Global Attack on WordPress Sites

There is an on going and highly distributed, global attack on WordPress installations at every known web host to crack open admin accounts and inject various malicious scripts.
In a detailed analysis of the attack pattern it was 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 for us to block all malicious data.
This is the reason why some servers have gone down in recent days.
To ensure that your websites are secure and safeguarded from this attack, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Update and upgrade your WordPress installation and all installed plugins
  2. Install the security plugin listed here
  3. Ensure that your admin password is secure and preferably randomly generated
  4. Other ways of Hardening a WordPress installation are shared at

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, These may help in several occasions

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

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