The Most Common Web Attacks & Prevention – Explained(2021)

In this article, you will learn about the most common web attacks and the ways to prevent them.

All WordPress users are well aware that WordPress is vulnerable to many kinds of attacks. WordPress is a secure CMS yet, the security mistakes that the users make give the hackers the right opportunity to attack their websites. Securing your website is not a big task if you research all the most common web attacks and follow the attack prevention methods.

The aftermath of a web attack on your website is something you can already imagine and, you know the importance of protecting your website from hackers and bots. Cleaning up the mess created by the hackers can be infuriating, and I believe you’d agree with me when I say, “Prevention is better than cure.” This article is the right place if you are looking for ways to secure your WordPress website from the most common web attacks.

The most common web attack and prevention

Common Web Attacks And How To Prevent Them?

If you ask me how many ways an attacker uses to hack your website, I wouldn’t be able to give you a specific number because there are countless techniques up a hacker’s sleeve.

However, hackers use some common attacks to slither into your website. If you learn to defend against these attacks, your website will be secure. Here are the most common types of cyber attacks that you need to dodge:

Brute Force Attacks

Brute Force is the simplest of all types of hacking. Most people tend to use uncomplicated and predictable usernames and passwords. It’s unchallenging for a hacker to pave a path into your website by cracking your website login details.

In this attack, a hacker uses bots to try out various character combinations to figure out the correct credentials for your website. Once he does, he gets access to your website. 

Prevention: You can prevent brute force attacks by using complicated login credentials. Increasing your login authentication security by hiding the login page and adding two-factor authentication will also prevent brute force attacks.

SQL Injection Attack

SQL is one of the most common injection attacks. In this attack, hackers inject malicious code into your website database, which assists them in retrieving the confidential data and resources of your website.

This attack happens through your website entry fields; the hacker executes this attack by entering code strings in your website and, when the code is processed, the database information gets revealed to the hacker.

Prevention: We can prevent an SQL injection attack by using the Hide My WP security plugin, input validation, parameterization, and more. 

Check out What Is SQL Injection Attack? to learn more about this attack.

XPath Injection Attack

An XPath injection attack is similar to an SQL injection attack and works by using the query entries that require input from the website visitors.

This attack allows the hacker to gain the information or data from XML documents. A hacker can retrieve a complete XML document using the method called blind XML crawling.

Prevention: The prevention steps of an XPath injection attack are similar to that of an SQL injection attack. We can prevent this attack by Input Validation, Parameterization, using a proper error page, and using the Hide My WP security plugin.

Check out What Is An XPath Injection Attack? to learn more about this attack.

Template Injection Attack

In a template injection attack, a hacker inserts malicious user input in a template which helps him gain control of Remote Control Access(RME) and, it is dangerous for your website. This attack occurs in three simple steps: detection of vulnerability, identification of the template engine, and exploitation.

Prevention: We can prevent template injection attacks by restricting users from modifying or submitting new templates, using logicless template engines, sanitizing user input, and using a sandbox.

Check out What Is Template Injection to learn more about this attack.

Code Injection Attack

Code injection is an injection attack that exploits input validation vulnerabilities to insert malicious code that offsets the course of action of the website program. The unsafe input code that the hacker uses depends on the language your website uses.

Prevention: We can prevent Code Injection attacks by input validation, reducing code vulnerabilities of your WordPress, avoiding vulnerable constructs that leave your website exposed, scanning your websites to find any vulnerabilities using the Scan My WP security scanner plugin, and disabling direct access to PHP files by using the Hide My WP security plugin.

Check out What Is Code Injection? to learn more about this attack.

CRLF Injection Attack

A CRLF Injection attack is an injection attack that a hacker uses to exploit the vulnerability by entering CRLF characters in the input query of a website. Hackers use this method to modify an HTTP parameter and trick the server into thinking that a line has ended or started. This attack allows a hacker to add fake entries in the log files. 

Prevention: We can prevent CRLF injection attacks by input sanitization, input validation, encoding CRLF special characters, and using WordPress security plugins. 

Check out What Are CRLF Injection Attacks? to learn more about this attack.

Email Header Attack

In an email header attack, a hacker uses the contact form vulnerabilities and enters malicious code as email headers to the website. 

If your website uses email contact forms and is vulnerable to email injection attacks, a hacker can send emails using your website server without your knowledge. This attack will allow the hacker to spam or phish your website visitors.

Prevention: We can prevent an email header injection attack by sanitizing and validating user input of contact forms and restricting users from entering newline characters in the entry fields of the contact forms.

Check out What Is An Email Header Injection Attack? to learn more about this attack.

Host Header Injection Attack

In the Host header injection attack, the hacker inserts malicious code to host headers. This attack allows hackers to change the server-side behavior and this attack mainly occurs during password reset.

Prevention: We can prevent a host header injection attack by validating host headers, avoiding host override headers, and using internal-only virtual hosts, and also avoid using host headers themselves whenever possible.

Check out What Is Host Header Injection Attack? to learn more about this attack.

LDAP Injection Attack

LDAP(Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) injection attack works by injecting unsafe code to websites that construct LDAP statements without sanitizing or validating the user input.

