The Vulnerability of WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system and blogging platforms which uses open-source software. Even though it powers nearly 24 percent of websites worldwide, security issues have plagued the platform ever since its release in 2003.
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Over a period of years, many mass hackings have taken place of WordPress-powered websites; a report released in 2013 by a security firm stated that nearly 73.2 percent of the websites running WordPress were vulnerable because they were using outdated versions of the software.

Many plugins used by WordPress are also vulnerable; in 2015, it was discovered that plugins like Jetpack, Yoast, and Gravity Forms were susceptible to cross-site scripting or XSS.

Who’s Responsible?

Generally speaking, WordPress websites are attacked by these three entities:

  • Human hackers
  • Bots
  • Botnets

These entities look for potential loopholes and security vulnerabilities in the themes or plugins used by WordPress or in the software itself. When they do, they can easily target and attack them simultaneously. This is again because most people fail to update their WordPress software on time.

The main purposes of gaining access to a WordPress-powered website are:

  • Sending spam emails
  • To host content that is illegal and malicious
  • Steal vital data
  • Using the website to redirect traffic to a malicious website
  • Attacking other websites

How Can You Protect Yourself?

As stated earlier, the best way to protect your WordPress website is to update each and every plugin, theme, and software as soon as the new updates are rolled out. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Use strong passwords for all accounts.
  • While selecting a shared hosting provider, go for the one who is reputable.
  • Ensure all the themes, plugins, and the core software is updated.
  • Implement Wordfence which prevents PHP attacks and security exploits.
  • Use HTTPS.
  • Your website should contain a web application firewall.
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