Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


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.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Application Security

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

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

Cloud Security

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