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Securing WordPress Against Hackers And DDOS Attacks

You might have heard DDoS attack if you are an online enthusiast. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is an old method that is still being a popular method hackers use these days to put web services out of order by sending out loads of requests to the victim’s server.

DDoS attack is a method in which a hacker sends traffic (in some cases, called “requests”) through compromised networks and computers to a single target, thus making the target so busy that it stops responding to any other requests coming from legitimate users. These tactics are being used by hackers to target and blackmail specific sites and demand ransom.

How does DDoS work?

During a DDoS attack, a target server or network receives requests from compromised systems. The requests are so frequent that the bandwidth limit of a network or resources of a server maxes out. This slows down the server response and in severe cases it is rendered useless.

There are various types of DDoS attacks and you will need some time to understand each of them. In this blog post, I am going to briefly explain the two most common types of DDoS attacks that are Volumetric Attacks and Application Level Attacks.

How to protect against DDoS attacks?

There are precautionary steps and methods to lower the effects of DDoS attacks and in many cases, smaller DDoS attacks can be completely overridden.

There are methods that can be employed at the network level to detect and block illegitimate traffic. Most modern networking hardware have specialized hardware accompanied by software that can detect and filter the traffic.

Fix vulnerabilities in your WordPress website: Take a stand against DDoS attacks

I must admit that it pains me when I hear news like DDoS attackers exploit WordPress powered websites to carry out large DDoS attacks.

I know WordPress is among the best CMS solutions out there and it is backed by a huge community of developers, designers, and bloggers.

However, the problem remains that WordPress is prone to vulnerabilities and some of the exploits are very easily utilized by DDoS attackers. One reason is that WordPress holds 20% of the CMS and therefore, it is an attractive target. However, a lot of the blame lies on WordPress website operators. Most users do not even know that their website is being used as a zombie to attack another website.

Securing your website against a DDoS attack is a tough job. But, they say it’s better to be safe than sorry. The best you can do to reduce the threat of DDoS attacks is by fixing vulnerabilities in your WordPress sites.

Block XML-RPC functionality on WordPress

This functionality is enabled by default since WordPress 3.5 and provides services like pingbacks and trackbacks among others. These can be easily exploited to send HTTP requests to a target website. If thousands of WordPress websites are compromised and they start sending requests to a target website in parallel, a large Application Layer DDoS attack can occur.

Just add the following code into your .htaccess file.

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