Even the smallest vulnerabilities on a WordPress website can be easily exploited by hackers and used to hijack your entire website. This can cause serious damage by stealing data, sending spam, or even destroying pages. Not to mention, if it is determined that your website is seriously compromised, your website may be blacklisted by Google.
This is why keeping your website away from hackers and preventing any file upload vulnerabilities should be your top priority. Take measures, such as checking whether your site is under threat, to improve the overall security of the site.
In this article, we will dive into some important tips on how to further prevent file upload vulnerabilities in WordPress site security.
What is a file upload vulnerability?
The entire file upload vulnerability is one of the most common security risks faced by WordPress sites today.
The main forms of uploading vulnerabilities are local and remote. Local vulnerability This is where the application has security loopholes that allow malicious users to upload and execute malicious files. at the same time, Remote vulnerability It means that the user input of the application is used to obtain a remote file from the Internet, and then the file is stored locally.
An example of a local file upload vulnerability is the recent contact form 7 vulnerability, which is Discovered at the end of 2020Contact 7 is a very popular WordPress plugin that enables users to add several different contact forms to a site or blog.
However, a local file upload vulnerability was discovered. Assuming that the plug-in enables file upload, hackers can upload malicious files in 5.3.1 and any old version of Form 7. Fortunately, any WordPress site running the latest version (so far) is protected by the From 7 vulnerability.
An example of a remote file upload vulnerability is TimThumb vulnerability, From 2011 to 2014, a major problem emerged. TimThumb is a PHP script that is commonly used to resize images on WordPress sites. The vulnerability allows cybercriminals to use the plugin to upload PHP files to a website or blog, and then allow them to create thumbnails on the website. Every time a thumbnail file is requested, malicious PHP code can be executed.
Both local and remote file upload vulnerabilities are major threats to your website because they can allow hackers to upload malware, take over your blog or website, upload spam or completely destroy your website. Such attacks will not only damage your business reputation, but also cause huge economic losses.When you think that the average cost of a cyber attack against small and medium-sized businesses is Over USD 2.35 million, Taking action to prevent network security threats (such as remote or local file upload vulnerabilities) does not need to be more convincing.
With this in mind, you can protect your website more effectively by preventing file upload vulnerabilities by following three things.
1. Always run the latest version of WordPress
One of the biggest reasons website owners encounter hacking issues or general cyber attacks is because they are running an old version of WordPress. By updating your WordPress to the latest version as much as possible, you can make it more difficult for hackers to penetrate your website.
Keeping your WordPress website up-to-date is an important general rule of thumb for improving all aspects of your website, such as speed. For example, a 1 second increase in load time may result in a 7% drop in conversion rate, 11% drop in page views, and 16% drop in customer satisfaction.
In fact, not updating your WordPress site to the latest version will only harm your chances of success and preventing cyber attacks.
Every time a new WordPress update is released, vulnerabilities are patched and overall security is improved. However, running an older version of WordPress means that you are running a version that hackers are already accustomed to.
Cyber attacks can happen because the people responsible for them spend time investigating the weaknesses of the website. Unfortunately, not all of these weaknesses are caused by the plugins you install on your site.Some of the weaknesses are Completely out of your control, This is why WordPress keeps launching new versions. These versions solve those weaknesses that you have no control over and fix them, so you don’t need to worry about the integrity of the site.
2. Update plugins and themes
As with updating WordPress to the latest version, you also need to ensure that all plugins or themes are also updated. Outdated plugins can often be used as a method for local file upload vulnerabilities. This is especially true for contact forms, comments, and other plugins that allow front-end submissions.
Plug-in and theme developers spend a lot of time exploring their work to determine if there are security issues. If they find one, they will fix the problem with an update. By ensuring the security of all plugins and themes related to your site, you can significantly reduce the risk of file upload vulnerabilities.
In a study of 1,386 most popular WordPress plugins, we found 104 Update received Less than a week before the study, 244 people received the update less than a month ago. Developers are always working hard to improve their plugins, so please take advantage of these updates.
In addition to updating the existing plugins and themes on the site, an additional measure you can take is to check the audit log to see who visited your site. If you find a security breach, doing so is one of the most effective strategies to help you identify which plugins hackers are targeting to further protect your site. From there, you can remove the plugin completely or see if there is an update that can correct the problem before it gets worse.
As for themes, updating them can also protect your overall safety. An added benefit is that you don’t even have to worry about losing your customizations due to updates to most themes. One of the easiest but most effective ways to protect your website from hackers is to keep all aspects of your website as up-to-date as possible.
3. Install top WordPress security plugins
A plugin is a specific vulnerability area of the WordPress website.do you know One in every hundred websites Is it most likely to be infected with malware in any given week? One of the main reasons for this is the lack of security plug-ins.
The WordPress security plugin acts as a firewall, protecting other plugins on your website and preventing data leakage. E.g, Text fence This includes a built-in firewall to prevent malicious traffic from reaching your site. There may be many potential vulnerabilities in the plugins you use, but if hackers cannot pass the security barriers, they will never be able to exploit these vulnerabilities.
Some plug-ins provide some benefits, such as scanners or cleaners, which can detect and prevent problems before they become serious. A good example is MalCare, which provides a powerful site scanner that will not slow down your site. These types of security plug-ins fully automate the scanning and cleaning process. Therefore, you can sit down and focus on running your website instead of spending time worrying about hackers. Also make sure to add the plugin for the mobile device you use to help run your WordPress site. Especially many novice website owners highly ignore this point.A new type of mobile device attack is Start every 39 seconds, Which highlights the urgency of protecting any personal or corporate mobile devices you use.
For desktop and mobile devices, please be careful not to install low-quality, outdated plug-ins or plug-ins with duplicate features. For example, multiple SEO plugins do more harm than good. This is because every time you have a new plug-in, you will send new database queries and HTTPS requests, which may affect the speed and performance of your website. Therefore, be very selective about which specific plugins you choose to download. Make sure that each new plug-in solves a specific problem that your existing plug-in cannot solve.
WordPress sites are fairly secure, but security plugins can be an additional buffer you need to take security to a new level. After all, there is not much security, as long as it does not affect the performance and user experience of your website. Most notably, the file upload plugin is particularly weak, but a powerful security plugin can make up for this shortcoming before the problem is exploited.
There are always hackers on the Internet. Cyber attacks always need to be countered, but keeping your WordPress site up-to-date can reduce these attacks. Fortunately, you can improve the security of certain aspects of your website, such as adding a WooCommerce plug-in to protect the payment system running on your website. File upload is a specific source of vulnerabilities, but some potential vulnerabilities can be patched using the above tips.