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How to perform wordpress security auditing?

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  • Last Updated : 30 Nov, 2022
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WordPress is a free and open-source Content Management System(CMS) framework. It is the most widely used CMS framework of recent times. WordPress is a content management system (WCM) i.e. it is a tool that organizes the whole process of creating, storing and showcasing web-content in an optimal way. WordPress started its journey as an improvement tool to enhance the regular typography of day to day writing. 

Security auditing for the WordPress site is so much important that if any user left somewhere something slightly important then the attacker can easily log into your site. Sometimes the plugins you have been used for so long, that also can betray you by opened-up the security issues. To neglect this kind of problem you should use security auditing in a year at least. If your website contains very confidential information like ATM’s pin or net banking information or some kind of data that can cause a huge amount of damage then you should do once a quarter of the year. WordPress security audit lets you prepare for the prevent successful attacks on your site. After that, there are a few problems that you can not protect your site from those attacks but security auditing makes you and your site secure from common threats. 

Check you are secured or not:  

  • Single admin user: If you are the only admin user to use the admin username to log into your site, then that is a positive thing. If not then you should remove the other admin user by creating a new user and by assigning the content to the new user you can remove that 2nd admin user. Multiple user logins through the admin username mean someone trying to access your through a brute force attack, for instance
  • Required strong password: Inform all the admins to use a strong password that will be difficult to decode for any hackers, just not that use the WordPress 2-factor-Authentication. This 2FA required two things to log in as an admin into a site, the user just can not log in by putting the password they will receive a code on register mobile number or register mail. So if any attacker decode the password still can not log in, because of the received code in your mail or ph is unknown by the attacker and also you will get the hints that someone is trying to log in into your site.
  • Remove unused plugins: We all need a different kind of plugins, themes for our site o make it more useful. Sometimes few plugins went expire and we did not notice the developer of those plugins stopped working on the security, and we are not even using those plugins now. Then those plugins can be harmful to you and your site’s attackers can get information from those plugins. So the best way to avoid this issue always removes those plugins that are not required anymore.
  • Change WordPress salts & keys: All the WordPress uses information stored in your local browsers as cookies, these WordPress salts and keys were added to WordPress to better encrypt and protect the users’ information. When you are going through WordPress Security Auditing then check wp-config.php file to make sure you have changed salts & keys. You can set a reminder for that also.
  • Remove inactive user: This inactive user is as much effective as unused plugins if you ever created a user, that user is no longer working in your site then you should remove that user, attackers can easily hack through that user into your site.
  • Use updated and original software: Using the original and update software makes you and your site secure. Pirated software can leaks your information anywhere that hackers can hack your site. Backdated software is as dangerous as unused plugins, they don’t have protection for new days attacker, hackers are always improving their skills to hack so need to update as well to protect your self and your site.
  • Keep WordPress backup solution: Keeping a backup always make you feel safer, hackers are always coming for your sites if somehow hackers hack your site and make changes that you can not recognize then this backup will play a huge role.

Tips to auditing a WordPress website:  

  • Step 1: Read me Page “domain/readme.html”. On this page, you will find some interesting links and if the admin has not disabled it, you can report it as a vulnerability.
  • Step 2: License with WordPress version “domain/license.txt”. Here you will find the GNU license by which you can able to find the version of WordPress.
  • Step 3: WordPress’s sample config file “domain/wp-config-sample.php”. This will give you the sample config file of the WordPress which contains various information about the back end.
  • Step 4: Installation page “domain/wp-admin/install.php”. This will provide you with the installation page of the website.
  • Step 5: Upgrade file “domain/wp-admin/upgrade.php”. This gives you the page to upgrade the database.
  • Step 6: WordPress API paths “domain/wp-json”, “domain/wp-json/wp/v2/users/”. This will give you the details of all endpoints used by the website.

These are the few things to look for when you are doing auditing of a WordPress website. This can give you a small or large bounty depends upon the vulnerability.

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