Every day there are roughly more than 500new Word-Press sites that are been launched on the web world. Impressive, isn’t it? However, the bad thing is that this popularity comes at a terrible price! In this article, we will show you the most common Word-Press website attacking techniques and how to protect your site from vulnerabilities. Statistics tell us that Word-Press Content can be easily compromised by Cyber-Criminals and most Cyber-Criminals prefer attacking their Management System. Out of the 8,000 infected websites analyzed in a study, 74% were built on Word-Press. Of course, it’s got nothing to do with Word-Press having a weak core, makes it convenient for the Cyber-Criminals to get more ingenious.
Here’s a reality check for you from someone who does ethical Cyber-attack for living no matter what the scope, size or age of your Word-Press site, your site is at risk! It is not that much certain that Cyber-Criminals don’t concentrate or feel to target only mainstream websites; however, they also target small and venerable sites as well, as they can easily exploit the common vulnerabilities of such websites. Normally, most of these Cyber-Attacks are smartly conducted via programmed bots to automatically find certain soft spots in websites. At times, they do not differentiate between your site or a popular one. Smaller sites are more prone to get compromised since they generally have lower website security measures in place. So, the next time you think your site is too insignificant for a Cyber-Criminals, think again. The odds are high that your website can be used by the Cyber-Criminal to send spam, do SEO spam or perform a malicious redirect. Once the Cyber-Criminalsmanage to find a loophole in your site, they can gain access to a plethora of opportunities to take their ‘spammy’ intentions for a spin. Cyber-Criminals can pull off many different types of Cyber-attacks. For instance DDoS attacks, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack, injection attacks, SQL injection attacks, session hijacking, clickjacking attacks, etc. Luckily, most of the threats that can damage your Word-Press site can be prevented. But first, we need to arm you with the right knowledge of these common types of Cyber-Attack, so that you can take the right measures to address it.
Here are the most common website attacking techniques you ought to be aware of and how you can prevent them:
If you have ever worked on Word-Press projects, then you might be aware of the fact that the plugins play a significant role in Word-Press website development. As a matter of fact, Word-Press is designed for-developers and developers alike. The one who is in need of a quick online presence, then the plugin proves to be a reliable solution that bridges the gaps and integrates various functionalities to the website. Unfortunately, plugins are considered to be the most vulnerable to Cyber-attack, when it comes to the Word-Press ecosystem. However, one can’t blame the developers who created that plugin. Cyber-Criminals manage to find vulnerabilities within the plugin’s code and use them to access sensitive information.
What can you do?
- Always Update Your Plugins: Affective way to reduce the exposure to such vulnerability is to make sure you keep your plugin up to date. This enables to patch up any known vulnerabilities in the previous version
- Employ Plugin Security Scanner: One should always employ an automated scanner to detect issues related to security within their plugins and also configure real-time alerts to trigger the alarm whenever a security breach is detected.
Lack of login security is another entry point for Cyber-Criminals to target Word-Press sites. Cyber-Criminals tend to leverage readily available software tools to generate the password and force their way into your system. Malicious Cyber-Criminals employ software tools such as Wires-hark (sniffer) or Fiddler (proxy) to capture your Word-Press login details and steal your personal information and other sensitive information. In addition to that, the brute force attacks can create devastating seniors for users who have a weak credential management system. By way of such attacks, the Cyber-Criminals can generate 1000s of password guesses to gain entry. So, you know what to do if your password is 12345678 or admin123, right?
What can you do?
- Use more secure usernames and passwords. Change it regularly.
- Opt for HTTPS connection so that Cyber-Criminals are unable to run a proxy tool through website traffic details.
- You can also use two-factor authentication by sending passcodes by email or SMS as an extra authentication step.
Nothing is perfect in this world. It often takes time to discover vulnerabilities within the Word-Press ecosystem, and this delay can put thousands of Word-Press users at grave risk of data breaches. Fortunately, the Word-Press team releases security patches and updates on a regular basis.
What can you do?
- Always make sure you have the latest Word-Press version.
- One can easily apply for the latest Word-Press update from the (Updates)section under the (Dashboard) menu.
At times, you can give in to temptation and install a free theme from your favorite search engines. However, how one can determine whether that theme us safe or not, especially when it is free? Honestly, most of these free themes available on the internet are vulnerable to Cyber-Attack just like an outdated plugin would. However, this does not mean that all free themes are a strict no-no. There are plenty of efficient and reliable free themes uploaded by developers who provide a regular updates and actively support the project.
What can you do?
- One should always avoid the use of free themes without verifying the authenticity of the source.
- One should always use high-quality and authentic themes from reputable developers.
Another popular entry point for Cyber-Criminals is through your own hosting system. Normally, most of the Word-Press websites are hosted on the SQL server and this is how the Word-Press website becomes a potential target of Cyber-Criminals. In addition to that, if one uses poor-quality or shared hosting services, then it makes their website more venerable to Cyber-Attack. In such cases, the attacker can gain unauthorized access to other websites on the same server.
What can you do?
- When going for shared hosting, opt for a quality hosting provider who prioritizes security features.
- The other option is to host your site on an individual server using VPS (Virtual Private Server).
- The only downside- it is more expensive compared to shared hosting.
Web World is full of viruses and malware and the Word-Press website does not have an exemption. DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks and Malware are one of the most common threats to your website. Other malware aims to gain the backdoor entry to the website or infect the internal files structure with a virus, But, the attack launched by DDoSaim to overwhelm your website with fake heavy traffic using bots and in the case of a shared hosting platform, your website will show an unexpected and abnormal hike in traffic.Both Malware and DDoS are dangerous techniques of website attacking and Cyber-Criminals can use them together or separately to compromise your site and cause problems.
What can you do?
- Malware scan system: There are scores of malware infections on the web and your Word-Press site can be vulnerable to any of them. One has to always shield their website from these by employing an automatic malware scanning system that can scan their website files for suspicious activities. These scanners can detect the issues with great ease and on top of that, it can also fix the issue spontaneously by eradicating the malware without compromising the structure and content of your website. If you lack the technical knowledge to perform that task then it is always good to hire a person who is qualified to conduct that task or you can hire website malware removal service.
- DDoS protection: Get a smart firewall and use an intelligent system to detect and block threats from bots in real-time. One must always keep a real-time track of web traffic requests and shield their system against malicious code including malware.