How to Hack WordPress

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How to Hack Wordpress

WordPress is one of the best platforms for beginners and people who want to create interactive websites without having the knowledge of coding. It has many features that include SEO plugins, a drag-and-drop page builder, and pre-built layouts that you can use to create an impeccable website.

However, many people have concerns over the security aspects of a WordPress website. This is because hackers often hack into the website and consume all the personal and client data while compromising the safety and security of the site. Furthermore, the owners are sometimes unaware that their website is being hacked as they don’t get any notifications regarding the security breach.

Attacks can take place through bots that try to find user IDs and passwords by enumerating millions of user IDs and password combinations using the wp.login.php URLs. Also known as brute-force and dictionary hacks, these unethical hackers can hack into your WordPress site easily. So what happens if WordPress doesn’t inform you about any malicious activities happening on your site? How are you going to identify them? This article will discuss different types of hacks that happen on the WordPress system and how you can prevent them.

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9 Types of WordPress Hacks

When you are using WordPress, your website is always exposed to unethical hackers. Whether you are running a simple website or an e-commerce website, it doesn’t matter as hackers will try to steal your website data and breach privacy. Attackers often target the server where your website is hosted. They will send spams and perform untraceable hacks that are getting the information back to the source. Here are some most common hacks that your WordPress website might face:

1. Backdoors

Attackers mostly attack the backdoors of the given website in WordPress. These doors enable them to send infected files into the website, and bypass access controls easily. These files are again utilized to infect the site and retain access. This is the main reason why websites across WordPress get hacked easily.

2. RCE (Remote Code Execution)

Another possible way for hackers to get into your website and hack it unethically is through Remote Code Execution. When they are accessing the website’s admin panel using malware installed on the site, they remotely tend to execute codes on the websites. They can do anything with the code that is executed on your website, such as stealing the website and user data stored on the website’s server.

3. Remote File Inclusions and Local File Inclusions

There are many vulnerable inclusion methods used in WordPress to add files from any given location or server. Attackers tend to use this vulnerability by sending spams and malware to hack into the system easily. You can avoid this by implementing strict input validation protocols.

4. Broken Authentication or Session Management

When users log into your website, they are assigned with the USI (Unique Session Identifier) or commonly known as Session ID or Session Cookie. The SSL must protect these cookies as it logs out the users after a session is timed out. If the website does not have a proper authentication system, then hackers can also use such methods to steal users’ identities easily. Weak session IDs, exposed IDs in the URLs, sessions running for a long time, fixation attackers exploiting session IDs, accepting weak passwords or usernames, and improper management of user credentials can expose everything to the hackers they need.

5. Brute-Force Attacks

It is one of the common ways that attackers use to gain access to websites. They use algorithms that guess the correct combinations of user’s credentials through repetitive attempts. These unethical hackers have a set of commonly-used credentials that they utilize to access your WordPress sites easily. Therefore, you will have to implement stringent security measures to protect user data and prevent it from getting into the hands of hackers.

6. Injection Attacks

Many unethical hackers use entry fields to type malicious codes directly into the website. These are known as injections. It happens when attackers write commands through special data that are entered into the right input fields. This can trick the site into executing those malicious commands. All attackers can easily access the system’s data through such injections and steal the entire web data without letting the website owner know anything about it.

There are many types of injection attacks. The first one is SQL injections, where the unethical hackers write SQL queries through input data and gain access to the WordPress database. Once they have accessed the database, they can easily alter data and carry admin operations easily. Cross-site scripting, commonly known as XSS attacks, is another type of injection where unethical hackers write malicious scripts to websites that directly access the database. Web apps separate data and codes before it delivers them to the users. However, in such cases, these input codes cannot be distinguished by the users when these attackers are using markup codes to fill the data. A user’s browser will execute commands that give hackers access to their cookies, tokens, content, and other data available on their HTML pages.

7. MIME Confusion attacks

These are another type of content-based confusion injection attacks where the hackers use the tendencies of web applications to check their file extensions. These attackers will upload files with the appropriate file extensions that can execute codes easily. This will open up the backdoors of XSS to the hackers, and they can start manipulating the data.

8. Clickjacking

It is also addressed by UI redressing where the users are directed to different web pages from a specific button on a given page that they have clicked upon. Hackers perform this action by creating web pages that have transparent and opaque layers.

