Until the moment when CleanTalk launched a security plugin, I didn’t pay much attention to the security of the admin account of WordPress and relied only on the complexity of the password.
The most dangerous thing is when the bots use brute-force; pick up the password to the administrator account of the site. This can lead to very serious problems, as the attacker gets full access to the administrator account. On your website can be added malicious code, the site can be added to a botnet and participate in other attacks or the spread of viruses. The consequences for the reputation can be very sad.
When the security plugin was launched I began to receive reports on the work of the plugin in which specify the statistics of failed login attempts to the admin account of WordPress. And for each day of such attempts was from 4 to 25, from different IP addresses. These were attempts of bots password guessing.
What I noticed:
- Bots knew my login and password was selected to it.
- I do not use the default username Admin and changed it.
- In the blog there are other admin accounts, but attempts to break them for a few days of observation did not happen.
Wondering how the bots found out my account and why not try to hack other accounts of administrators? Quite simply, under my account I place posts and write comments, and other accounts are made for employees, host and other people that perform actions only in the dashboard of the website.
Based on this, I realized that the bots find out the login via the parsing of pages. Many publish posts and comments from the admin account.
For example, you publish a blog post; the link to the author will be like this http://example.com/author/admin***/. Bots browsing the code of your website looking for recordings of this type on all pages of the website and collect links from all accounts.
The same thing will happen if you write a comment from the admin account, only the link will be a bit of a different kind http://example.com/members/admin***/
Even if you once published a post or comment from admin account, then the bots will find it and will try to crack it.
I described one of the possible scenarios of obtaining a list of accounts for hacking, there may be others. But experience has shown that if the WordPress administrator account is not used for publications and comments on the website, its bots do not know.
What to do in order to minimize the possibility of hacking the account of the administrator of the website.
- Not to publish posts and comments from the administrator account.
- Create an account for each administrator with another role such as Author or Editor. It all depends on your needs.
- Change the current administrator user. Attention! Before that, you need to backup your website and databases. I can’t recommend this and if you do this at your own risk, as this may lead to undesirable consequences.
You will need to create a new user with administrator rights and a user with another role such as Author. Login to the dashboard with the new account and test the capabilities of the Administrator to manage site, settings and users.
Go to the “Users” and delete the previous admin account, WordPress will ask you to whom to reassign the articles and comments, here is useful pre-created user Author. Reassign articles on it and in the future use to publish posts and comments.
These actions can be done for other accounts administrators. But for most WordPress users would rather to install one of the plugins for protection from brute-force attacks, such as plugin Security & Firewall from CleanTalk.