Defending FightBack Ninja Blog Against Online Attacks

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The Fightback Ninja blog uses standard WordPress technology for the creation and management of the blog online.

WordPress is very good and free to use and there are many thousands of templates and addons available, so you can use it to create a wide variety of blogs, websites and more.

However, the fact that it is so well known also makes all WordPress installations a target for scammers and spammers.

Attack type 1 – the attackers try to access specific files that normally exist in WordPress installations, with the intention of amending those files to give themselves  scammers complete access.

Counter action: I had installed iThemes addon for WordPress and it gives a good level of protection against the common sorts of attacks. It blocked access and will lockout any IP address or login that tries constantly to access specific files.

Attack type 2 – password guessing

All WordPress installations have an admin login with the ability to create new logins and do anything on the installation.

Counter action: After nearly 10,000 attempts to crack the password, they gave up. Good job I had picked one that cannot be guessed.

Attack type 3 – comment spamming

This is not directly an attack but is simply morons trying to post entries (full of links) on the comments of the blog. This is usually to increase the ranking of some website by having as many backlinks as possible.

Counter Action: I had Installed a spam comment blocking addon called Akismet.  This puts all comments in a holding area till I chose to approve them or delete them.  So far nearly one hundred such spam comments have been blocked. The sort of comment they typically try to post is anodyne e.g. “Good writing but have you checked out this list of good links?” This is just rubbish to be deleted. As their attempted posts never appear on the blog – they give up for a while then try again.

Also, Google ignores post comments where the post is less than 3 months old so these comment spammers always go for old posts.

If you allow these comments onto your blog then you will be inundated with more as they are produced automatically.

Attack type 4 – A deluge of comment spam

Counter attack: I had to install an addon that let me turn off the comment facility completely for a while.

It is a nuisance that all WordPress sites get attacked in these ways, especially the popular ones. But the right precautions make it difficult for the scammers to cause any damage.

No doubt, the morons, scammers and spammers will continue attacks at some time but hopefully will never succeed.

If you have any experiences like this or with scammers  do let me know, by email.

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