Security Issues With WordPress

WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and Risks

Brute Force Attacks

Cross-Site Scripting

  • Stored cross-site scripting, also known as Persistent XSS, is the most alarming type of XSS that relies on malicious scripts to be permanently stored on the website’s database. This implies that whenever any user requests a page of the site, the malicious payload is sent to the user’s browser as part of the HTML response.
  • Reflected cross-site scripting, also known as non-persistent XSS, involves a malicious script to be sent along with the user request. A successful attack typically requires the attacker to send the malicious script to each user separately. The script is then ‘reflected’ back such that the web server’s HTTP response includes the malicious payload sent as part of the request. In this case, attackers use ambush social engineering to deceive users into sending the malicious script to the webserver.
  • In DOM-based XSS attacks, hackers inject malicious payloads if the website’s client-side scripts can write data provided by a Document Object Model (DOM). A common cause of this vulnerability is when developers do not include additional security measures to handle data correctly. Once injected, the malicious payload is then executed when the webserver reads data back from the DOM.

File Inclusion Exploits

  • Local file inclusion (LFI) — These vulnerabilities enable hackers to include files on the server using their web browser. LFI exploits are easily performed on websites that accept files without properly sanitizing user input. An attacker can modify the input so that they inject special characters into the path and access other files hosted on the webserver. In most WordPress applications, successful LFI exploits occur due to insufficient validation of the Ajax path parameter when requesting the Ajax shortcode pattern.php script.
  • Remote file inclusion (RFI) — Attackers leverage RFI vulnerabilities to include remote files on the webserver. These attacks are less common and are carried out on websites that dynamically include external scripts and files. If the application receives an arbitrary file through an unsanitized path, it creates an attack surface, leading to information theft, XSS attacks, and remote code execution attacks.

Malware attacks

  • Viruses — Software that replicates by injecting malicious code into other applications. Attackers use viruses to affect the website’s core functionality or add spam content that degrades the user experience.
  • Trojan horse — Hackers use Trojan horses to perform a wide range of malicious actions for a WordPress website, including corrupting the wp-config.php file, FTP files and exploiting the system’s resources.
  • Ransomware — Some attacks, like the WannaCry attack, make WordPress websites inaccessible until the hackers are paid to remove the malicious software. This can have catastrophic effects, including loss of revenue, tarnished reputation, and penalties from compliance authorities.

The major security issue to be considered for WordPress sites

The importance to find WordPress Security issues for business

Why have WordPress Sites vulnerabilities?

Use of an outdated theme, plugin, or core

Use of common and weak passwords

WordPress plugins for security issues

iThemes Security plugin


  • Real-time backup for all website changes
  • One-click recovery
  • Event and activity log
  • Spam protection of all user input interfaces
  • Email alerts for site unavailability


  • WordPress Firewall — a WAF built to detect and block malicious traffic
  • WordPress Security Scanner — investigates the core code, themes, and plugins to identify any security issues
  • Login Security — enables different authentication mechanisms while blocking admin logins through compromised passwords
  • Security Tools — real-time traffic monitoring, IP and country blocking

Other ways to check for WordPress vulnerability

WordPress Security Scanner

  • Use scripts to detect WordPress plugin versions, users, and themes
  • Utilize theme and plugin enumeration to map the attack surface
  • Fingerprint theme and plugin versions to pinpoint known vulnerabilities
  • Enumerate website usernames

FAQs for WordPress security issues

Woocommerce security issues

  1. Choosing a secure web host
  2. Leverage 2FA for admin logins
  3. Embracing a robust firewall mechanism
  4. Using the right security plugins
  5. Enforce policies for strong usernames and password
  6. Regular audit and full-stack scanning
  7. Regular backups

WordPress sites hacked

What is the best WordPress firewall plugin?

  • Intrusion detection
  • Brute force prevention
  • Blacklist removal services
  • Malware detection and elimination
  • DNS-level firewall



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