WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) of all time. Developers love it because it’s easy to set up and learn, allowing non-programmers to build great-looking websites.
According to W3Techs, as of 2021, WordPress has 40% of the CMS market share. Despite WordPress being very popular among developers and hosting providers, there is a growing concern over how safe this platform actually is. Let’s explore the safety of WordPress and the common causes of security compromises it gets.
The Safety of WordPress
WordPress is open-source software, meaning that anyone can take a look at its source code. This is great for developers, but it also means that anyone with a decent understanding of PHP can potentially exploit a vulnerability. The good news is that the WordPress development team releases many security updates and patches. But the bad news is that this platform is constantly under attack from malicious users and organizations who want to exploit WordPress vulnerabilities.
The Common Reasons WordPress Sites Get Hacked
WordPress is a frequent target, and here are the common reasons:
1. Plain Old WordPress Theme Vulnerabilities
The most common reason WordPress-powered sites get hacked is that the WordPress developers who made the theme they’re using overlooked a vulnerability. This is why it’s crucial to download free WordPress themes only from reliable sources.
2. WordPress Security Updates
WordPress sites often get hacked because they are not updated with the latest security patches. You should make it a habit always to keep your WordPress site updated. Better yet, install plugins that will do it automatically for you.
3. WordPress Plugin Vulnerabilities
Similar to WordPress themes, plugins can have vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Always be careful which plugins you install and from where you get them. Some websites will “mirror” popular plugins and then hack those instead of the original plugin files.
4. Directory Traversal
Directory traversal is one of the oldest attack vectors known to man. It exploits a web server’s ability to traverse directories and allows hackers to break out of the standard directories on a web server. This is how they get to sensitive data they are not supposed to access.
5. Malicious Scripts
Malicious scripts are usually injected into a WordPress Hack Exploit by a hacker’s PHP payload. After the script is executed, it checks the site’s privileges, then does the dirty work by executing the attack.
6. SQL Injection
SQL Injection is an attack that targets vulnerable websites and uses a form of code injection to corrupt databases and gains access to sensitive data.
7. RCE (Remote Code Execution)
In essence, RCE is an attack that allows malicious code to be executed on a remote server.
Know the Risks, Protect Your Site
As the popularity of WordPress increases, so will the attacks on your website. Many well-known webmasters have already become victims of hackers, seeing their sites defaced with embarrassing images and other harmful code. You don’t want your website, especially if it’s an income-generating one, to be hacked, right? By knowing the common causes of WordPress security issues, you’ll be able to develop an effective security plan for your website.
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