The Top 7 Common WordPress Security Exploits/Vulnerabilities

Top 7 Common WordPress Security Exploits/Vulnerabilities

WordPress is one of the popular Content Management Systems available on the internet, and a lot of websites are using WordPress for their website needs. WordPress evolved over the years and has a lot of WordPress Security Exploits/Vulnerabilities. You can check all the security articles on WordPress.org website.

These are the few Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities you can strike off from the list of hacks if you are aware of these. Go through these WordPress Vulnerabilities, and fix them by following the steps.

1. Default Prefix for Database Tables

While installing WordPress you will get the option to enter the database prefix for the tables. Most of the beginners into WordPress will install WordPress with “wp_” table prefix. This is a major security risk for your WordPress website because you have made a lot of guesswork for hackers easy. They can directly target your WordPress users table to get the list of users and any other important tables like posts table.

To fix this issue change the table prefix from “wp_” to something else of your choosing, by changing this table prefix you will make WordPress website more secure.

2. Default Admin User Account

While installing WordPress, you have to enter the WordPress Admin user account login credentials. If you have created administrator account with “admin” your website is more vulnerable to get hacked.

What happens if you are using “admin” account is that it will become easier to guess the username of your website. And the hacker can directly work on cracking your WordPress websites password. You just reduced half of the workload to the hacker. Don’t worry, if you are still using “admin” account you can fix this easily.

To fix this issue, create a new account with administrator privileges. Login with the new account and reduce the privileges of “admin” account or delete this account altogether.

3. Brute-Force Login Attempts

The brute-force attack is a type of attack where a hacker tries to get the login credentials of a website by repeatedly trying the username and password combinations. And the bad news is it’s completely automated attack, so hacker doesn’t have to enter the username and password manually every time.

With default WordPress won’t limit the number of logins, even if there are multiple failed login attempts. So the hacker can try n number of attempts until he succeeds or your website goes down because of completely using the resources and bandwidth. If you are on shared hosting, this will become a problem to your website.

You can fix this issue by limiting the login attempts if a user has multiple failed login attempts. There are a lot of plugins available for free, you can use Loginizer plugin.

4. WordPress SQL Injection

WordPress is developed on popular server side language PHP and the data will be stored in MySQL like the content, pages, and users. SQL is the language used to communicate with the databases. SQL Injections occur in all types of database driven applications, WordPress is not an exception. WordPress is also vulnerable to SQL Injection attacks.

To stop the SQL Injection attacks, assign the proper privileges to the database user on the database. Check the file permissions on the configuration files. Update the plugins, themes and the WordPress Core files. There are a lot of factors involved in SQL Injections like servers Database version is up to date or not. If you are on Shared hosting you can’t do anything for that.

5. Access to the Sensitive Files

There are a lot of important files on your WordPress website like wp-config.php and install.php files. wp-config.php file contains all the configuration details related to WordPress, this file should not be accessed by anyone else. You can do that by changing the default 755 to 644, that makes it harder for anyone to access it.

To check the file permissions you can use plugins, or else you can log in cPanel and open file manager change the directory permissions to 755 and file permissions should be 644 for all files. If you make this change your WordPress website won’t allow access to sensitive files.

6. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-Site Scripting or XSS attacks are most widely happening attacks to steal website visitors data or redirect users to a different website. XSS attackers will Inject javascript code onto your website in specific pages, this JavaScript code steals the visitor’s data and it will send to the attacker.

Attackers will inject the JavaScript code if you have enabled any user-generated data like comments. Within these comments, if you are allowing limited tags like strong, italic and underline there is no problem. If you are allowing additional tags, then your website may be under Cross-Site Scripting or XSS attacks.

7. Malware

Malware is a malicious code injected into your website files. With this malicious code, the attacker can perform any operation on your website to wiping your entire website’s data. These are a lot of malware, but if you are following the above things then you don’t have to worry about these malwares.

If your website contains these malwares you can see a notice while opening the website on Chrome and in Search Engines like Google.

Conclusion

If you followed the above tips to fix the issues, then you have eliminated a lot of problems on your website. If not just follow the steps and fix those issues. If you find any WordPress Security Exploits/Vulnerabilities that I’m missing, then let me know through the comment form below.

Vivek Vengala
 

Vivek Vengala is a Online Entrepreneur, Web Developer from Hyderabad India.

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