WordPress is constantly under threat from various people on the internet. These are some pretty certain ways in which you can get your WordPress website into trouble – ways that you wouldn’t want to experiment with, if you had a serious business website. This article deals with 5 ways by which your website maybe compromised.
Incompatible or exploit ridden plugins are a very common cause for having your WordPress website hacked. Plugins are provided by the WordPress community which allows people to make scripts and code snippets and offer them to everyone on WordPress. Many of these scripts and plugins are not properly maintained and updated by their coders. This means that flaws or vulnerabilities found in future versions of WordPress or of the plugin, may go undetected, uncorrected or unpatched. You may install a plugin without the knowledge that it is vulnerable to certain threats. Before you install a plugin, you should first ensure that it is compatible with your version of WordPress and then check how often it is updated. Another good indicator of the plugins safety would be its rating or reviews. Bad plugins and ones with vulnerabilities will often be flagged by the community of WordPress users.
Themes are also in the same list when it comes to WordPress security. WordPress Themes are freely available from the WordPress website and also from private third party providers. Paid themes are also available at a premium from various online services. WordPress themes comes with 2 types of problems. The first issue is when free themes contain a vulnerability which is not patched or a theme which is not updated regularly. Unsuspecting users will download the exploited WordPress theme and make their websites susceptible to attacks. The second part is a more drastic and overt flaw i.e. the use of Hashed or Nulled or Pirated WordPress themes which contain subtle redirects, popup or banner ads, phishing code, mass mailing viruses or other trojans which can severely affect the security of the website or hosting account.
Scripts or bits of code which have been copied from other websites, without verifying the security or integrity of the code, are also a sureshot way of getting your website hacked. Copying code for slideshows, gallery scripts or even menu items is common place amongst today’s web designers. What they don’t realize is that all the flaws and bugs that were in the original template have been copied over into their clients website verbatim. For a hacker to do massive damage across multiple sites, all he needs to do is to identify the sites using that code and then mass attacking them one by one.
Just like the old pirated movie CDs and DVDs used to contain malware and spyware, many template breakers who have successfully cracked a paid template want something in return for their effort. The quid pro quo is often control of your website. Using pirated templates which are otherwise paid or proprietary can often lead to unwanted scripts or hidden code that maybe planted in the files to take advantage of your website.
Setting permissions higher than what you require can lead to your website files being written by anyone and everyone who can open your website. This means that all your files are openly editable and can be manipulated by an outsider to incorporate their code or script into yours.