Your Ultimate Guide To WP Cyberattacks And What You Can Do About Them
Attacks targeted at WordPress sites are called WP cyberattacks. WP powers over 33% of sites over the internet which is why so many hackers target this platform.
Keep reading to learn about the top five WP attacks. Additionally, you’ll learn the best ways to protect your site from harmful programs and users.
Common WordPress Attacks
Before you dive into how to solve WordPress cyberattacks, take a look at the commonest threats below.
Brute Force Attacks
One of the top five leading attacks on WP sites, brute-forcing refers to guessing the confidential information of users to gain access to your site. Otherwise known as ‘exhaustive search,’ this attack includes a program that guesses passwords based on the available information.
There are endless WP password generators that can attempt thousands of passwords every second. Such an attack aims to retrieve password information, passphrases, and so on. On top of it, most users set easy-to-remember passwords like 12345, your name, nickname, and so on for WP logins.
Botnets are another type of password-guessing machines used by malicious users. It aims at harvesting personal data, phishing, defacement, or redirecting users to suspicious sites.
Structured Query Language (SQL) helps to run your WP site. When the backed code is poorly constructed, a hacker can use the data field that’s used to sign up new addresses to send SQL codes. This will ultimately transfer the control of your WP site to the hacker.
Search boxes, login forms, shopping carts, and newsletter sign-up forms are vulnerable to injection attacks. Such a malicious backdoor can also help the hacker set up new accounts with complete admin controls to your website.
While most plugins and themes are built with protection against SQL injection, it’s best to keep away from unpopular options to help avoid the risks.
Theme & Plugin Attacks
Another common source of WP attack is the functional features you use to host the site. With plugins recording the highest amount of cyberattacks, it’s important to screen every theme and plugin you use.
Plugins are the gateway for hackers to get access to your site. Therefore, it requires periodic updates to cope with security threats. Avoid unpopular plugins that aren’t updated for over six months or those abandoned by their authors.
You can also use the ‘plugin security scanner’ from the ‘tools’ tab on the dashboard to find out if any of your active plugins are problematic.
For example, the hacker can add links to the low-priority sections of your WP site. These links will then redirect users to malicious sites under your guise. Such a system can also collect sensitive personal data of users for phishing.
This is a common threat to businesses with active affiliate strategies. Since XSS can obtain access to user-cookies, it can also pose as your business and claim the revenue.
Distributed denial of service is when a malicious user floods a site with data. As a result, the website crashes and loses potential customers.
This is actually more of an attack than a hack because it doesn’t open a door for the hacker into the site. Hackers can also overload the bandwidth capacity of your hosting plan, create HTTP floods, and attack with syn floods or ping of death.
Even botnets are used to target hosts by using infected computers. For example, over 20,000 WP sites were used to implement DDoS attacks on other WP sites in 2018.
If you manage to get your site back, the server can still be exposed since it may disclose login credentials during future threats. DDoS threats, being as old as WP itself, are easily preventable with the right security protocols.
How To Protect Your WordPress Site From These Attacks?
After being targeted globally by hackers, WP still remains the safest option today. This is because when employed correctly, there are many ways to protect your site with WP features.
Here are five protective measures you can start with:
- Decrease security threats and injection threats by using trustworthy themes and plugins
- Brute forcing protection can be enforced by changing the username from the default ‘admin’. Additionally, use strong passwords and restrict the login attempts
- Start using an SSL certificate to help prevent phishing and theft of data. It does this by encrypting sensitive information. Alternatively, enable a trusted WordPress security plugin
- Modify keys and salts periodically to avoid cookie stealing and session hijacking
- Block suspicious IP addresses, enable firewalls, and use a CDN besides DDoS protection
- If you’re not a developer then deactivate the file manager to help avoid malicious code injections
While 100% security is impossible for WP sites, you can do many things to protect your business today. Sites using old versions of WP, insecure plugins, and outdated themes will give hackers a free pass to your confidential data.
Keep in mind that setting stronger passwords can prevent brute force threats. Moreover, use an SSL certificate to avoid data theft due to XSS and stick to trustworthy themes and plugins.
Secure your site against hackers and bots today by buying DDoS protection from your hosting service.