The Guide to Eliminating WordPress Vulnerability

Is your WordPress secure? What is WordPress vulnerability you should look at ours for? Are you in a lookout for new clients to expand your business, then the website is the initial point of contact for potential customers to know about you, your brand and trust your business?

With WordPress gaining more and more acceptance over the years, the hackers have found means to break into your sites. Hackers won’t target your website, they would instead target a vulnerability that exists for plugins, content management systems, or templates. 

Have you heard of ransomware? It’s malware that has the power of taking your own access to your website by permanently blocking it. The owner of this malware will then demand a ransom amount to be paid to get you back the access.

If Google finds you as a victim of this malware, it will blacklist and un-index your website, and you will no longer rank in google searches, whenever a user visits your website he will be informed by the browser about the security issue on your website.  Hence it is very important to keep in mind your WordPress Security.


The Risk of WordPress vulnerability

Here is a list of threats that can put your WordPress at risk.

  • Backdoors: The backdoor WordPress vulnerability bypasses security encryption to gain access to the WordPress website via abnormal methods like WordPress admin, SFTP, FTP. The malicious files resemble as if they are real WordPress files.
  • Cross-site Scripting (XSS): The main intention here is to steal confidential data such as passwords. This is done by injecting vulnerable files in your WordPress installation. The plugins developed by new or non-trusted developers are the main cause of this kind of attack.
    It is executed through JavaScript and CSS. Hackers can harm website visitors that includes cookie theft, keylogging, phishing, planting trojans, and identity theft, and you won’t realize the loss.
  • Pharma Hacks: Your WordPress files, themes, and plugins should be updated to the latest versions. The outdated files are easily attacked by hackers to inject codes that display pharma ads such as Viagra and other illegitimate drugs to visitors. This will eventually lead to a loss of trust among visitors.
  • Phishing: This a very common method of stealing a visitor password adopted by hackers. It is one of the most common methods adopted by hackers to steal your visitor’s passwords. You might have received emails from unknown addresses, avoid clicking on these links, it may look like a trusted source but it would be a hacker.
    Hackers make use of your server and WP Installation to send infected emails to their victim’s email list. Identifying that your website is infected by phishing scripts is difficult but regular scans can help us to avoid it.
  • Malicious Redirects: As the word says redirects, hackers can redirect your website to other websites by means of injecting a redirection code in any one of the files such as .htaccess file. When a visitor visits your site or any of the pages of your site, they will be redirected to a malicious website. The visitor who just entered your site can be a lead or a customer. This will lead to a loss of trust in your business.
  • Denial of Service: Use themes and plugins from developers who have written good quality code, any weak points in code allows hackers to increase the RAM usage of the server by making recurring requests, which results in abandoning the website to respond to other website visitors. A single resource is then utilized by multiple systems which ultimately makes the website stops responding.
    As the potential clients and customers are unable to access the website at this stage, this leads to huge business loss.

Are you in search of a Secure, Reliable and Trusted WordPress Hosting?

Choosing a hosting provider who gives priority to security, and also follows a high standard of measures to maintain security is mandatory. You should rely on managed WordPress hosting that provides protection from all malware.

A good hosting provider will always :

  • Be a careful observant. They can track the activity by hackers, and create checkpoints to guard against any type of attack.
  • Irrespective of the size of the attack, small or large, attacks can be identified by using state of art tools as there is continuous monitoring of the server.
  • The software and hardware used should always be upgraded versions.
  • User firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
  • Daily backups, and easy and automatic backup and restore options should be provided.
  • Regular scanning of all the files against threats, malware, ransomware, and other viruses.
  • It should provide HTTPS support.
  • The support facility should be always ready to take action in case of any incidents.
  • Managed WordPress Hosting plans should mee the needs of WordPress.

Always maintain PHP version-It should be the latest

WordPress is developed using PHP codes. The latest version of PHP should be used to develop WordPress sites. PHP code is the building block of your WordPress site. You will get 2 years of support against the security issues for PHP versions. During this time period, all the necessary security patches are provided by developers after which it becomes obsolete.

 

The latest version of PHP is 7.3 which is optimized for better speed and security features. The versions below PHP 7.0 are not secured. The recommended versions are 7.0, 7.1, 7.2 or 7.3.WPOven uses the latest version of  PHP that is version 7.0 and above. You can select the PHP version you would like to use but remember opting for lower versions increases the chances of being vulnerable to attacks.

 


Create usernames and passwords hackers cannot break

How can we make usernames and passwords difficult to guess and remember?

Strong passwords can be created by using a combination of alphanumeric characters. Usernames and passwords should be hard to guess. Remember to periodically change your passwords. Following these best practices can help you keep your WordPress website secured.


Secure wp-config file:

When you install WordPress, you’ll receive a file called the wp-config.php file that contains database login details and other authentication keys, as well as other details about your database (like table prefix, DB Host URL).

Let me explain to you the ways to secure it using this file:

  • Changing the location of the wp-config file: Wp-config file is located in the root directory of your WordPress Installation. You just have to create another wp-config file and place it in a location that is not easily accessible and use it as a reference to the original wp-config file.
  • Changing default WP Security Keys: AUTH_KEY, SECURE_AUTH_KEY, LOGGED_IN_KEY, and NONCE_KEY  are the 4 types of randomly generated alphanumeric keys in every wp-config.
  • Changing File Permissions: It is advisable to change file permissions to set to 400 so that it is not readable by external sources. Alternately, you can set it to 440 if 400 creates some sort of issue for the WP Installation to work properly.

Hiding WP Version

If an attacker is known about the version of WP being used then he can exploit the WordPress vulnerability that is specific to that version. So, your WordPress version should be completely hidden. This can be achieved by adding a small code in your functions.php file. This decreases your WordPress vulnerability

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function wp_version_remove_version() {

return ”;

}

add_filter(‘the_generator’, ‘wp_version_remove_version’);

Besides appearing in the header you can also identify WordPress version through the readme text file. You can delete this file (readme.html) from your installation.

Finally

WordPress, Theme Developers, and Plugin Developers launch new versions frequently. We will recommend keeping everything updated to its latest version on your WordPress Installation. Regular Scanning using security plugins and using the latest versions of all the software is important to keep your WordPress site secured.


About the Author

Aabhas Vijay is a Digital Marketer with 4+ Yrs experience in content management. With holistic knowledge of all marketing channels. He is also a passionate blogger and freelance writer. His current project is WPOwen, his previous project is RecycleDevice.

 

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