WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS system. Learn what common attacks WordPress faces and how to prevent them with the best security techniques. About 75 million websites use WordPress. To put that number in perspective, there are an estimated 172 million website total worldwide. So about 40% of total global web traffic runs on it.

Many tend to think of WordPress as a small and medium-sized business solution. But even big names like The New Yorker, Sony Music, and BBC America are WordPress-powered.

Most Common Attacks on WordPress Sites and How to Prevent Them

Since WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) of choice for much of the internet, it’s also a significant target for cybercrime. That’s why every WP user needs to know the most common attacks on WordPress sites and practical solutions on how to keep your website safe.

Common Types of Attacks on WP Sites

Here are the most prevalent types of attacks WP owners need to recognize:

SQL Injection

Underneath the WordPress CMS platform is a database layer that stores administrative information. It contains elements like user data, content storage, and site configuration information. SQL or Structured Query Language is what makes all this work.

Hackers can inject malicious SQL into your website to run a customized command. They can do everything from viewing extra information through “Select” queries to changing data and more.

And SQL attacks happen more often than you realize. Cybercriminals using SQL injection were behind attacks on NASDAQ, Heartland, 7-eleven, and other significant data breaches. Each year, these attacks alone cost companies an estimated $300 million.

Cross-site Scripting

Cross-site scripting attacks (XSS) resemble SQL injections. But they target JavaScript page elements instead of databases.  These attacks result in the compromised private information of the users. It happens because hacked JavaScript redirects users to fraudulent landing pages. They do resemble their target destination. But once customers input personal details, they go straight to the hands of hackers.

XSS attacks can affect even the most prominent names. Hackers have used them on eBay product pages for years.

Command Injection

WordPress operates on three main layers:

  • the database server
  • Application server
  • the webserver

Each of these servers represents different areas of potential vulnerability.  Using command injection attacks, hackers target a specific layer and enter malicious information. On the surface, the code will appear normal. But underneath, the command can prompt layers to display vital information, such as file lists and directories.

Internet-connected cameras are a frequent target of command injection attacks. For example, researchers discovered a vital flaw makes popular macOS Terminal app vulnerable to command injection attacks.

File Inclusion

WordPress relies on popular coding languages like PHP and Java. As a result, they allow web programmers to use external files and scripts in code to create website features. This activity is known as the “include” command.

Hackers can manipulate WP sites to exploit the “include” code section. It allows them to access the application server. More often than not, plugins are a target for these types of attacks. Once a user installs an infected plugin, hackers can gain access to all data on the server.

How to Prevent WP Attacks

WordPress attacks may come in other forms, but you now have the tools to recognize potential threats. Here are the essential things you need to do to increase your WP security:

Check Your Plugins To Prevent Common Attacks

One of the best things about WP is the massive number of third-party developers creating new themes and plugins. They offer you so much flexibility and freedom to extend and customize your site.

But to avoid security risks, always download plugins and themes from WordPress.org. Make sure to check the reviews and the history of developers to know that the add-ons are from a trustworthy source. Finally, always update plugins to get the latest security patches.

Secure Your Internet Connection

Cybercriminals exploit internet connection vulnerabilities to hack devices, networks, and WordPress sites. For example, hackers may infect your computer with malware such as keyloggers. Then they can record your keystrokes to save your login credentials. Or they may create a fake landing page — as discussed above — to gain access to your information.

Protect your device with antivirus and your internet connection with a virtual private network (VPN). When you connect to a VPN server, it encrypts your traffic before it reaches your target web destination. It prevents hackers and other parties from tracking your internet activity and infecting. Some VPN providers even have cybersecurity features. These also warn you about other threats, such as suspicious sites and downloads.

Use a Secure Host

Most people operate a WP site through a cloud hosting environment. Be sure to use cloud hosting services that offer SSL encryption and other security tools like internal firewalls.

In addition, do your homework. Find platforms that have a solid reputation for protection against cyberattacks. And you don’t need to trade-off for performance. The best providers offer both fast speeds and security.

No More WordPress Common Attacks

Finally, no matter what are the goals of your website, the security of your WP site is essential for achieving them. In conclusion, recognize the most common WP attacks and start implementing strategies to prevent them. Not only will you create a safer environment for yourself and your users but also contribute to better internet security.

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