As we all know that running a WordPress-based website is often a pleasure, enabling you to focus on content and building relationships with readers and other websites.
Half of the WordPress sites out there are self-hosted, which means that the WordPress administrator carries the share of responsibility for a secure installation. Out of the box, there are several ways that WordPress security can be tightened down, but only a fraction of sites actually do so. This makes WordPress an even more popular target for hackers. Its popularity for being used globally on millions of websites, is a big threat also, as if, exploit found on one, can be replicated on thousands of sites.
However, not everyone on the web is as friendly as you. Somewhere out there is a list with your blog’s name on it, where it sits, waiting to be targeted by hackers? When they get around to your blog, they’ll try various tactics to gain access to it, perhaps with the aim of selling legal drugs or infecting your visitor’s computers with malware.
Here is a list of top WordPress Security vulnerabilities:
1. SQL Injection & URL Hacking
WordPress is a database-backed platform that executes server-side scripts in PHP. Both of these characteristics can make WordPress vulnerable to malicious URL insertion attacks. Commands are sent to WordPress via URL parameters, which can be abused by hackers who know how to construct parameters that WordPress may misinterpret or act on without authorization.
SQL injection describes a class of these attacks in which hackers embed commands in a URL that trigger behaviors from the database. (SQL is the command language used by the MySQL database.) These attacks can reveal sensitive information about the database, potentially giving hackers entrance to modifying the actual content of your site. Many of today's website defacement attacks are accomplished by some form of SQL Injection.
Most WordPress installations are hosted on the popular Apache web server. Apache uses a file named .htaccess to define the access rules for your website. A thorough set of rules can prevent many types of SQL Injection and URL hacks from being interpreted.
2. Access to Sensitive Files
Basically WordPress install has a number of files which you don’t want unauthorized persons to access. These files, such as the WordPress configuration file, install script, and even the “read-me” file should be kept private.
As with preventing URL hacking, you can add commands to the Apache .htaccess file to block access to sensitive private files.
3. Default Admin User Account
WordPress installs include an administrator user account whose username is simply “admin”. Hackers may try to log into this account using guessed passwords.
Any element of predictability gives hackers an edge. Instead, log into WordPress and create a new user with an unpredictable name. Assign administrator privileges to this user. Now delete the account named “admin”. A hacker would now need to guess both the username and password to gain administrator access, a significantly more challenging feat.
4. Default Prefix for Database Tables
The WordPress database consists of numerous tables. In many WordPress installs, these tables are named with a default prefix that begins with “wp_“. For hackers, the ability to predict anything can provide an extra advantage.
An easier way to change table prefixes for an existing WordPress installation is by using the plug-in named Better WP Security. This plug-in contains several defenses including some discussed elsewhere in this article, with a simple point-and-click interface to change your table names to include a randomly-generated prefix.
5. Brute-Force Login Attempts
Hackers often rely on automated scripts to do their dirty work. These scripts can make numerous attempts to log into your WordPress administration page by trying thousands and millions of combinations of user-names and passwords.
A successful brute-force attack against a strong password effectively becomes impossible with these limits in place, because the hacker can never try enough variations (or rather, it would take many years of continuous attempts).
Two WordPress plug-ins which let you enforce a login limiter are Limit Login Attempts and the aforementioned Better WP Security.
6. Backdoor planted in third-party extensions
(September 2019) The hackers are modifying the code of existing old plugins to include fake malicious components. Also, using automated tools, generating plugin, and lace it with an arbitrary payload, such as a reverse shell. The attackers maintain a grip on the new site through the backdoor planted in third-party extensions.
WP-VCD, today's most massive WordPress hacking operation, infecting websites with boobytrapped pirated themes and plugins from their sites network. They offer free downloads of commercial-themes, which contain WP-VCD infections. The hackers put keywords and backlinks to the victimized websites, to improve the ranking of their distribution sites. They insert ads, which opens as popups and redirecting visitors to the malicious sites.
Website security company Sucuri discovered the fake malicious WordPress Plugin. The legitimate software ‘wpframework' cloned and altered for nefarious purposes like to maintain and gain authorized access to the compromised servers or site environment and also to mine cryptocurrency. The plugin development stopped in 2011 but still has 400 active installations. The cloned plugin allows hackers the executive permission to run a command at the server level. Furthermore, it has code to run a Linux binary to mine cryptocurrency.
WordPress is the peak prominent content management system of the online world. Although WordPress from the time of its starting did see the sorrow picture of denunciation. But within a few fractions of time, WordPress was adopted by plenty of brands that give new height to the famous content management.
The feature of open source makes WordPress exposed to hack attacks, hereafter webmasters were bound to consider WordPress Security Issues as a serious matter. Secure WordPress removed the display of or access to information, folders, and protocols that may be more likely to be used by hackers than site admins.
The first and foremost requirement of any WordPress website is its security. Due to outdated core files and /or plugins, a website becomes much more Prone to hackers as outdated files are easily perceptible. Therefore, WordPress Security is an important task and has to be followed in any case. Generally, WordPress attacks are caused due to plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software. WordPress Security will hide the places where these vulnerabilities reside and thus avoid the attackers to know much more about the site and keeping them away from sensitive areas like login, admin, etc.
The process of Hardening WordPress is not hard or complex, It just requires that we should be well versed to be as webmaster/mistress and be able to understand what our exposures are, and how to minimize our risks for running WordPress on our own website.In other words, Hardening WordPress means to Secure WordPress from external attacks.
WP Security Scan checks WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions such as:
- File permissions
- Database security
- Version hiding
- WordPress admin protection/security
- Removes WP Generator META tag from core code
SQL injection is a code injection technique that exploits a WordPress Security Vulnerabilities occurring in the database layer of an application.