5 Most Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities With Fixes

5 Most Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities With Fixes. Technology has tremendous growth in the past two decades, and so is Cyber Attacks and Vulnerabilities. Security affects everyone equally, irrespective of your – business size, platform, area, or audience. Being the most used Content Management Software on the Internet makes WordPress the most hacked and highly vulnerable. In 2018, WordPress accounted for 90% of the infected website platforms, according to the report of Sucuri  –  a website security plugin

Are you planning to create a WordPress website for your business? Then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn about the most common WordPress Vulnerabilities and how to fix them.

Okay, without further ado, let’s get started with security Vulnerabilities in WordPress.

Is WordPress Secure?

Yes, it is. But like all other technologies, there are still some vulnerabilities and threats.  The Annual WordPress Report disclosed more than 1,628 Vulnerabilities in 2021. 

As the WordPress source code is available to everyone, it’s easy for hackers to find new vulnerabilities. If the attackers can find a loophole in one site, they will check for the same in every other website, so there is a high chance for your website to be attacked randomly without any specific purpose.

The WordPress developers and security team constantly look for new vulnerabilities and update them as patches regularly. As end user, we can’t change the core structure of WordPress site. However, we can protect ourselves from various security issues by conducting website security audits regularly. 

5 Most Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities

1. Brute Force Attack :

Brute Force Attack is a trial and error method of finding the correct username and password using multiple attempts. In layman’s terms, it’s like continuously banging the door until it breaks open. Brute force attacks are difficult to execute yet account for 16.1% of WordPress vulnerabilities. 

WordPress does not restrict the user from making multiple attempts, which makes the Brute Force Attack possible. Even if they don’t find your credentials, a continuous brute force attack can overload the server and affect the performance. 

Brute Force Attack
Image Courtesy by www.ssl2buy.com

How to prevent from Brute Force Attack?

A simple and easy way to prevent Brute Force Attack is to create a strong password and username with numbers, symbols, and Capital letters. Introducing two-factor authentication (2FA) and bot protection like Captcha login can safeguard your site from the Brute Force Attack. It is better to limit the login attempts if possible. 

It’s better to change your site’s login URL from the default WordPress login URL, which will make it difficult to find your login credentials. However, it comes with the risk of losing the new URL and being locked out of the site.

2. SQL Injections

SQL injection is the old school way of web hacking. If your website has a MySQL database and takes input from users, then you should be alert to SQL Injections. SQL refers to Structured Query Language. It is a program used to access and manage your site database.

By injecting a SQL program inside your site, the hackers can get admin access to your site. It enables them to change the customer database, provide links to malicious sites on your pages, create or delete accounts, etc.

Here is a YouTube video explaining SQL Injections –

How to Prevent WordPress from SQL Injection?

It is better to be sceptical of all types of user input, whether it’s a comment section or payment details. Restrict submission of special characters that resemble a SQL program. You may also consider using any renowned WordPress security plugin. And including a captcha in the final step of submission can protect your site from bots.

3. Cross Site Scripting Attacks

Cross-Site Scripting is also known as XSS attacks. An XSS vulnerability is the highly (54.4%)  discovered security vulnerability of WordPress in 2021. In this most common WordPress Vulnerability, the attacker targets your user’s browser data instead of yours.

Here, the hacker places a malicious Java script into the back-end of a website. Mostly these Java Scripts are installed into your server through unsecured or uncertified plugins or themes. These script loads without the knowledge of the site admin and visitor.

Once the attackers access the front end display, they show – fake products and redirect the viewers to malicious links. Sometimes, he may collect sensitive information acting as the site owner.

This YouTube video explains the Cross-Site Vulnerability in detail.

How to prevent a Cross-Site Scripting Attack?

Always keep your plugins and theme updated to the latest version. Do thorough research while selecting third party software. Another best way to prevent yourself from XSS is using a Web Application Firewall (WAF).

4. Malware

Malware attack is a broad concept for WordPress security developers and all developers. Two words ‘Malicious’ and ‘Software’ are joined together and form the word malware.

As the previous vulnerability, the hackers insert malware through outdated or fake WordPress plugins or extensions. This code gives the hacker control of your site or server.  He can either steal or insert any new things or do both without your notice.

The damage of malware can be mild or critical based on the type of malware and the detection time. Technicians have classified malware attacks into types. In 2021, more than 61.65% of websites fell victim to malware attacks.

Here is a YouTube for your better understanding.

How to guard your WordPress against Malware attacks?

The main problem with malware is detecting one. Though WordPress shows an error message if you try to install any malicious file, it is not enough. It is better to do regular security scans through various third-party plugins or security audits.

Try to list or arrange your files directory in a particular order so that you can easily find out if any new unauthorized files. Many hosting service providers provide Malware scanning options.  Make use of them and update the WordPress core to the latest version.

5. DDoS Attack

DDoS refers to Distributed Denial of Service. It is a new version of DoS Attack. If you regularly maintain an internet presence, you should have heard about the infamous DDoS. Compared to other attacks or vulnerabilities listed above, this attack takes the target instead of randomly.

It’s common among the rivals in a competitive field. A large volume of requests is sent to a website making it slow. The ultimate goal of the DDoS attack is to – block the access of administrators and visitors to a particular website. 

Though you don’t lose any site data and the access can be retained after a time, your business will lose its reputation. 

How to prevent your business from DDoS Attacks?

In the case of DDoS attacks, you can’t guard your site using plugins or software after a certain level. The web hosting service provider is the one who can prevent your WordPress site from DDoS attacks. So it’s mandatory to choose the best hosting service provider.

WP Cloud SSO Single Sign On

WPCloud SSO benefits

1.WordPress Single Sign On.

2.Protect Your Website with auto redirect to IdP.

3.  Attribute Mapping.

4. Auto Redirect SSO.

5. WordPress Role Mapping.

6. Apply it in multiple Environments Support and Migration (Dev, Staging, Prod).

7.WordPress Multisite SSO.

8.Profile Picture.

5 Most Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities Conclusion

In this article we look at 5 most common WordPress security vulnerabilities. Other than these five most common ones, there are more out on the Internet, such as: 

  • Hotlinking.
  • Cross site Request Forgery (CSRF).
  • Supply Chain Attacks.
  • Phishing. 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO ) Spam. 
  • Credit Card Skimming.

It’s common among the rivals in a competitive field. A large volume of requests is sent to a website making it slow. The ultimate goal of the DDoS attack is to – block the access of administrators and visitors to a particular website. 

If you find something suspicious, go to the bottom of it. In cyber attacks, the soon you find it, the better it is. We can’t avoid unknown threats, but we can protect ourselves against the known ones. Prevention is better than cure. 

I hope this article has helped you to secure your WordPress site. If you have any further queries, please leave them in the comment section below. Happy site building!

Avatar for Bala V M
Bala V M

I am a self-motivated Article writer who wishes to share my knowledge with others on Linux, WordPress and Windows security. I have been working in Technical Server Niche for the past two years.

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