For more than a decade, WordPress has been one of the leading content management systems (CMS). Many of the largest blogs on the Internet and many small independent sites run on the WordPress framework for publishing text, image, and video content to the World Wide Web.

The WordPress website has both front-end and back-end interfaces. The front end provides the view that external visitors will see when loading a web page. Site administrators and contributors responsible for drafting, designing, and publishing content can access the backend.

Like all other Internet-based systems, WordPress is a target for hacker attacks and other forms of cybercrime.Consider now than 32% The Internet runs on WordPress. In this article, we will introduce some of the most common WordPress attacks on this software, and then provide suggestions on how to defend against them and keep your website safe.

Common WordPress attack methods

First, let’s look at the common attacks that WordPress site owners may encounter.

1.SQL injection

Common WordPress attacks: SQL injection

The WordPress CMS platform relies on a database layer that stores metadata information and other management information. For example, a typical SQL-based WordPress database will contain user information, content information, and site configuration data.

When hackers perform SQL injection attacks, they use request parameters through input fields or URLs to run custom database commands. The “SELECT” query will allow hackers to view additional information in the database, while the “UPDATE” query will allow them to actually change the data.

In 2011, a network security company called Barracuda Networks became a victim of a hacker attack. SQL injection attackThe hacker ran a series of commands on the entire Barracuda website and eventually found a vulnerable page that could be used as a portal to the company’s main database.

2. Cross-site scripting

A cross-site scripting attack, also known as XSS, is similar to SQL injection. It targets the JavaScript elements on the web page, not the database behind the application. A successful attack may cause the private information of external visitors to be leaked.

Through XSS attacks, hackers add JavaScript code to the website through a comment field or other text input, and then run the malicious script when other users visit the page. Rogue JavaScript usually redirects users to a fraudulent website, which will try to steal their passwords or other identifying data.

Even popular websites like eBay can be the target of XSS attacks.In the past, hackers have successfully added Malicious code on product pages And persuade customers to log in to deceptive web pages.

3. Command injection

Platforms like WordPress operate on three main layers: web server, application server, and database server. But each of these servers runs on hardware with a specific operating system, such as Microsoft Windows or open source Linux, which represents a separate area of ​​potential vulnerability.

Through command injection attacks, hackers will enter malicious information in text fields or URLs, similar to SQL injection. The difference is that the code will contain a command that only the operating system can recognize, such as the “ls” command. If executed, this will display a list of all files and directories on the host server.

It has been found that certain Internet-connected cameras are particularly vulnerable to command injection attacks. When malicious commands are issued, their firmware may erroneously expose the system configuration to external users.

4. File inclusion

Common WordPress attacks: file inclusion

Common web coding languages ​​such as PHP and Java allow programmers to reference external files and scripts from their code. The “include” command is the common name for this type of activity.

In some cases, hackers can manipulate the URL of the website to break the “include” part of the code and gain access to other parts of the application server. Some plugins of the WordPress platform have been found to be vulnerable to file inclusion attacks. When such a hacker attack occurs, the infiltrator can gain access to all data on the main application server.

Protection tips

Now that you know what to pay attention to, here are some simple ways to strengthen your WordPress security. Obviously, there are many more ways to protect your website than the ones mentioned below, but these are relatively simple methods that can generate considerable rewards when hackers are frustrated.

1. Use a secure host and firewall

The WordPress platform can be run from a local server or managed through a cloud hosting environment. For the purpose of maintaining a security system, the hosting option is preferred. The top WordPress hosts on the market will provide SSL encryption and other forms of security protection.

Common WordPress attacks: firewall

When configuring a managed WordPress environment, it is important to enable the internal firewall to protect the connection between the application server and other network layers. The firewall checks the validity of all requests between layers to ensure that only legitimate requests are allowed to be processed.

2. Keep themes and plugins updated

The WordPress community is full of third-party developers who are constantly developing new themes and plugins to take advantage of the power of the CMS platform. These add-ons can be free or paid. Plugins and themes should always be downloaded directly from the WordPress.org website.

External plugins and themes can be risky because they contain code that will run on your application server. Only trust add-ons from reputable sources and developers. In addition, you should update plugins and themes regularly, because developers will release security improvements.

Inside WordPress management console, The “Update” tab is at the very top of the “Dashboard” menu list.

3. Install virus scanner and VPN

If you run WordPress in a local environment or have full server access through your hosting provider, then you need to ensure that a powerful virus scanner is running on your operating system. Free tools used to scan WordPress sites (such as Virus Total) will check all resources for vulnerabilities.

When connecting to the WordPress environment from a remote location, you should always use a virtual private network (VPN) client, which will ensure that all data communication between the local computer and the server is fully encrypted.

4. Locking on brute force attacks

One of the most popular and common WordPress attacks takes the form of so-called brute force attacks. This is nothing more than a hacker’s lax automated program at the “front door”. It sat there and tried thousands of different password combinations, and often stumbled upon the correct combination, enough to make it worthwhile.

The good news is that there is an easy way to stop brute force. The bad news is that too many website owners have not applied this fix. Check out the all-in-one WP security and firewall. It is free and allows you to set hard limits on login attempts. For example, after three attempts, the plug-in will lock the site for a preset length of time to prevent further logins from the IP address. You will also receive an email notification informing you that the lock function has been triggered.

5. Two-factor authentication

This wonderful method of protecting your website relies on the fact that hackers may not be able to control your two devices at the same time. For example, computers and mobile phones. Two-factor authentication (2FA) divides the login to your website into a two-step process. As usual, you log in in the usual way, but then you will find yourself being prompted to enter an additional code sent to your phone.

Smart? This extra step exponentially improves the security of your website by dividing the login into different steps.Check this List of free plugins This will help you set up 2FA. Hackers who want to interfere with your website may have changed their minds.

in conclusion

Although there is no 100% secure website, there are many steps you can take to protect your website. Using a good firewall, keeping your themes and plugins up-to-date, and running virus scans regularly can have a huge impact.

It may be helpful to treat website security as an eternal iterative process.When you take a step back and think it’s “completed”, there should never be a point, because the game between hackers and website maintainers never stops, even officially approved online players participate in it Online monitoring Business. Only by keeping yourself informed about the latest threats and how to defend against them can you maintain online security and online privacy.

The world must be like this, but it is too bad to accept it and move on. If you have never done this before, now is a good time to look for some respected cybersecurity news sites. Either subscribe to their newsletter or at least visit regularly. First run Google (or search engine of your choice) to search for “Internet Security News.”

Have questions or want to add more tips? Leave a comment and let us know.