Category: WordPress security Page 4 of 16

What is WordPress Multisite and Who Should Use It?

In this post, we’re going to look at the Multisite feature of WordPress. We’ll learn what it is, when to use it, and when not to use it. We’ll also cover a few important best practices to keep in mind when running WordPress Multisite.

When you enable Multisite in WordPress, you have the ability to create a network of individual WordPress sites on a single installation of the software. Enabling, configuring, managing, and growing a WordPress Multisite-powered website is not for novice users, but depending on the goals of your business, it just might be the perfect solution.

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10 WordPress Website Performance Best Practices

If you’re reading this article, it’s almost certainly not the first website performance article you’ve browsed. Let’s be honest, practically everyone has an opinion on the matter and you would probably deforest half the Amazon rainforest if you tried to print each article you’ve come across. Since we all want to save the habitat of the endangered Amazonian Wapuu and skip the conjecture, I’d like to share with you my 10 WordPress website performance best practices that provide gains you can actually measure.

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How to Install and Configure the SiteLock Plugin (Video Tutorial)

In our Beginner’s Guide to the SiteLock Plugin for WordPress, we showed you the benefits of proactively preventing malware and hacking attempts on your WordPress website. In this video, you’ll learn exactly how to install and configure our plugin and connect it to a SiteLock account.

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WordCamp Jacksonville – A True All Things WordPress Conference

Last week I attended and spoke at the second annual WordCamp Jacksonville. It was my first time attending this camp and it didn’t disappoint. As the title of this post suggests, it seemed there was something for every type of WordPress user, and that’s not always an easy feat to achieve.

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SiteLock Threat Intercept

Threat Intercept: Malvertising via JavaScript Redirects

This article was co-authored by Product Evangelist Logan Kipp.

THREAT SUMMARY

High Threat
WordPress Website Security Threat Level
Learn More

Category: Malvertising / Malicious Redirect

Trend Identified: 5/17/2017

CVE ID: N/A

Trend Name: Trend El Mirage

Vector: Application Vulnerability, Multiple

The threat rating was determined using the following metrics:

Complexity:

MEDIUM: The vector used to infect websites appears to be through the use of leaked compromised passwords.

Confidentiality Impact:

HIGH: This infection provides complete control of the target website, including database content.

Integrity Impact:

HIGH: This infection provides the adversary administrator-level access to impacted website applications, making total data loss a possibility.


The SiteLock Research team has identified a trend of JavaScript injections causing the visitors of affected websites to be automatically redirected to advertisements without the knowledge of the website owner.

This infection impacts WordPress sites across all versions, but the affected websites identified at this time all show evidence of recent infection by a fake WordPress plugin that performed malicious redirects as well. The previous infections were determined to have been distributed via a botnet using a database of leaked login credentials, suggesting this new attack may similarly be accessing sites via compromised WordPress administrator credentials.

The malicious code becomes embedded into existing JavaScript files in the affected sites, ensuring that the code will be executed in visitors’ browsers regardless of their activity on the site.

The code as it appears in the injected files is obfuscated, which means it’s written in a way that makes it difficult for humans to read. This is the malicious script as it appears in the affected files:

WordPress Malvertising via JavaScript Redirects

Obfuscated JavaScript responsible for malicious redirects.

After decoding this file, we are able to determine the specifics of how it behaves:

WordPress Injected Javascript Malware

Decoded and formatted version of the injected JavaScript.

The redirect takes place immediately after loading a page including the infected JavaScript, after which a cookie is stored in the visitor’s browser called “csrf_uid” that expires three days after being created. The naming of this cookie is an attempt to hide in plain sight, as CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) protection cookies are commonplace in many websites across the internet. While the cookie is active, no further redirects will take place. This provides two benefits to the attacker. First, the ad network will be less likely to identify suspicious behavior and flag the attacker’s account. Secondly, it makes the redirects more difficult to identify and duplicate by the sites’ owners and administrators, decreasing the likelihood that the specific infection will be identified and removed.

What is a website cookie?
Cookies are pieces of data that websites store in your browser for later use. Sites use cookies for a number of legitimate reasons, from storing login sessions to analytics of how users are browsing the site.

Fortunately, despite the nature of these redirects, no malicious activity has been identified in the advertisements themselves, meaning a system infection occurring after these redirects is unlikely.

Because the attack vector of this infection appears to be leaked login credentials from unrelated data breaches, it is very important to ensure that strong password policies are in place on your site. Avoid using the same password across multiple locations to prevent one service’s breach from exposing your accounts elsewhere. If you determine that your data has been part of a publicized breach, change your passwords immediately. Also, consider using a breach checker to identify if your email address has been associated with any public data breaches in the past, as this would be a major indicator that password changes will be necessary for your accounts.

If you are a website owner and you believe your website has been impacted by this infection, contact SiteLock as soon as possible at 855.378.6200. Our SMART scan began rapidly identifying and cleaning instances of this infection within 24 hours of being initially identified.

