We’ve received reports about a distributed attack against WordPress installations across the world.
We’ve created this detailed post about this issue and the steps you can take to secure your websites from this attack.

We encourage you to spread this information regardless of whether you’re hosting with us or not and help others prepare against this attack.

There is an on going and highly distributed, global attack on WordPress installations to crack open admin accounts and inject various malicious scripts.

To give you a little history, we recently heard from a major law enforcement agency about a massive attack on US financial institutions originating from their servers.

We did a detailed analysis of the attack pattern and found out that most of the attack was originating from CMSs (mostly WordPress). Further analysis revealed that the admin accounts had been compromised (in one form or the other) and malicious scripts were uploaded into the directories.

Today, this attack is happening at a global level and WordPress instances across hosting providers are being targeted. Since the attack is highly distributed in nature (most of the IP’s used are spoofed), it is making it difficult to block all malicious data.

To ensure that your websites are secure and safeguarded from this attack, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Update and upgrade your wordpress and other CMS installation and all installed plugins, modules, themes, templates
  2. Install the security plugin listed here for WordPress
  3. Ensure that your admin password is secure and preferably randomly generated
  4. Other ways of Hardening a WordPress Website installation are shared at http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress

These additional steps can be taken to further secure WordPress websites:

  • Disable DROP command for the DB_USER .This is never commonly needed for any purpose in a wordpress setup
  • Remove README and license files (important) since this exposes version information
  • Move wp-config.php to one directory level up, and change its permission to 400
  • Prevent world reading of the htaccess file
  • Restrict access to wp-admin only to specific IPs
  • A few more plugins – wp-security-scan, wordpress-firewall, ms-user-management, wp-maintenance-mode, ultimate-security-scanner, wordfence,http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/better-wp-security/. These may help in several occasions

Also, we recommend using Cloudflare, which is available free with all our cPanel accounts, to prevent the attack from affecting the functionality of your site.


Should you require any more information about this, please feel free to get in touch with us.

– Regards

VertiDesk Team

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