If you have a WordPress site, just be aware. A group of unauthorized users are targeting fresh WordPress installations and encroaching into the admin access. Taking unethical practices at the height, they’re also found to be executing PHP codes in the victim’s web hosting account. This malpractice raised its ugly head in May and by now, has affected a large number of websites.

Leaving the WP installation incomplete

WordPress Installer

People, usually install WordPress either by using a one-click installer or by unzipping a ZIP achieve. However, most users do not complete the WordPress installation process immediately. This provides the unethical users to get control over a system. They just smoothly take over the control not only of the website in question but also that of its entire hosting account along with every other website using that hosting account.

For an unethical user, the procedure of taking over a WordPress website is quite simple. As you may be aware of, the WordPress installation procedure starts with selecting a language and an introductory message.

Then, the user has to select a database name, along with a user name, password and a server for the undergoing installation. An unethical hacker gets into the WordPress setup at this point and usually clicks through the first two steps. The unauthorized user just feeds his or her own database server information.

The attack becomes successful

Thus, unfortunately, the attack becomes a success even if the victim website has the database on its own server or even if, it has no data. In most cases, it has been seen, these unethical users intend to get the admin access to a targeted website. After the installation gets over, WordPress gifts the attacker with the opportunity, in form of a dialogue, to communicate with the database. At this stage, your attacker may as well create the debut admin-level account using his or her own information.

WordPress Admin-Level Account

With your website’s admin access in hand, the attacker can run any PHP code through your hosting account. He or she can even edit the theme codes and the existing plugin editor. He or she may even insert a PHP code and get the later refreshed, the very next time the page gets refreshed.

The crisis deepens

Once the attacker manages the admin access to your WordPress site, he can easily upload any plugin, using any PHP code. They can even upload their own custom plugin as well. All they need to do is devoting a few minutes to create a basic WP plugin and just upload and activate it to your site. In worst case scenario, your attacker may also install a malevolent shell in a directory in your hosting account to gain smooth access to all files and websites on your account. This also enables the unauthorized user access to any database that your WordPress installation has access to.

Modern cyber crime

These days, the approach to cyber crime has changed a lot as compared to the past. Cybercriminals – therefore – are not only after accessing sensitive information like credit card details and passwords. The resources of a server are also a big attraction for them. You never know, when your server is being used to launch an attack on other servers or online visitors.
The bottom line

To avoid being a victim of WordPress attackers, complete your new WordPress installs as soon as you start it. Do not leave it unfinished in the midway. To limit the access of your IP address, use an .htaccess file. Last but nevertheless the least, use a web application firewall to be on your guard.

If you follow these tips to the book, every time you install a WordPress site, you will give lesser chance to unauthorized users to break-through in your system.

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