Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Identity & Access

Brute Force Attacks on WordPress Websites Soar

WordPress security firm Wordfence has warned that the number of brute force attacks aimed at WordPress websites has increased significantly in December compared to the previous period.

WordPress security firm Wordfence has warned that the number of brute force attacks aimed at WordPress websites has increased significantly in December compared to the previous period.

While malicious actors often exploit vulnerabilities to hack WordPress websites, brute force attacks, where attackers attempt to guess a site’s username and password, can be highly efficient as well.

Wordfence has been monitoring brute force attacks and noticed a significant increase in the past three weeks. In the period between October 16 and November 24, the number of websites attacked each day was under half a million. However, the number of daily attacks soared starting with November 24, on some days exceeding 700,000 attacks.

The security firm said it had blocked as many as 23 million brute force attack attempts per day. Both the number of attacks and the number of targeted websites have nearly doubled compared to the previous weeks. Experts also pointed out that the number of unique attack IPs also increased from an average of roughly 13,000 per day to more than 30,000.

WordPress brute force attacks

The attacks have been traced to tens of countries, but Ukraine accounts for the largest percentage of attacks (15.7%), followed by France (11.1%), Russia (6.8%), the U.S. (6.6%), India (5.8%), China (4.2%), Germany (3.2%), Italy (2.4%) and the U.K. (2.2%).

The attacks coming from Ukraine originate from 8 IP addresses associated with a local hosting company named Pp Sks-lugan.

“These IPs are using brute force attacks exclusively,” said Mark Maunder, Wordfence founder and CEO. “They don’t launch any sophisticated attacks. They are hammering away at WordPress sites at a rate of over a quarter million login attempts each, in some cases, during a 24 hour period.”

The attacks coming from France have been attributed to 8 IPs belonging to a company called Iliad-Entreprises. The other top organizations whose services have been abused include France-based OVH, US-based GoDaddy and India-based BSNL.

When it comes to WordPress attacks involving the exploitation of vulnerabilities, malicious actors usually target unpatched plugins. A study conducted recently by RIPS Technologies has showed that of 44,000 plugins available in the official WordPress plugins directory, 8,800 are affected by at least one vulnerability.

Related: WordPress Flaw Allows XSS Attack via Image Filenames

Related: Backdoor Uploaded to WordPress Sites via eCommerce Plugin Zero-Day

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Identity & Access

Hackers rarely hack in anymore. They log in using stolen, weak, default, or otherwise compromised credentials. That’s why it’s so critical to break the...

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

IoT Security

Lexmark warns of a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability impacting over 120 printer models, for which PoC code has been published.

Application Security

Drupal released updates that resolve four vulnerabilities in Drupal core and three plugins.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple rolled out iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to cover serious security vulnerabilities.

Email Security

Microsoft is urging customers to install the latest Exchange Server updates and harden their environments to prevent malicious attacks.

Mobile & Wireless

Technical details published for an Arm Mali GPU flaw leading to arbitrary kernel code execution and root on Pixel 6.