How prevalent is hacking when it comes to your WordPress website? What can you do to defend yourself from malicious users that are intent on bypassing your security precautions and ruining hours of work? Depending on how much you rely on e-commerce, a hacker could endanger your livelihood and cut into your monthly income.
Hacking WordPress is actually very popular! Why is this? Think about the differences between a Windows based machine and one running an operating system from Apple. Windows is the operating system that is much more popular and the vast majority of businesses are going to be using just one operating system. If I am a hacker, my main goal is to not only get as much information as possible from these computers, but I want them under my control as well so that I can add them to a botnet. A botnet is an army of computers that a hacker controls giving them more processing power and the ability to run DDOS attacks for fun or profit.
It only makes sense as a blackhat hacker to learn as much as possible about the most popular operating system if you are looking to grow your army of zombie computers under your command. Hackers rarely focus on hacking Apple products because it is not nearly as popular and will yield less open machines that they can start working on.
iThemes Security WordPress Plugin
Fortunately, there are many plugins that have been created to help you combat these tools that hackers can use. Take for example iThemes Security. If someone is trying to brute force a password, it can help deflect the attack. iThemes will limit the amount of login attempts for your site. A brute force attack is much harder to accomplish when the attacker can only guess your password three times with one IP before they are locked out and forced to move on to a new IP address to carry out the rest of the attack.
iThemes will also enforce strong passwords for everybody in your organization. For example, the main people at your company such as the admin or the editor may become relaxed with the passwords they are using to gain access. We have all done this in the past. When there is an application you use on a regular basis, you don’t want to have to type in a complicated password each time you want access. It is tedious to put in a long string that mixes letters, numbers, and symbols.
There is a problem with this way of thinking. When trying to brute force a password, tools like WPScan will use a list of common words and phrases. Right off the bat, this cuts down on the number of combinations that they need to run before they eventually guess the right combination. By using iThemes and a strong password, you will buy yourself extra time before the blackhat can figure out a way in.
BlogVault WordPress Plugin
How confident are you in your security? You might run weekly audits for your site using WPScan. You stay up to date on the latest in hacking and exploits for plugins that were coded poorly. Your team even uses all the latest security plugins to make sure that you are not vulnerable and have strong password protection. In the end though, it doesn’t always matter.
With a zero day exploit, hackers can still maneuver past your defenses. WPScan can not scan for a vulnerability if the security hole is not in the database for the API to use. This means that brand new hacks and exploits can still get through because the general community is not aware of them yet. Zero day exploits will often be sold off to the highest bidder since they are hard to come by and can reveal potentially very valuable information from a target.
Use a service like BlogVault to do automated updates and backups on all your sites. The interface is very easy to understand and when you do a fresh sync, the process is quick so you won’t be wondering when it will be done. Check out BlogVault today and create backups easily for any site you own.
Sucuri WordPress Plugin
Have you been hacked? Is it already too late? Starting at $199.99 for the year, you can have peace mentally because you will be working with experts in security. They can offer unlimited cleanups for malware. If a hacker or a crew of blackhats have targeted your site, it won’t matter when you are working with Sucuri since they give you as many cleanups for the site as you need. They are also agnostic when it comes to your operating system so this will work well for systems based in Linux or Windows.
The response from this security team is going to be quick since they work around the clock and will respond on a 24/7 basis. They understand how important it is to revert a hack quickly and get your business running again fast to maintain a good public image and keep customer information secret. Try out their service today and see how much better you will feel when you know these experts can come to the rescue at any time.
Protecting Your WordPress Blog From Hackers
Hacking WordPress is popular since WordPress is popular. Hackers want to target as many machines as possible if they are going to learn the various tools and exploits on a vulnerable system. You might assume that only experts can break into your WordPress website, but you would be incorrect. Even the hackers have tools that can be automated and simplify the process.
Look at a simple tool such as WPScan. This is a free tool that scans for vulnerabilities and it was created for security professionals as well as people that maintain sites. The Command Line Interface tool uses an API to pull data constantly. This means if a vulnerability is found in your version of WordPress or a plugin, that will be added to a library of other vulnerabilities. A hacker no longer has to keep up with the latest security holes when they are automatically added to this tool. You also are given up to 50 API requests each day which is a lot of different systems a blackhat can look through to see who has holes in their security. Experts can upgrade and be given access to even more scans for a price.
What are some of the different things this tool can do? The scanner will look to see which version of WordPress you are using. If the version is old and out of date, you put a target on your back because hackers know you are not staying up to date with the new versions and security patches. This process is known as enumeration or the act of establishing the number of something. If you have an older version of WordPress that is known to be vulnerable to certain attacks, you can be sure that blackhats will go for your site first with this tool or others.
This same process of enumeration can be used for both the plugins and different themes. Scans will let hackers know what version of a plugin you are using with a method that is similar to fingerprinting. Every different version has certain signals or markers that let people know which version of the software you are running. This is dangerous because plugins and themes that are known to be vulnerable will be first to be hacked. It is low hanging fruit that hackers will take first before moving on to other systems that are up to date and harder to break into.
Another thing to keep in mind is WPScan offers the ability to brute force a password. What does this mean? Think of a lock on your front door. An expert trying to break in could take the time to try and pick the lock carefully, learning everything they can about your defenses. Other criminals though will just try every key that they have, rapidly going through every possible combination that they can think of until their key is close enough to give them entry.
Brute Force Protection
A brute force attack on your passwords is very common. In late 2017, an attack campaign was started that specifically targeted sites running WordPress. The attack used a large number of different IP addresses to carry out the task which meant it was more difficult to tell where the attack was coming from and also it was harder to just ban a block of IP addresses. This is where a botnet comes in with compromised computers. Once a blackhat has enough computers under their control, it can be hard to block their attacks since they are coming from so many areas at once. This attack peaked with 14 million attacks on the hour. Would you be ready for an attack like this?
That is it for our review of these plugins and services for WordPress. Continue to come back to Superb Themes to make sure that you are always up to date on the latest in security and keeping your information safe. We will always keep you informed with what is happening in the world of WordPress security.