9. DDoS attacks

These types of attacks will send massive traffic to a specific online service from multiple sources. It will overwhelm the website server and make the site inaccessible to the users, owners, and admins. The hackers perform this action through malware that they install on the computers of web users by tricking them to click malicious links. These computers then become botnets and can be easily controlled to create traffic. Users are not aware of these attacks until they can’t access the websites. Also, the users are not aware that they are clicking on a malicious link and are participating in any malicious attacks unknowingly.

Tips to Prevent Hack Attacks on Your WordPress Website

There can be many possible attacks on your WordPress websites that mostly intend to steal website and user data. To avoid getting your websites hacked, here are certain steps that you must take:

1. Always Use the Updated Version of WordPress

When you run your website on an updated version of WordPress, you make sure that your website has employed all the latest security measures provided by WordPress. About 86 percent of WordPress websites are running on outdated versions, and this needs to be addressed immediately.

Every WordPress update comes with new features, bug fixations, and other security fixes. This helps your website to remain safe and secured against any common and exploitable vulnerabilities.

2. Update Your Themes or Plugins Regularly

Running your website on the latest WordPress version is not enough. You will have to install updates for all plugins or themes that you are using on your WordPress website. This will help avoid vulnerabilities and malicious threats that might put your website’s security at risk.

If you have installed plugins on your site, then you must update them regularly. If you fail to do so, unethical hackers may be able to attack your website and steal your credentials easily. It will also compromise your business as the site will be down for hours and might not be retrieved back because of these attacks.

Therefore, you must ensure that you should update the plugins, themes, and other software that you have integrated with your website.

3. Avoid Installing Many Plugins or Themes

WordPress allows you to expand the functionality and personalize your site as per your preferences by offering several plugins, layouts, themes, and many other integrations. When you expand your site and customize it more, you must not compromise your site’s security and safety.

If you are running many WordPress plugins or installations on your site, you will be vulnerable to several online attacks. The enumerations of plugins will enable hackers to review all the plugins that you are currently using. By avoiding excessive use of plugins, you can prevent your site from being hacked as the hackers will have fewer chances of finding a vulnerability on your website.

Make sure you install only those plugins, themes, or integrations that you think are necessary for your website to run properly and as intended. Also, before downloading any plugins or themes, make sure to go through their manuals appropriately. This will help you to prevent installing a malicious plugin or theme on your website.

When installing a plugin, check the number of installations it has and the last update or upgrades rolled out by the owners, developers, and authors. If there are many downloads or latest updates, then there are fewer chances of it being malicious.

4. Remove Unauthorized or Inactive Users

When you have a WordPress website, monitoring users becomes an essential task. This will decrease the chances and attack surface for any unethical hackers. One of the major points you need to consider is removing inactive users or suspicious users with weak passwords or user IDs.

Also, you need to carefully examine and decide the roles and permissions of users having access to your website.

5. Security Configurations

When you are performing SEO, you will come across a Directory Listing term that everyone must know. It happens when your server doesn’t find index files like index.php, index.html, and so on. If it is turned on, these servers will show HTML pages linked directly to the blogs or content.

Information disclosure will make your site more vulnerable as it exposes certain data and information that aren’t supposed to become publicly available. Therefore, you must disable the Apache HTTP servers to ensure that your data and information are not publicly visible.

6. Complicated Security Credentials

WordPress has long and random security keys. These keys are encrypted through cryptographic salts. These keys will make sure that your data and information are properly stored in the cookies. Users must use a strong password and passphrases to secure their data when registering on your website. You can also make random keys and use the online key generator tool to develop a strong password for your WordPress website. Then, you can just copy and paste these passphrases that you have generated and upload them to your wp.config.php files.

7. Restricting Access to Directory

Another best way to prevent malicious hacks into your website is by protecting your admin panel with passwords and HTTP authentication. It’s an efficient measure that will throw all the hackers out of your WordPress site by not allowing them to access your admin files. If they still manage to find passwords, they cannot bypass HTTP authentication to access the login forms. It adds another layer of security to your website, making it secured and protected from all ends.

You will have to activate HTTP authentication with the references and wp-admin directories and insert the proper coding channels into your commands.

Conclusion

There are several types of hacks or cyber-attacks that your WordPress website is vulnerable to. However, if you follow the tips mentioned above in this article, you can safeguard your website from many common hacking attacks. Also, you can research more on how to take proper security measures to prevent your websites from getting hacked. Also, always make sure to create an offline backup for your site so that in case it gets hacked, you still have all the important data to restore your website.

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