Since the end of 2004, the US National Vulnerability Database has recorded 389 types of WordPress issues and vulnerabilities. With more than 73 million websites, WordPress has become one of the most preferred exploitation destinations for attackers across the globe. While WordPress has been continuously releasing new versions that loop up the security holes, its popularity as a blogging platform has always prompted malicious hackers to come up with new measures to hack information, interrupt service, redirect traffic or other purposes.
WordPress Issues And Their Fix
Although there are several ways in which WordPress issues can be tightened, only a few users follow them, which makes the platform even more vulnerable. The open source nature of WordPress means a lot of damage can be done also through vulnerable WordPress themes and plugins or through automated exploits, which can destroy your website and your reputation. These are the top WordPress issues and vulnerabilities that are being exploited by criminal hackers.
Insecure Plugins and Themes
WordPress offers many free plug-ins and themes that enhance the functionality of your website with minimum costs. However, you have to be aware of the fact that they may contain vulnerabilities or even hidden malicious code that can compromise your website. It is very important to download plug-ins and themes from trusted developers and also keep them updated at all times to ensure your WordPress plugin security. You can also use web tools that monitor your WordPress sites for vulnerabilities and under the hood hacker activity.
Strong Web Password
A lot of WordPress issues can be avoided with good habits and a strong password is one of them. A good password protects your site from brute attack and acts as a security gateway for your site. If an attacker is able to hack your administrator account, then he can install scripts that can possibly damage your whole server. Do not use predictable and weak passwords (first name, last name, etc), try to use combination of letters and numerals, which are more difficult to guess.
WordPress is a database-backed platform that is based on PHP scripts, which makes it vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. This means that attackers can use URL insertion attacks to access your database. Once an attacker gets access to your website using an SQL injection technique, he/she can easily steal sensitive information, such as customer data or credit card details, modify your website content or even delete your web files. SQL injections can be difficult to detect as it depends on the hacker imagination and experience. However you can prevent such attacks by changing the default database tables prefix and setting strict rules of accessibility in your .htaccess file hosted on your web server or by your web hosting provider.
Databases Access via a Root Account
All your WordPress content and web files are stored in one database. If you are using more than one web application, each application will have its own database. Your WordPress root account provides complete access to all your databases that are saved on the same web server or under the same web hosting account. If an attacker discovers your root account credentials, then he/she can get access to all your databases. Therefore, it is highly recommended to create dedicated accounts to access each individual database, rather than using your root account. For more information, read our article on why should you avoid accessing your WordPress databases using the root account.
Database permissions allow a web application to access and also modify specific parts of the database. If database permissions are not tightened down, a malicious user can exploit such permissions and modify the database content and structure. Update your database permissions with the right privileges to make sure your website database is secure.
Hacking attacks not only make cybercriminals rich and satisfied, but they also affect your site’s position in terms of search engine rankings. A site infected by spam is not only ranked low, but it also gets highlighted, which adversely affects its reputation and business potential.
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