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Head Slapping WordPress Security

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WordPress security tips for marketing operations and developers. Originally delivered at the Big Digital Adelaide 2016 Conference.

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Head Slapping WordPress Security

  1. 1. Head Slapping WordPress Security Chris Burgess - @chrisburgess - chrisburgess.com.au
  2. 2. #BigDigitalADL
  3. 3. Is this how you feel about the topic of security?
  4. 4. Not everyone loves security J But everyone should care about it.
  5. 5. Security is CRITICAL for business and marketing operations.
  6. 6. Security is not absolute. It’s about risks and managing the risks.
  7. 7. Security is not a Product. Security is a Process.
  8. 8. Don’t wait to see something like this before you care about it.
  9. 9. Try and be proactive, not just reactive. •  xxx http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388660/Mississippi-River-flooding-Residents-build-homemade-dams-saves-houses.html
  10. 10. What we’ll cover… •  Common myths and misconceptions •  Why is WordPress a popular target? •  Who is an attacker? •  What motivates them? •  How do they do it? •  What can they do? •  What is the impact? •  What can you do? •  Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  11. 11. A little about me… •  Co-founder Clickify – Digital Marketing Agency •  Editor for SitePoint WordPress Channel •  Help organise a few Meetups (Melbourne WordPress User Meetup and Melbourne SEO Meetup) @chrisburgess
  12. 12. Let’s get started… http://www.humoar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/dude-let-me-in-its-me-mittens.jpg
  13. 13. http://www.humoar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/dude-let-me-in-its-me-mittens.jpg
  14. 14. There is no such thing as absolute security.
  15. 15. Nothing is 100% secure.
  16. 16. The good news – there are many things we can do to drastically reduce the risks.
  17. 17. Myths and misconceptions
  18. 18. Common myths and misconceptions “WordPress sites always get hacked.” “No one is interested in attacking my site.” “I’ve got nothing valuable for anyone to steal.” “Security is not my problem, my host/developer/ plugin takes care of security for me.”
  19. 19. Why is WordPress a popular target?
  20. 20. WordPress powers 38% of the top 10k sites http://trends.builtwith.com/cms/
  21. 21. WordPress powers 55% of .au sites http://trends.builtwith.com/cms/country/Australia
  22. 22. Example of WordPress vulnerabilities Source: http://wptavern.com
  23. 23. “Most successful WordPress hack attacks are typically the result of human error, be it a configuration error or failing to maintain WordPress, such as keeping core and all plugins up to date, or installing insecure plugins etc.” - Robert Abela (@robertabela)
  24. 24. Who is an attacker?
  25. 25. According to stock photography...
  26. 26. Who is an attacker? A person or group who’s trying to attack your site. It may personal, but most often you’re just a victim of opportunity. Typically, your website is just one faceless entity on a massive list of sites being scanned and probed.
  27. 27. What motivates them?
  28. 28. They can be motivated by… •  Economic gain •  Theft •  Political awareness •  Just for kicks, or a challenge
  29. 29. How do they do it?
  30. 30. Defense in depth https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc512681.aspx
  31. 31. There are approximately 1500 files in a default WordPress installation – not including themes and plugins.
  32. 32. What’s under the hood •  WordPress relies on a many popular Open Source libraries (as does most software). •  Here are a few of the most common ones: –  jQuery –  jQuery Masonry –  jQuery Hotkeys –  jQuery Suggest –  jQuery Form –  jQuery Color –  jQuery Migrate –  jQuery Schedule –  jQuery UI –  Backbone –  colorpicker –  hoverIntent –  SWFObject –  TinyMCE –  Atom Lib –  Text Diff –  SimplePie –  Pomo –  ID3 –  Snoopy –  PHPMailer –  POP3 Class –  PHPass –  PemFTP https://www.sitepoint.com/javascript-and-php-libraries-used-by-wordpress/
  33. 33. They can do it via… OUT OF DATE OR VULNERABLE THEMES OUT OF DATE OR VULNERABLE PLUGINS OUT OF DATE VERSION OF WORDPRESS INTEGRATIONS POOR PROCESSES BAD PASSWORDS AND PASSWORD MANAGEMENT MISCONFIGURATION HUMAN ERROR