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This is the Best Part of a WordCamp

When I attended my first WordCamp in 2011, I instantly fell in love with these events. Over the past year and a half, I’ve been fortunate to attend 29 different WordCamps around the world, and have learned so much from each and every one. In this time, I’ve realized what the absolute best part about any WordCamp is, and it’s my pleasure to share that with you.

Although there is a “best thing” about WordCamps (in my opinion), there are so many great things that should also be included here.

An Inexpensive Opportunity to Learn

the best part of a wordcamp

WordCamps are volunteer led and locally organized events. Each one is created by the community, for the community. The WordPress community is like no other I’ve been involved with. It’s open and collaborative with the goal to openly share knowledge in order to elevate attendee skills and understanding of the web publishing space.

WordCamps are in part funded by sponsors. There are global sponsors (SiteLock included), and many sponsors who are local to the event location. It’s an opportunity for companies and individuals to get their brand in front of attendees, but more than that, it’s a great way to give back to the WordPress project in a meaningful way.

Because sponsors donate their time and money, that means WordCamps can keep ticket costs low, usually in the $35 to $40 range. The affordable price tag makes these events accessible to more people than a traditional trade show or event where admission can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Shared Knowledge, Experience and Partnerships

the best part of a wordcamp

If you went to a trade show that included mostly local businesses, many with competing products and services, would you expect that they would share their best advice for acquiring and managing their customers? Probably not. But this is exactly what happens at a WordCamp.

I’ve seen premium plugin business owners discussing their revenue details. I’ve seen hosting companies commiserating on technical challenges and how they have approached a solution. I’ve seen two real estate website development agencies sharing how they acquire customers.

Similar to the mission of WordPress, Democratizing Publishing, the official WordCamp mission statement might as well be Elevating Each Other. Of course, it’s not all altruistic either. There are business partnership opportunities to be explored and agreed upon during WordCamps too, and this happens regularly. Whether it’s between two developers who team up to start an agency, or between larger companies finding a mutually beneficial subject to offer together.

The Session Topics

the best part of a wordcamp

And now we’re getting closer to the meaning behind the title of this post. Every WordCamp session I’ve attended has been something useful, relevant and actionable. No matter whether you’re a blogger, designer, developer, business owner or a combination of these, there is always useful insight being shared by speakers that attendees can take away and implement for their own WordPress journeys.

Not only are the scheduled sessions always packed with useful information, but so are the conversations you have with others in the Hallway Track. If you’re not familiar, the Hallway Track is a term used to describe the conversations and knowledge sharing that occur during and after WordCamp sessions. All of this leads me to the best part of a WordCamp…

The People

the best part of a wordcamp

The individual people that plan, organize, sponsor, and attend are the best part of any WordCamp. For the most part, there is a similarity between people who are involved in WordPress, and especially so with people who get involved with WordCamps. The common denominator is that they are all genuinely nice people.

I have no scientific data to prove this niceness, of course, it’s my own generalization. Even more than this, people at WordCamps are eager to learn and are even more eager to connect deeply with others who share the same passion for building the web that creates real and lasting relationships.

Follow the District for more information about and recaps of WordCamp events from around the world.

Zero Day Vulnerability in WordPress Password Reset

This week an unpatched vulnerability in WordPress was disclosed by security researcher Dawid Golunski that could potentially allow an attacker to reset admin passwords. This vulnerability impacts most versions of WordPress, including the current release 4.7.4.

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SiteLock Threat Intercept

Threat Intercept: Passwords Publicly Exposed by Malware

This article was co-authored by Product Evangelist Logan Kipp.

THREAT SUMMARY

High Threat
WordPress website security threat level
Learn More

Category: Shell / Information Disclosure

Trend Identified: 4/20/2017

CVE ID: N/A

Trend Name: Trend Tusayan

Vector: Application Vulnerability, Multiple

The threat rating was determined using the following metrics:

Complexity:

LOW: The vectors used to infect websites appear to be well-documented vulnerabilities in older versions of website platforms.

Confidentiality Impact:

HIGH: This infection provides complete control of the target website, including credential disclosure and database contents.

Integrity Impact:

HIGH: This infection provides the adversary administrator-level access to impacted website applications, making total data loss a possibility.

The SiteLock team has discovered a dangerous malware trend that not only provides website administrator level access to the bad actors involved, but exposes sensitive website credentials publicly over the internet.

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WordPress Auto Login and Obfuscated Code

Malware comes in a great deal of unique shapes and sizes.  Most people know someone who has had the misfortune of an infected computer at some point. Ransomware, trojans, and viruses that affect consumers’ physical devices are generally built with compiled code, which means you can’t easily “take a look under the hood” to get a solid idea of how it works.

The types of malware we work with at SiteLock behave a little differently, however. The web-ready files we encounter most frequently are written in Interpreted Languages like PHP and JavaScript. This means that the files involved contain plain, human-readable code, allowing anyone who understands the language to see what the files do.

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