WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world, with over 40% of websites using it. However, its popularity also makes it a target for hackers. One of the ways that hackers can exploit WordPress is through XMLRPC. In this blog post, we will explore why hackers use XMLRPC and how to protect your WordPress site from attacks.
What is XMLRPC Hackers?
XMLRPC is a remote procedure call protocol that uses XML to encode its calls and HTTP as a transport mechanism. In simpler terms, XMLRPC allows applications to communicate with each other over the internet. In WordPress, XMLRPC is used to allow third-party applications, such as mobile apps or desktop clients, to access the WordPress site’s features and functionality.
Why Do Hackers Use XMLRPC?
Unfortunately, XMLRPC has also become a popular target for hackers. Hackers can use XMLRPC to exploit vulnerabilities in WordPress and gain access to a site’s features and data. Here are some common ways that hackers use XMLRPC:
Brute Force Attacks
One of the most common ways that hackers use XMLRPC is through brute force attacks. Hackers use automated scripts to try different combinations of usernames and passwords until they find one that works. Since XMLRPC can be accessed from outside the WordPress site, hackers can easily run these scripts without being detected.
Hackers can also use XMLRPC to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. By sending a large number of requests to a site’s XMLRPC endpoint, the site can become overwhelmed and stop responding to legitimate requests.
Hackers can also exploit vulnerabilities in XMLRPC itself or in plugins that use XMLRPC to gain access to a site’s features and data. For example, a vulnerability in the Jetpack plugin allowed hackers to gain administrative access to over a million WordPress sites.
How to Protect Your WordPress Site from XMLRPC Hackers
Now that we understand why hackers use XMLRPC, let’s look at how to protect your WordPress site from attacks.
The easiest way to protect your WordPress site from XMLRPC attacks is to disable XMLRPC altogether. You can do this by adding the following code to your site’s functions.php file:
add_filter( 'xmlrpc_enabled', '__return_false' );
This code will disable XMLRPC on your site and prevent any XMLRPC requests from being processed.
Use a Security Plugin
Another way to protect your WordPress site from XMLRPC attacks is to use a security plugin. There are several security plugins available that can help protect your site from XMLRPC attacks, including sucuri, chokidar.
These plugins can help block XMLRPC requests from known malicious IP addresses, prevent brute force attacks, and monitor your site for suspicious activity.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can also help protect your WordPress site from XMLRPC attacks. A CDN caches your site’s content and serves it from servers located around the world. This can help reduce the load on your site’s server and make it harder for hackers to launch DDoS attacks.
XMLRPC is a powerful tool that can be used to communicate with WordPress sites from third-party applications. Unfortunately, it has also become a popular target for hackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities in WordPress. By disabling XMLRPC, using a security plugin, and using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), you can help protect your WordPress site from XMLRPC attacks and keep your site and data secure.