Most of the sites that we design and develop are on WordPress. Because it is so huge it is constantly being attacked by hackers and robots. Some of our clients in recent times have been hit hard by these brute force attacks so please read the following and protect your wordpress site.

WordPress Attacks – What they are & How you can deal with them

Unlike hacks that focus on vulnerabilities in software, a Brute Force Attack aims at being the simplest kind of method to gain access to a site: it tries usernames and passwords, over and over again, until it gets in. Often deemed ‘inelegant’, they can be very successful when people use passwords like ‘123456’ and usernames like ‘admin.’

botsThey are, in short, an attack on the weakest link in any website’s security: You.

Due to the nature of these attacks, you may find your server’s memory goes through the roof, causing performance problems. This is because the number of http requests (that is the number of times someone visits your site) is so high that servers run out of memory.

This sort of attack is not endemic to WordPress, it happens with every webapp out there, but WordPress is popular and thus a frequent target.

Contents:

  •     Protect Yourself
  •     Don’t use the ‘admin’ username
  •     Good Passwords
  •     Plugins
  •     Protect Your Server
  •     Password Protect wp-login.php
  •     Limit Access to wp-admin by IP
  •     Deny Access to No Referrer Requests
  •     ModSecurity
  •     Cloud/Proxy Services
  •     3 See Also

Protect Yourself

A common attack point on WordPress is to hammer the wp-login.php file over and over until they get in or the server dies. You can do some things to protect yourself.

Don’t use the ‘admin’ username

The majority of attacks assume people are using the username ‘admin’ due to the fact that early versions of WordPress defaulted to this. If you are still using this username, make a new account, transfer all the posts to that account, and change ‘admin’ to a subscriber (or delete it entirely).

You can use the plugin Admin Renamed Extended to change the username in-place.

Good Passwords

The goal with your password is to make it hard for other people to guess and hard for a brute force attack to succeed. Many automatic password generators are available that can be used to create secure passwords.

WordPress also features a password strength meter which is shown when changing your password in WordPress. Use this when changing your password to ensure its strength is adequate.

You can use the Enforce Strong Password plugin to force users to set strong passwords.

Things to avoid when choosing a password:

  •     Any permutation of your own real name, username, company name, or name of your website.
  •     A word from a dictionary, in any language.
  •     A short password.
  •     Any numeric-only or alphabetic-only password (a mixture of both is best).

A strong password is necessary not just to protect your blog content. A hacker who gains access to your administrator account is able to install malicious scripts that can potentially compromise your entire server.

Plugins

Plugins can be used to limit the number of login attempts made on your site, or block people from accessing wp-admin:

  •     BruteProtect
  •     Limit Login Attempts
  •     Lockdown WP Admin
  •     WP Fail2Ban
  •     Admin Renamed Extended
  •     Enforce Strong Password
  •     Wordfence Security
  •     3WP Activity Monitor
  •     All in one WP Security
  •     Rename wp-login.php