Google sites or WordPress , which is more secure and easier to use ? Wordpress Under Attack !

posted Apr 13, 2013, 12:37 PM by David Khorram   [ updated Apr 13, 2013, 1:16 PM ]
Google apps / sites is a platform that allows web designer to develop web portals ( Internet and Intranet ) . Due to Google security features built in to Google Apps  ( GApps environment , Google sites is extremely secure  . One can additional security using Google apps market place ( I.e http://www.cloudlock.com/applications/cloudlock-for-google-sites/ ) . We design all our  CrowdFunding issuer's websites and landing pages with fabric of Google . This way our clients inherit a website that is secure in nature and easy to maintain at lower cost . We also share with them how to maintain and optimize the website with our automated business intelligent content generator engine . WordPress web development environment is wide open to security issues ( read the following )  . Specially its powerful FREE Plugins that could collect intelligence and GEO information without user or  even owner's full knowledge .   We want you to review  the following and consider your option . You can use Google  and Google sites and build fabric of success right in to your website . 

---- By : Anthony Wing Kosner

WordPress is easy. That’s why people like it. It’s quick to set up a simple site. It’s easy to manage large amounts of content. It’s easy to add functionality without having to know how to code php because there is such a large developer community that makes tons of free plugins.

It’s also pretty easy to hack. When things are easy, we are less vigilant and we do stupid things like using obvious passwords (remember what trouble that caused on LinkedIn?) Less obvious is the use of the default “admin” username and the failure to keep the site software updated.

All of these security weaknesses, it turns out, could allow an unidentified group of hackers to use “brute force” attacks on WordPress installations and form a huge “botnet” of infected servers. A report by Dan Goodin in Ars Technica details the threat. Unnamed attackers “are using more than 90,000 IP addresses to brute-force crack administrative credentials of vulnerable WordPress systems, researchers from at least three Web hosting services reported. At least one company warned that the attackers may be in the process of building a “botnet” of infected computers that’s vastly stronger and more destructive than those available today.”

A lot of cyber crimes are perpetrated by hackers that use “worms” to infect individual computers and use them to create “spoof addresses” for various types of fraud as well as to execute DDoS [distributed denial-of-service] attacks. Tying together servers with the large amount of network connections possessed by a popular WordPress site would up the ante by an order of magnitude or two.

If you or your company have sites that use WordPress, there are two things to consider. First is to avoid having your own site hijacked and second is to avoid becoming part of a larger problem. Think childhood immunizations.

Fortunately, there are some simple recommendations that can lower the liklihood of being part of the problem:

  1. Avoid Obvious Passwords: A simple check of the security requirements recommended by WordPress will make brute force attacks much more difficult. As Mike Isaac points out in All Things D, “Hackers go after the low-hanging fruit, which is most often found in the novice Web users who don’t take the time to switch from their default login information.” A secure password is a mix of at least eight upper and lowercase letters, numbers and the kinds of ‘special’ characters used to depict curse-words (^%$#@*)!
  2. Ditch The Admin Username: The attackers are in possession of 90,000 IP addresses from which they are trying to crack the default “admin” accounts on WordPress installations. So if you are still using “admin,” create a new user with admin privileges (you will need to use a different email address than the one attached to the current admin) and give it a strong password as defined above. Then log back in as the new user and delete the old admin account and assign all of the posts in that account to the new user. Five minutes, tops.
  3. Use Two Factor Authentication on WP.com: If you have a WP.com account, take advantage of their two-step authentication which assures that you are a human logging in, not a bot.
  4. Update WordPress: Many hackers exploit holes that have ben identified in older versions of WordPress, so keeping your install up to date is another easy way to avoid trouble, though this is not as immediately relevant as the above two action items. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg advises that if you do these first three “you’ll be ahead of 99% of sites out there and probably never have a problem.”
  5. Install A Security Plugin: Using something like the Better WP Security plugin is probably agood idea in general, it won’t do anywhere as much in this case as the suggestions higher up the list. Mullenweg writes, “Most other advice isn’t great—supposedly this botnet has over 90,000 IP addresses, so an IP limiting or login throttling plugin [like Better WP Security] isn’t going to be great (they could try from a different IP a second for 24 hours).”
  6. Consider A Service Like CloudFlare: The Ars Technica article recommends, “operators can sign up for a free plan from CloudFlare that automatically blocks login attempts that bear the signature of the brute-force attack.” Just remember that, as Mike Isaac points out, CloudFalre itself has been “ringing the alarm bells (while simultaneously pimping the company’s own security services.)” See this post from the CloudFlare blog that raised this issue to the awareness of Goodin and Isaac, and make your own judgement.

current estimate figures that one in every six sites on the web runs on WordPress. That’s a lot of fodder to make a botnet out of! Don’t let yours be one of the trampled. 

Posted from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/04/13/wordpress-under-attack-how-to-avoid-the-coming-botnet/

Anthony Wing Kosner,  

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