like ourselves is the correct way to tackle this!

05- File-Upload Exploit

You might be aware of the fact that WordPress runs on a PHP script, right? Well, you are not the only one who knows this. Just like you, hackers are also aware of this fact. A “wp-config.php file” is targeted to hack into a WordPress site.

A malicious code/payload is inserted to the “wp-config.php file” by the hackers in this type of attack. If perform successfully, the hacker can do whatever he wants with the affected website.

Again, there’s not much you can do to tackle this WordPress security issue. Seeking help of professionals is the way to go.

Wrapping it up

If you don’t want to be victimized we suggest you should do the following things.

  1. First and foremost Keep all the plugins, themes, WordPress version Up-to-date! This will solve half of the security issues really.
  2.  Use only trusted resources and never use a plugin downloaded from a non-trusted source.
  3. Performing frequent security check-ups is also highly recommended.
  4. Never use shared hosting!
  5. Install plugins like Wordfence and BulletProof security to ensure your site’s safety.
  6. Finally, hire a professional to take care of the WordPress security issues for you.

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