A hacker uses this attack to bypass login authentication, to view data or resources in the directory, and elevate his privilege to view highly secured confidential files.

Prevention: We can prevent LDAP injection attacks by sanitizing input data, validating user input, and creating an LDAP programmatical filter.

Check out What Is LDAP Injection And How To Prevent It? to learn more about this attack.

OS Command Injection

An OS command injection attack is also known as a shell injection attack. It is an attack that uses command strings to exploit a website. This attack is different from code injection attacks because it uses command strings instead of code for injection.

This attack occurs on websites that allow users to enter arbitrary inputs and upload arbitrary files, and a hacker can use the vulnerability to display sensitive information and files.

Prevention: We can prevent command injection attacks by input validation, creating a list of pre-approved inputs, and avoiding the usage of system calls or minimizing user inputs.

Check out What Is An OS Command Injection? to learn more about this attack.

Fuzz Testing

Fuzz testing is a software testing technique that allows you to discover vulnerabilities in a website by inserting code known as fuzz. A hacker uses a fuzzing attack for various reasons like malware injection, requests manipulation, and misuse of weak authorization.

There are many types of fuzzing attacks like dumb fuzzing, smart fuzzing, mutation-based fuzzing, generation-based fuzzing, and evolutionary fuzzing attacks, and hackers use these attacks to figure out the security issues and benefit from them.

Prevention: Fuzz Testing attack does not have a specific target. It preys on any vulnerability of your website. Hence, it is necessary to tackle all the possible vulnerabilities. However, using a security plugin like the Hide My WP that blocks all kinds of attacks is the best solution to this attack.

Check out What Is Fuzz Testing? to learn more about this attack.

Zero-Day Attack

A zero-day attack is a type of attack that a hacker uses to exploit a vulnerability that the website owner does not know exists. This attack is also known as Day Zero.

Since the website owner knows of the vulnerability only for zero days(that is, he is unaware of its existence), it is known as a zero-day attack. A hacker uses this attack because it helps in information gathering, information sharing to get paid for it.

Prevention: Zero-day attack is quite similar to fuzz testing because both the attacks don’t have a targeted vulnerability. Hence, we can dodge attacks like these by using a security plugin like the Hide My WP.

Check out What Is A Zero-Day Attack? to learn more about this attack.

Path Traversal Attack

Path traversal attack is an attack that allows hackers to access and read arbitrary files that should be inaccessible by unauthorized people. 

This attack can lead to the theft of confidential files, sensitive information, and database credentials. A hacker, using this attack, can access the source code to find the user credentials and vulnerabilities of your website. 

Prevention: It is easy to prevent a path traversal attack by validating user inputs, avoiding user input when relying on file system calls, using indices in place of file names, and using the Hide My WP WordPress security plugin.

Check out What Is A Path Traversal Attack? to learn more about this attack.

Distributed denial-of-service attack

Distributed denial of service(DDoS) attack is an attack that hackers use to overwhelm the target website with fake traffic to take down the servers. This attack will result in a website crash.

Thus, the website will be inaccessible by a user and denies the service to users. A hacker uses this attack for many reasons like hacktivism, business feuds, or demanding money, and sometimes boredom can be a reason.

Prevention: We can prevent DDoS attacks by using a WordPress firewall, creating a blackhole route, limiting the requests to the websites, and taking additional protection measures to avoid all security mistakes.

Check out Distributed Denial Of Service(DDoS Attack)-Explained to learn more about this attack.

Man In The Middle Attack

A hacker uses the man in the middle attack(MITM) to intercept the data transmission session between the user and the website. This attack can result in identity theft, financial loss, and sensitive information disclosure.

The man in the middle attack happens in two steps: interception and decryption.

Prevention: We can prevent a man-in-the-middle attack using secure networks, intrusion detection systems (IDS), updated web browsers, HTTPS websites, and VPNs.

Check out What Is Man In The Middle Attack? to learn more about this attack.

URL Phishing

URL Phishing is a type of attack used by a hacker to trick users into clicking on a URL that allows them to gather confidential information like usernames, passwords, and bank account details. A hacker sends an email and urges the recipient to click on a URL and, when you do, his attack will be successful.

Prevention: The only way to prevent falling into the URL phishing trap is by staying vigilant and not trusting all emails. We must never click on a link in an email unless we are sure it is from a legitimate user.

Check out What Is URL Phishing? to learn more about this attack.

Spear-phishing attack

A spear-phishing attack is an attack that targets a specific individual or a small group of people by impersonating a trusted sender. They execute this attack by collecting data about you by researching the information available on the internet and scam you.

Prevention: We prevent a spear-phishing attack just as we prevent a URL phishing attack by staying cautious and alert. However, in this attack, since the hacker assumes the identity of someone you know, you can always confirm with the sender if he did send the email.

Check out What Is A Spear-Phishing Attack? to learn more about this attack.

Conclusion

WordPress is a hotspot for various attacks, but we shouldn’t be worried about that. Instead, we need to take all the measures required to obtain a secure website. Using a WordPress security plugin like the Hide My WP is very advantageous because there are numerous attack types and, blocking every attack can be difficult. So take the burden off your shoulders and trust your Hide My WP security plugin to guard your website.

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