There are many steps you can take to secure your WordPress site so that hackers and vulnerabilities cannot compromise your blog or e-commerce site. You definitely don’t want to wake up one morning and find your site in ruins. As a result, we’ll be offering a lot of advice, methods, and ideas today that you can utilize to strengthen your WordPress security and stay safe.
Is WordPress Secure?
I assume the first query on your mind is, “Is WordPress secure?” Generally speaking, yes. WordPress, however, frequently receives a bad name for having security flaws and not being a platform that is intrinsically secure to use for a business. The majority of the time, this is caused by consumers continuing to utilize security worst-practices that have been demonstrated by the industry.
Hackers stay on top of their cybercrime game thanks to obsolete WordPress software, nulled plugins, poor system administration, credential management, and lack of necessary Web and security expertise among non-techie WordPress users. Even industry titans occasionally stray from excellent practices. Because they were utilizing an old version of WordPress, Reuters was compromised, therefore need an upgraded version of WordPress.
With WordPress powering over 43.3% of all websites on the internet, and with hundreds of thousands of theme and plugin combinations available, vulnerabilities are both common and continually being found. The WordPress platform has a fantastic community, though, which helps to ensure that these issues are quickly fixed. About 50 specialists, including lead developers and security researchers, make up the WordPress security team as of 2022 (up from 25 in 2017); about half of these individuals work for Automatic, and a number of them are involved in the online security industry.
6 WordPress Vulnerabilities
- Pharma Hacks
- Brute-force Login Attempts
- Malicious Redirects
- Cross-site Scripting (XSS)
- Denial of Service
The aptly titled backdoor vulnerability gives hackers secret openings that allow them to access WordPress websites using unusual means like wp-Admin, SFTP, FTP, etc. while still avoiding security encryption. Backdoors can be used by hackers to compromise several websites that are hosted on the same server using cross-site contamination attacks once they have been discovered and exploited. According to a Q3 2017 Sucuri analysis, 71% of the attacked sites had some sort of backdoor injection, showing that backdoors are still one of the many post-hack activities attackers take.
Backdoors frequently use encryption to mimic real WordPress system files, and they access WordPress databases by taking advantage of flaws and errors in older iterations of the software. The TimThumb incident was a prime example of a backdoor vulnerability that compromised millions of websites by taking advantage of dubious scripts and out-of-date software.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to prevent and treat this vulnerability. With the help of programs like Site Check, which can quickly find common backdoors, you may check your WordPress website. Common backdoor threats are readily handled by two-factor authentication, banning IPs, limiting admin access, and preventing unauthorized PHP file execution, which we shall cover in more detail below. The backdoor mess on your WordPress installations can be cleaned up, according to Canton Becker’s excellent piece.
2. Pharma Hacks
When a compromised website is searched for, the Pharma Hack exploit is used to inject malicious code into out-of-date WordPress websites and plugins, causing pharmaceutical product advertising to appear. Although the vulnerability poses a greater threat to spam than to regular malware, it is sufficient for search engines to ban the website on the grounds that it is spreading spam.
Backdoors in plugins and databases are active components of a Pharma Hack; they can be removed by following the steps on this blog. But the exploits are frequently severe variations of encrypted harmful injections that are concealed in databases, necessitating a lengthy cleanup procedure to close the vulnerability. However, you may easily avoid Pharma Hacks by utilizing reputable WordPress hosting companies with current servers and consistently updating your WordPress installs, themes, and plugins.
3. Brute-force Login Attempts
Automated scripts make brute-force login attempts to access your website by taking advantage of weak passwords. Some of the simplest and most efficient techniques to stop brute-force attacks include employing strong passwords, restricting login attempts, monitoring unauthorized logins, blocking IPs, and two-step authentication. But regrettably, many WordPress website owners ignore these security precautions, allowing hackers to quickly compromise up to 30,000 websites in a single day employing brute-force attacks.
4. Malicious Redirects
Through the use of protocols like FTP, SFTP, wp-admin, and others, malicious redirects introduce redirection codes into the website. The encoded redirects, which send web traffic to malicious sites, are frequently added to your.htaccess file and other key WordPress files. In the WordPress security measures below, we’ll go over several ways you can stop these.
5. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
When a malicious script is introduced into a reliable website or program, it is known as cross-site scripting (XSS). This is how the attacker secretly sends the end user malicious code, usually in the form of browser-side scripts. It usually has the intention of grabbing cookie or session data or even rewriting HTML on a page.
6. The Denial of Service (DoS)
Denial of Service vulnerability, which makes use of faults and bugs in the code to overwhelm website operating systems, is arguably the most serious of them all. By using old and flawed versions of the WordPress software in DoS assaults, hackers have infiltrated millions of websites and made millions of dollars. Although cybercriminals with financial motives are less likely to target small businesses, they frequently breach outdated, susceptible websites to build massive botnet networks that attack large corporations.
Even the most up-to-date WordPress software cannot fully protect against high-profile DoS assaults, but it will at least assist you avoid being caught in the crossfire between clever cybercriminals and financial institutions. Remember October 21st, 2016 as well. It was on this day that a DNS DDoS attack brought the internet to a halt. Learn more about the benefits of using a premium DNS service to improve WordPress security.