Infographic – WordPress Security Issues & Threats
The WordPress Security Learning Center Infographic – WordPress Security Issues & Threats

Infographic – WordPress Security Issues & Threats

Basics
Updated January 25, 2016

To download a pdf version of the infographic please click here.

infographic-who_is_attacking_your_wordpress_website

To download a pdf version of the infographic please click here.

Who is Attacking Your WordPress Website

SINGLE BOT
An automated computer that can attack one site at a time or a small number of sites simultaneously. Usually unsophisticated attacks.
PERSON
Operates a computer manually, attacks one site at a time, slow in attacking but thorough.
BOTNET
A group of computers, can be thousands, attacking multiple sites simultaneously and rapidly. Attacks are unsophisticated but can originate from multiple IP’s which add complexity.

How do they get information?

  • Author scans.
  • WordPress version publicly displayed.
  • Enumerating themes.
  • Enumerating plugins
  • OS recon with port scans and OS fingerprinting
  • Server side request forgery (SSRF) allows local network probing.
  • Using tools like nmap, Nessus, WPScan, OpenVAS and Nikto to automate scans.
  • Examining server response headers to find web server version, PHP version and more.
  • Open source intelligence (OSINT) like: Whois, archive.org, ICANN, Netcraft, sites that show other domains on an IP and more.

What is being attacked on WordPress sites?

VULNERABILITIES IN PHP CODE INCLUDING WORDPRESS CORE, THEMES, PLUGINS AND OTHER PHP APPLICATIONS:
RCE – Remote Code Execution
SQLi – SQL Injection
XSS – Cross Site Scripting attacks
CSRF – Cross Site Request Forgery
PHP Object Injection
RFI – Remote file inclusion
Authentication Bypass
XXE – External Entity Expansion (an XML based attack)

PRIVILEGE ESCALATION
A ordinary user with non-admin access can find a way to escalate their privileges to ‘admin’ level access

OLDER AND UNMAINTAINED WEB APPLICATIONS HOSTED ON THE SAME HOSTING ACCOUNT

  • A WordPress install in a subdirectory that is not maintained
  • An application like phpmyadmin that is forgotten about and unmaintained
  • Backups of your WordPress directory in a subdirectory that are executable PHP and forgotten about

XMLRPC SERVICE

  • Brute force logins
  • DDoS attacks launched via XMLRPC e.g. Trackback

ON SHARED HOSTING:

  • World writable directories. An attacker on the same machine can install a shell on your website.
  • Wp-config.php world-readable can give an attacker on the same machine access to your database.
  • World-writable files can allow an attacker to execute code as your website.

SOURCE CODE REPOSITORY CONFIG FILES

  • .git subdirectory can contain source that is intended to be private
  • .svn subdirectory can contain sensitive info

THE LOGIN PAGE VIA:

  • Brute force attacks
  • Recon to check if usernames exist

ATTACKS THAT TARGET THE OPERATING SYSTEM AND WEB SERVER

  • Attacks that target the web server. E.g. Heartbleed
  • Attacks that target the operating system services e.g. Shellshock, SSH vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities in other services.

TEMPORARY FILES CREATED BY OTHER APPLICATIONS NOT INTENDED FOR PUBLIC ACCESS
When the ‘vim’ editor is used, the temporary file it creates can be web accessible and allow access to sensitive files like wp-config.php containing login credentials for MySQL

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