Common Attacks on WordPress


The biggest content management system (CMS) with 50000+ plugins and themes that has various features for both amateurs and experts to create professional and extensive websites at the click of a button – this description would have, for sure, sparked the name of WordPress in a lot of minds. However, with the good comes the bad, and cyberattacks & hacking attempts against WordPress have only increased in intensity and frequency. 

As a WordPress site developer or owner, here are some of the more common attacks you need to guard your site against for the best wordpress security :

SQL Injection Attacks

This is a common – and extra dangerous – method of inserting malicious code by a hacker to cause damage or gain illegitimate access to your WordPress site. 

The malicious code is usually in the form of SQL queries or statements to manipulate the MySQL database of the site. Your WordPress site is extra susceptible to SQL injection attacks if you’ve user input sections such as contact forms or search boxes. Watch out for themes and plugins that might form a weak link to your armor, especially if they are outdated or installed by unreliable or untrustworthy developers.

Your MySQL Database software is greatly vulnerable to SQL injection attacks, so always make sure to keep on top of the software updates and limit (completely, if needed) access to your MySQL credentials. You can also change the default WordPress database name to confuse the hackers, something only you can identify uniquely and keeps your site’s backend neat and your database details safe.

Cross-site scripting attacks

Often referred to as XSS attacks, these include the background uploading of malicious JavaScript code by the hackers who wish to illegally collect and access the site’s data without the user knowing about it, or even redirecting to another site that isn’t safe. If you’ve heard of phishing attacks, they are a kind of XSS attack. 

To avoid this, you should make sure that proper data validation practices are implemented across the site – all information and data are matched to its exact location and where they are meant to be. 

Brute force attacks

As your primary layer of security, your login credentials protect you from hacking attempts like brute force attacks. As the name suggests, brute force attacks imply hackers trying out multiple combinations of usernames and passwords at the same time to see which unlocks your account. This is usually done by an automated bot since it’s practically impossible by a human, but yields results against weak passwords and default usernames like ‘admin’.

The WordPress password strength meter prefers long passwords, ones that contain special symbols and alphanumeric characters, avoidance of anything that directly connects to you or your business, etc. Utilizing the two-factor authentication process as an extra layer of security is also a great idea. 

WordPress core vulnerabilities

Being open-source software, WordPress has the advantage of reducing the costs of running your business with extensive opportunities to expand your customer service, but the disadvantage of being left open to the attacks of any hacker present on the Internet. 

Another way of opening your Software for commercial property management site to hacking attempts is the simultaneous running of updated versions of WordPress along with the older versions of WordPress’ scripting language i.e., PHP. 

In order to utilize the services of developers who regularly peruse through WordPress to find out all security issues and resolve them, make sure to regularly update as soon as they are made available. 

Plugin and Theme Vulnerabilities

While extensions, plugins, and themes are great for adding extra features to your WordPress site, poorly written code, unverified third-party developers or lack of proper updates can be misused by hackers as points of entry for malicious code and take advantage of security weaknesses or loopholes. 

You can use the ‘Plugin Security Scanner’ found under the Dashboard > Tools for finding out if there are any potential issues in any of the installed plugins. If any plugin hasn’t been updated for over 6 months, then it is likely that it has entirely been abandoned, so keep an eye out for any exploitation or vulnerabilities, and delete them if they aren’t necessary to the functioning of the WordPress site.

DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack has gained a reputation for going after big names like Netflix and Amazon, occurring when the webserver is bombarded with a huge volume of requests, causing the server to crash. These attacks are often highly organized and aim for all kinds of websites and organizations, be it big or small. 

Well disguised, powerful, and difficult to handle, there are still a couple of things you can do to prevent them. Try disabling exploited APIs during the attack to reduce the number of requests, disable third-party applications interacting with the WordPress site, use plugins that automatically block suspicious IPs, etc. 

Worried that your site will not be able to handle all these possible attacks – check out Astra Security today!