Generally speaking, business owners are always considering the strategy of optimizing their WordPress website to get more traffic and higher rankings, which can help them gain greater visibility. However, if the site is eventually hacked, all their efforts will be in vain, which is not only a costly thing, but also damage the reputation of the brand.
WordPress provides powerful features and a secure code base, making it one of the most popular website builders in the world.But this does not protect it from Various forms of malicious cyber attacks, Such as the increasingly rampant DDoS attacks.
In this guide, we will discuss DDoS attacks in more detail and the steps you can take to manage website security like a professional.
What is a DDoS attack?
DDoS attack is short for distributed denial of service attack. This is a type of cyber attack that uses infected computers and devices to send and request data from WordPress hosting servers, allowing malicious users to control your site. The most popular WordPress hosting includes measures to reduce the risk of DDoS attacks, including encrypted connections, continuous monitoring, and plug-in vulnerability mitigation.
Think of DDoS attacks as a more evolved form of DoS (Denial of Service Attack). Unlike the latter, DDoS attackers manipulate multiple infected machines or servers to enhance their spread in different regions.
The infected machine then creates a network (also known as a botnet), and each affected machine acts as a robot and launches an attack on the target server or system. This also allows them to remain undetected for a period of time, allowing them to cause the most damage before the true owner succeeds in stopping them.
What happens during a DDoS attack?
We have discussed how infected machines can create botnets in DDoS attacks.Before we delve into the technical aspects of these attacks, we want to clarify that a robot is a Automated programs that perform specific tasks online At a speed much faster than humans have ever before. This is exactly what hackers use.
In a DDoS attack, your server resources are exhausted and website loading time increases. Therefore, when it visits any website, it may cause performance issues or overwhelming server resources (such as memory, CPU, or even the entire network), resulting in a complete server crash.
The main point of these attacks is a botnet of vulnerable IoT devices controlled by hackers.Since the Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast-growing Internet field, it is more susceptible to Common IoT security threats, Especially DDoS. The most common devices are household appliances, smart TVs, security cameras, home lighting systems, and even refrigerators!
What are the different types of DDoS attacks?
Interestingly, DDoS is not a single form of attack; there are different varieties, which have different functional styles, leading to several sub-categories of classification. Read on and we will discuss the most common issues in more detail below:
Volumetric DDoS attack
It is usually simple. Volumetric DDoS attacks involve flooding the target, requesting to overload the bandwidth capacity, and not directly targeting WordPress. On the contrary, the main target of these attacks is to target the underlying operating system and network servers. Nevertheless, volumetric DDoS attacks are related to WordPress sites.
If the hijacker succeeds, your WordPress site will not be able to provide pages to real visitors throughout the attack. The most common types of these attacks include NTP amplification and UDP flooding.
Application layer DDoS attacks
Appropriately, the application layer DDoS attacks are concentrated on the seventh layer, which is the application layer. Or your Apache or NGINX web server and your WordPress website. Among all types, this type will definitely cause the most damage relative to the bandwidth spent.
HTTP floods and slow mail attacks fall into this category.
this WordPress REST API In this case is a prominent example. The attack starts with an HTTP request from one of the hosts, and then uses relatively few resources on the host. However, this may have the opposite effect on the target server, triggering multiple operations. Server checking credentials, returning to web pages, reading databases, etc. are common examples.
Multi-vector DDoS attack
Hackers are not limited to a single type of attack, but often use multi-vector methods. As you might expect, when conducting a multi-vector DDoS attack, hackers will use a variety of techniques to locate.
Protocol-based DDoS attacks
These attacks follow the same effort model as other attacks, but mainly focus on the transport layer and network layer, rather than applications or services. Imagine attacks like the Voice of Death and Synthetic Flood.
Hackers launch these attacks to deny service by targeting devices such as the underlying TCP/IP stack or firewall running on your server. It enables them to exploit vulnerabilities in how the server network stack handles tasks such as TCP communications or network packets.
Ways to protect your WordPress website from DDoS attacks
It is important to understand that DDoS attacks are not WordPress hacking in the traditional sense. These attacks cannot steal website visitor information-in addition, the sole purpose of carrying out these attacks is to overload website resources, sometimes used for extortion.
Average annual unit customer churn rate in 2016 10% for SaaS companies, This is a term used to refer to customer churn. But when potential customers find it difficult to load the website, this number becomes even bigger. In this case, the hacker can ask the website owner to pay a ransom to stop the DDoS attack and keep the website running normally.
You can take the following measures to help prevent these attacks.
Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The service that caches a copy of your website in the respective data center is called a CDN. Think of them as an intermediary between your website visitors and you.
The idea behind using CDNs is to reduce the stress on the server, which in turn can help you reduce the overall load time, because they are built specifically for performance optimization. By limiting the resulting traffic flooding your website, and detecting abnormal attacks and traffic drops, thereby effectively mitigating it, these can also act as various firewalls for DDoS attacks.
Many hosting companies provide built-in CDNs, and there are a large number of CDN plug-ins (such as Website accelerator, As part of Jetpack) or you can use a free CDN from a third party. At WPExplorer, we use and recommend Cloudflare-but choose the option that suits you.
Switch to a new (better) hosting provider
Let’s face it: Web hosts are different.
If the hosting provider you choose cannot handle moderate pressure well, it will certainly make your site a perfect victim of a DDoS attack. Fortunately, there are several reputable WordPress hosting service providers, such as WP Engine, which have excellent protection protocols at the server level to prevent traffic flooding.
Use DDoS protection services
Usually, CDN provides DDoS protection as an incentive, but you can also Register for a dedicated DDoS protection service As an alternative. As one might expect, choosing these services is not cheap, and some companies charge about $3,000 per month.
Blacklist suspicious IP addresses
You should definitely monitor IP addresses that show suspicious activity, such as unreasonably large numbers of visits, repeated login attempts, and IP clustering, which will eventually lead to flooding of your website traffic. If you don’t want to use third-party services or plug-ins, this is also a viable option.
Set up firewall
A firewall is software with pre-programmed rules to protect your computer from unauthorized access. You can configure the firewall to limit the number of users who visit your website within a certain period of time and filter out robots or visitors who may be robots.
This is very helpful to stop minimizing DDoS attacks without affecting the user experience, and it is much easier now than in the past.Many digital courses on web development security Courses are now included On how to set up firewalls and virtual private networks. Most good WordPress security plugins provide a firewall as part of their feature list.
Bottom line: Websites-no matter how big or small-often fall victim to DDoS attacks. Hackers use these attacks as a form of extortion against businesses, which is why you should take steps to scan your WordPress site for vulnerabilities and set up WordPress DDoS protection.
Most WordPress users are less likely to suffer from DDOS attacks-but you can still. Keeping this in mind, it is always wise to consistently apply best security practices to enhance the security of your site.