  34. 34. What can they do?
  35. 35. Sucuri Website Hacked Trend Report 2016 https://sucuri.net/website-security/Reports/Sucuri-Website-Hacked-Report-2016Q1.pdf
  36. 36. What is the impact?
  37. 37. https://www.google.com/webmasters/hacked/
  38. 38. https://www.google.com/webmasters/hacked/
  39. 39. Real example of a compromised site in Google search results
  40. 40. Real example of a compromised site in Google search results
  41. 41. Example of Resources Consumed
  42. 42. Google Search Console
  43. 43. Netregistry email about compromised site
  44. 44. Real example of a malicious plugin
  45. 45. Real example of a malicious file
  46. 46. Google Search Console
  47. 47. Google AdWords
  48. 48. Ahrefs and Google Search Console
  49. 49. Real example of anchor text from ahrefs.
  50. 50. Real example of links in Google Search Console
  51. 51. Real example of a malicious plugin.
  52. 52. Real example of a malicious plugin.
  53. 53. Real example of black hat SEO.
  54. 54. Impacts your bottom line •  Loss in revenue •  Lose customers •  Cost of professional help •  Cost of your time •  Cost of your resources •  Potential legal and compliance issues $
  55. 55. Damage to reputation •  Affects brand reputation •  Can compromise visitor systems or data •  Loss of trust and confidence amongst customers or clients •  Negative publicity L
  56. 56. STRESS! •  Causes you unnecessary stress dealing with the security breach •  Can even cause stress to your staff, colleagues and customers !
  57. 57. Technical issues •  Blacklisting •  Email deliverability •  SEO and SEM impacts •  Domain and IP reputation •  Downtime and outages
  58. 58. What Can You Do?
  59. 59. Be practically paranoid.
  60. 60. http://favoritememes.com/_nw/37/42148895.jpg
  61. 61. Give your team basic security awareness training.
  62. 62. Practice principle of least privilege.
  63. 63. Use Google Search Console
  64. 64. Do regular backups and store offsite •  Server Level Backups –  cPanel/Plesk –  Replication –  Snapshots •  Backup Services •  Backup Plugins –  Updraft Plus –  WordPress Backup to Dropbox –  VaultPress –  Backup Buddy –  Duplicator •  Manual Backups •  Exports
  65. 65. Maintenance “Patch early and patch often”
  66. 66. Use a security plugin (or manually harden) https://www.wordfence.com/ https://sucuri.net/ https://ithemes.com/security/
  67. 67. Use password management Personal •  LastPass •  Dashlane •  1Password •  KeePass •  Passwordsafe •  Roboform •  Browser Password Manager •  Native OS Teams •  LastPass Enterprise •  Bitium •  1Password for Teams •  Secret Server •  PassPack
  68. 68. Monitor your Sitemap XML, robots.txt and .htaccess files.
  69. 69. Use two-factor authentication
  70. 70. Server security •  System Monitoring •  Integrity Monitoring •  Firewalls •  IDS/IPS •  Logging
  71. 71. Use strong encryption •  Avoid plain text protocols •  Everyone should use SSL (and make sure it’s configured correctly)
  72. 72. WPScan WordPress Scanner
  73. 73. Other resources •  WordPress.org –  wordpress.org/about/security –  wordpress.org/news/category/security •  Codex.WordPress.org –  codex.wordpress.org/hardening_wordpress –  codex.wordpress.org/brute_force_attacks#protect_your_server •  Verizon DBIR - http://www.verizonenterprise.com/verizon-insights- lab/dbir/ •  Sucuri - https://sucuri.net/ •  OWASP - http://owasp.org/ •  WP White Security - https://www.wpwhitesecurity.com/ •  Google Safe Browsing - https://www.google.com/ transparencyreport/safebrowsing/diagnostic/
  74. 74. Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  75. 75. 1. Don’t use weak user names and passwords (admin:password123).
  76. 76. 2. Don’t have publically accessible backups (e.g /backup.zip).
  77. 77. 3. Don’t have publically accessible config files (wp-config.php.old).
  78. 78. 4. Don’t forget to backup your site regularly. Store offsite.
  79. 79. 5. Don’t forget to regularly update your WordPress site.
  80. 80. 6. Take advantage of the plugins, tools and services available to protect your site.
  81. 81. Any Questions? @chrisburgess – chris@chrisburgess.com.au ? ? ?

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