Website Hacking

Every day, approximately 500 new WordPress sites are developed. Isn’t it impressive? The bad news is that all of this fame comes at a cost! In this post, we’ll go through some of the most popular WordPress website hacking techniques as well as how to protect your site from security flaws.

According to statistics, WordPress is the most hacked Content Management System of all. A study found that 74 percent of the 8,000 infected websites were based on WordPress. Of course, it has nothing to do with WordPress’s lacklustre heart… It’s just that hackers are becoming more creative!

What does this mean for your own WordPress website, and should you be concerned?

Your site is at risk!

Here’s a reality check from someone who makes a living out of ethical hacking: your WordPress site is at risk, regardless of its scale, size, or age! Hackers aren’t just interested in large, well-protected websites; they’re also interested in smaller, less-protected sites with popular flaws that can be easily exploited. In reality, bots designed to automatically identify certain vulnerabilities in websites are used in many of these cyber attacks. They don’t always know the difference between your site and a famous one. Smaller websites are more vulnerable to hacking because they have less security measures in place.

So, the next time you think your website is too small to be attacked by a hacker, rethink. The chances of a hacker using your website to send spam, perform SEO spam or perform a malicious redirect are high. Once a hacker has discovered a security flaw in your platform, they will have a plethora of opportunities to test their spammy intentions.

6 Most Common Website Hacking Techniques

Hackers can pull off many different types of hacking attacks like:

  1. DDoS attacks,
  2. Cross-Site Scripting attack (XSS attack).
  3. Link injection attacks
  4. SQL injection attacks
  5. Session hijacking
  6. Clickjacking attacks
  7. WordPress Japanese Hack etc.

Fortunately, all of the most common threats to your WordPress site can be easily avoided. But first, we must arm you with the requisite knowledge of these common forms of hacking in order for you to take the required countermeasures.

Here are some of the most popular website hacking techniques to be aware of, as well as how to avoid them:

Plugin vulnerabilities

Plugins would have played a significant role in the growth of your website if you’ve been using WordPress extensively. After all, WordPress is made for both programmers and non-programmers. A plugin is a reliable way to bridge the gaps and integrate all kinds of functionalities to your site for anyone who wants a fast online presence.

Unfortunately, in the WordPress ecosystem, plugins are thought to be the most susceptible to hacking attempts. These plugins’ designers cannot be held completely accountable. Hackers were able to identify bugs in the plugin’s code and exploit them to gain access to sensitive data.

What options do you have?

Update Your Plugins: Keeping your plugins up to date is a safe way to reduce your exposure to this vulnerability. This allows any known bugs in the previous version to be patched.
Use a Security Scanner Plugin: You can use an automated scanner to find security flaws in your plugins and set up real-time warnings to be triggered if one is found.
Stop Plugins That Have Been Abandoned: The WordPress official plugin repository has a list of trustworthy plugins. Check for plugins that haven’t been updated in over a year and stop them.

Brute force attacks & weak password

Another entry point for hackers to attack WordPress sites is a lack of login protection. Hackers also use freely accessible software tools to create passwords and gain access to your device.

Hackers use software tools like Wireshark (sniffer) or Fiddler (proxy) to intercept your WordPress login information and steal your personal information and other confidential data.

Furthermore, brute force attacks can trigger problems for users with a shoddy credential management system. In such attacks, the hacker will produce thousands of password guesses in order to gain access. So, if your password is 12345678 or admin123, you know what to do, right?

What can you do?

Make your usernames and passwords more stable. It should be modified on a regular basis.
Choose an HTTPS link so that hackers can’t use your website’s traffic information to run a proxy tool.
As an additional authentication measure, you can use two-factor authentication by sending passcodes via email or SMS.

WordPress Core Vulnerabilities

Nothing in this universe is flawless. It can take a long time for bugs in the WordPress environment to be discovered, putting thousands of WordPress users at risk of data breaches. Fortunately, the WordPress team issues security patches and updates on a regular basis. WordPress 5.0 was released in December 2018, with a number of security updates and new features.

What options do you have?

Make it a practice to upgrade your WordPress version to the most recent version whenever possible.
The “Updates” tab under the “Dashboard” menu makes it simple to install the new WordPress updates.

Unsafe themes

You can succumb to the temptation of installing a free theme from one of your favorite search engines. But, particularly when the theme is free, how can you be sure it’s safe? Many of these free themes are either not actively supported or are simply not well-built. As a result, free themes, including obsolete plugins, are open to hacking. This does not, however, imply that all free themes are prohibited. There are a plethora of nice and dependable free themes available from developers who update and actively support them on a regular basis.

What options do you have?

Avoid using free themes without first checking their source.
Often buy high-quality themes from reputable theme designers and stores.
Regularly scan your WordPress theme for malicious code.

Hosting vulnerabilities

Another popular way for hackers to gain access is through your own hosting scheme. The SQL server that hosts your WordPress site is a potential target, and using low-quality or pooled hosting services will expose it. When one of the sites on the webserver is compromised, shared hosting can be a problem. The intruder will then obtain unauthorized access to other websites on the same server.

What options do you have?

When choosing shared hosting, look for a reputable company that prioritizes security features.
The other choice is to host your site on a virtual private server (VPS) (Virtual Private Server).
The only drawback is that it is more costly than shared hosting.

Malware & DDoS attacks

Malware on the internet is rampant, and WordPress sites are no exception. Malware and DDoS attacks, also known as distributed denial of service attacks, are two of the most popular threats to your website.

Although malware may gain backdoor access to your site or infect your files with a virus, DDoS attacks use bots to flood your site with a large amount of fake traffic. If you use a shared hosting network, your site will experience an unusual surge in traffic and may even go down. This is due to the fact that shared hosting allows for the use of limited system resources for and of the websites hosted on it. Malware and DDoS are both harmful website hacking methods that can be used together or separately to compromise the site and trigger issues.

What options do you have?

Malware scanning system: There are a plethora of malware infections on the internet, and some of them could make your WordPress site vulnerable. You can protect your website from these threats by using an automated malware scanning system that checks your website’s files for issues. If the scanner detects that your account has been compromised, you can take action to recover your hacked WordPress site. You can either use a plugin to clean your site or employ a website malware removal service to handle the hack for you.
DDoS mitigation: Purchase a smart firewall and employ an intelligent device to identify and block bot threats in real-time. You must keep real-time track of web traffic requests. And protect your device not only from malicious code/malware but also from traffic.

Protect your WordPress site from vulnerabilities

It’s a nightmare to discover that your WordPress website has been hacked. If a website has been hacked, hackers will use it to spread viruses such as the favicon.ico malware and carry out malicious activities. When Google learns that your site has been compromised, they backlist it, and your hosting company suspends it.

Although any WordPress site can be compromised, by following WordPress security best practices and being mindful of the security risks, you can keep your site secure. You can also change your website’s protocol from HTTP to HTTPS and secure the login page.

You should have a secure WordPress backup plan in addition to the security measures listed. It’s important to set up routine backups and keep track of any changes made to your confidential data. Make sure you have the option of securely sending your backups off-site to a remote backup location. In case you need to restore a backup, make sure your backup plan contains a restore feature.

You can secure your site and keep it protected from hacking attempts if you have the right skills and techniques.

Installing a security plugin is a good way to secure your site. Security plugins aid in the implementation of website security initiatives. It will also check your website every day. If the plugin detects any suspicious activity, it will notify you right away (recommended read: Repair Hacked Website).