What Is A Zero-Day Attack?

In this article, learn about zero-day attacks, how hackers benefit by using this type of attack, and the ways to prevent day-zero attacks to secure your website

WordPress vulnerabilities allow hackers to use attacks like zero-day attacks. WordPress is a powerful and useful CMS loved by almost all across the world. Forty-two percent of the websites use WordPress, and it shows how popular this content management system is. But this kind of exposure can also be terrible because the more the user base, the more attention from hackers.

However, it is we who must be responsible for letting our sites get hacked. Data shows that 73.2% of WordPress websites have vulnerabilities. That’s a jaw-dropping percentage. Your site might be a part of that 73.2%, and you might not even fully be aware of it.

While vulnerabilities are a bane to us, they are a boon to hackers. Hence, we must take down vulnerabilities that a hacker can use to his advantage and abuse your website. Read this article to learn about zero-day attacks.

what is a zero day attack

What Is A Zero-Day Attack?

A zero-Day attack is also known as Day Zero. It is an attack that a hacker uses to exploit the WordPress vulnerabilities unknown to the website owner. The name “Zero-Day” comes from the number of days the owner knows of the vulnerabilities, that is, zero days.

The solution we use to fix this vulnerability is known as a software patch. The thing that makes this attack dangerous is that there are no fixes to the security issues, and the attack will most probably be successful. If a hacker gets to exploit the vulnerability before you can find a security patch, well, I don’t have to elaborate on the consequences; you know what will happen.

How Will A Hacker Use A Zero-Day Attack?

Hackers may or may not always have a purpose when he attacks a website. Sometimes a vulnerability can be tempting him to exploit it, or other times he knows why exactly he is doing it. A hacker can benefit from a zero-day exploit in the following ways:

  1. A hacker can use this as an opportunity to exchange information regarding stealing confidential data on dark webs.
  2. Hackers can sell information to the military and such on the gray market.
  3. Sometimes, government agencies hire hackers to use this attack for surveillance.
  4. Hacktivists also use this attack to gain attention and bring light to their cause.
  5. Some hackers get paid to use this attack to spy on companies and organizations.

How To Prevent Zero-Day Attacks?

Though zero-day attacks sound tricky, there’s nothing impossible if we try hard enough. Keep up the spirit and try following the below measures to learn how to mitigate zero-day attacks:

Install Updates

Install the updates to your WordPress software, plugins, and themes as soon as they are available. Every update has fixes and security patches that ensure better website security.

Ignoring these updates will increase the risk of hackers exploiting your website. So, make sure that the software is always up-to-date. You might as well set reminders to your calendar for installing the security updates.

Stay Attentive

Information is quicker to pass from one to another. Stay alert to know if any new vulnerabilities came to light. This way, you can stay informed about all the new ways an attacker can use to hack your website and enforce appropriate actions to block them.

Use Limited Plugins And Themes

WordPress plugins and themes are very promising for users, but we must minimize the number of security plugins and themes we use. Hoarding many plugins will increase the website vulnerabilities; hence we must stick to the important ones.

Educate

Mistakes happen all the time. But we must not repeat them and also educate others of these security mistakes. There are many website vulnerabilities that a hacker utilizes, but we can never know all of them. Hence we must educate everyone who handles the website regarding the security mistakes they should avoid.

Use A Firewall

Firewalls help a lot in blocking various attacks that are harmful to your website. Having a WordPress firewall will prove to be an impeccable choice for website security. Hide My WP security plugin has a firewall powered by an IDS engine that blocks any fatal attacks like SQL injections, XSS, CRSF, brute force attacks, etc. It notifies of suspicious activity with details of the security breach. It informs the user about:

Firewall-protection
  • Value (How do they hack you?)
  • Page (Which plugin did they use for the attack?)
  • Impact (How dangerous is the attack?)
  • IP/ users (Where are they from?)

Use Additional Protection:

Making use of WordPress security plugins will reduce a lot of the burden off your shoulders. Hide My WP is an advanced security plugin that helps block various attacks that will harm your website. Hide My WP can assist you in securing your website in the following ways:

  • It lets you hide or rename the themes and plugins folders.
  • It can hide your WordPress.
  • It helps you change WordPress permalinks.
  • It will help you to hide the login page of your website to prevent brute-force attacks. This feature will help you set up a login query and login key.
  • It will assist in hiding or renaming WP-admins.
  • It hides your WordPress from theme detectors, hackers, and bots.
  • It has a robust trust network that blocks unknown attacks.
  • It will disable direct access to PHP files and directory listing.
  • It will help you block potentially dangerous IP addresses.
  • It will let you minify HTML and CSS.
  • It will allow you to change anything in your source code.
  • It has anti-spam included.

Summing It Up

  • WordPress security popularity is increasing in recent times due to the attention hackers are paying to WordPress websites.
  • There are many attacks that a hacker uses to attack a website, and one such attack is a Zero-day attack.
  • A zero-day attack is an attack that a hacker uses to exploit a vulnerability that the website owner doesn’t know exists.
  • A zero-day attack is very advantageous to an attacker because it helps in information gathering, information sharing to get paid for it.
  • We can prevent zero-day attacks by using simple tricks such as installing a security plugin like the Hide My WP.

Also Read: What is Fuzz Testing?

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