What is a brute-force attack?

In this short article, we’ll explain what a brute-force attack is and share easy ways to protect your WordPress website.

What is a brute-force attack?

In simple terms, a brute-force attack is a method used by hackers to gain unauthorised access to your WordPress website by guessing your login credentials, such as your username and password.

Hackers use automated software that systematically tries different combinations of usernames and passwords until it finds the correct ones. They do this by repeatedly submitting different login attempts until they hit upon the right combination. This method is called a brute-force attack because it’s like trying every possible key in a lock until one of them opens it.

The reason why hackers use brute-force attacks is that some WordPress websites have weak or easily guessable usernames and passwords. For example, using “admin” as the username and “password123” as the password is a common mistake that makes it easier for attackers to break into your site.

To protect your WordPress website from brute-force attacks, it’s important to follow some security best practices. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use Usernames and Passwords: Choose a unique username that is not easily guessable, and create a strong password that includes a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using common words or phrases.
  2. Limit Login Attempts: Install a security plugin that limits the number of login attempts from a specific IP address. This way, if someone fails to enter the correct credentials after a certain number of attempts, they will be temporarily blocked from accessing your website.
  3. Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA for your WordPress login. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your username and password.
  4. Keep Your WordPress Site Updated: Regularly update your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins to ensure you have the latest security patches. Vulnerabilities in outdated software can be exploited by hackers.
  5. Hide or Rename Your WordPress Admin Folder: Change the URL of your admin area using security plugins such as WPS Hide Login. Doing so makes the wp-admin directory and wp-login.php page become inaccessible therefore reducing or eliminating malicious login attempts entirely.

If you are looking for a brute-force plugin, we recommend one of the following:

  1. Limit Login Attempts Reloaded
  2. SiteGuard WP Plugin
  3. Jetpack
  4. Wordfence Security

By following these measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to brute-force attacks and enhance the security of your WordPress website.

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