Wordpress, initially developed as a platform for blogging, has presently become one of the rampantly utilized Content Management System (CMS) over the web. This CMS is no more restricted to blogging, but is now preferred by a number of government agencies, media organizations as well as standalone bloggers. The striking feature is that one can upload WordPress in one’s individual web space and there are free blogs which can be accessed through WordPress dot com.
Let’s take a glance at the opposite side of the coin now. Because of its immense popularity and considerable market share, WordPress has almost become an ‘apple of the eye’ for hackers and other cyberspace criminals. Once a criminal is able to make his way into any WordPress site, he can transform the same into a malicious site that will download harmful codes into the devices (desktops, laptops, etc.) from which the page is viewed. Further the criminals can indulge in vandalism and information theft leading to dire consequences for your site as well as your personal identity. Hence, it’s high time you become aware of the possible threats to your WordPress site, so that you can defend your site against malicious attacks while doing WordPress development.
Common WordPress Security Threats
Forced Login: This refers to attempts by unauthorized users to infiltrate into your site by using different combinations of usernames as well as passwords. Most of the times, these people will be able to break into your website because they have the requisite tools and programs. But there is always a way out. You can go for passwords that are more secure and also limit the number of attempts for logging in through a plug-in installation.
Validation of login information: In case the user enters some incorrect information, the present login form informs him exactly in which part the mistake has occurred. For example, in case the user puts in a wrong username and the correct password, Wordpress will immediately inform that the username is incorrect. This validation of wrong information becomes a serious threat to the security of WordPress because it gives the hacker in-depth information about which part of the login details he needs to change. To fix this problem, there is a particular line of code which you can enter into the functions.php file of the Wordpress theme which will just tell the user that the login information is incorrect, without going into further details.
Registration across the globe: All Wordpress sites allow registration from any part of the globe by anyone. However, by default, this function is disabled. It is advisable not to enable this function unless you want to reach out to a global audience. To make sure that this particular option is disabled, go for ‘General’ settings in the ‘Settings’ tab and uncheck the option which allows any person to register. If you wish people to comment or offer feedback on the content of your website, use a different commenting system for the same rather than allowing visitors to directly register with your site.
Easy Admission for Editors: Owners of WordPress sites are usually in the habit of providing access to those who would be editing the content of the site. This indeed is a good option so far as the layout and design is concerned, but there is always the risk of people obtaining unauthorized access to the dashboard, from where it is possible to change the background, layout, theme and other features of the site. However, you can conveniently prevent such access by entering a specific line of code in the functions.php file.
Version of WordPress: The latest version of Wordpress comes with 37 bug fixes which include remedies for three critical security loopholes. Older versions possess these flaws and hence are susceptible to attack by cyberspace criminals. It is always good to use the most updated version of WordPress. However, if you are unable to do so, you can simply hide information that reveals the WordPress version you are using.
Remember that with the growing popularity of this CMS, hackers with come up with newer means to cause a breach in the WordPress security systems. Hence, one should always adopt the latest and most stable version, enhance login security and restrict global registration to avoid WordPress security threats. Happy Blogging!
Watch Out For WordPress Security Threats!