How to: Protect WordPress from brute-force XML-RPC attacks

The WordPress XML-RPC API has been under attack for many years now. Back in August 2014, WordPress released version 3.9.2, fixing a possible denial of service issue in PHP’s XML processing. There are brute-force amplification attacks, reported by Sucuri, and so on. So, how do you protect WordPress from these xmlrpc.php attacks, but still being able to use (some of) its functionality like Jetpack? This post gives you some insight.

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Check WordPress Core files integrity

Check the md5 checksum of WordPress Core files against WordPress’ checksums API, using this standalone PHP file. I chose to use a standalone PHP script to check the md5sum of WordPress Core files against the API so you’re not dependent on a possibly hacked WordPress installation. This kind of guarantees the result can be trusted, as opposed to using a WordPress plugin. I think this is a better integrity check of WordPress Core files.

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Clear PHP opcode caches before WordPress Updates: ease the updating process

In various hosting environments, WordPress core-, plugin- and theme updates sometimes fail because of enabled opcode caches. Popular PHP opcode caches are OPcache, WinCache and APC. This little WordPress Must Use Plugin tries to flush opcode caches. Making your live a bit easier when updating WordPress Core, Plugins and Themes.

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The WinCache effect: Save with object caching

WinCache, or the Windows Cache Extension for PHP, is a PHP accelerator that is used to significantly increase the speed of PHP applications running on Windows Server IIS. Besides increasing the speed of PHP applications, WinCache decreases CPU usage making it a win win situation extension. I’ve described how to run PHP with WinCache on IIS in an earlier post.

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Benchmarking WordPress, simple load & speed testing with ApacheBench

ApacheBench, or ab, is a small benchmark utility that comes with Apache. It’s a really simple HTTP load generating tool, ideal for a simple WordPress load & speed test. How fast does your WordPress site respond? How many HTTP requests per second can your server handle? These are questions on which ab can shed some light.

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Tips to speed up WordPress, serve gzip comressed static HTML files

Who said WordPress is slow on Windows Server IIS? Gzip compress and serve WP-Super-Cache or Cache Enabler static HTML files, to supercharge your WordPress blog. Here is how to serve gzip compressed HTML files through Windows Server IIS: create smaller, compressed, static HTML files, that are downloaded faster. This works with WP-Super-Cache and Cache Enabler on IIS!

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How to optimize your WordPress hosting – 9+ practical tips

Isn’t it true that, when you (start to) develop WordPress websites for clients, and you host them yourself, you find yourself in a situation where you need to know a lot about “stuff” other than WordPress development? In this optimize your WordPress hosting post, I provide 10 practical tips for you, to improve WordPress hosting performance. Especially useful for when you plan to host WordPress websites yourself. Read on to learn how I optimize my WordPress hosting, and how you can do the same.

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WordPress advisory: Akal premium theme XSS vulnerability & abandonded

Over the course of one week I had the opportunity to audit two hacked WordPress websites. I could quickly discover two vulnerabilities: a Cross Site Scripting, or XSS, in a premium WordPress theme Akal, and a SQL injection Denial-of-Service in a later to be disclosed plugin. This post describes the Akal theme XSS vulnerability.

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SSL in WordPress: how to move your WordPress site to HTTPS? The definitive guide

How to add SSL and HTTPS in your WordPress site, the definitive guide! Did you know that having an SSL certificate on your website is the de-facto standard nowadays? Google ranks sites having HTTPS -or an SSL certificate- higher in their SERP. But in WordPress, what do you need to do to set up and install an SSL certificate in your WordPress website? You’ll learn the important steps to move WordPress from http to https in this post.

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17 Valuable WordPress snippets you never knew you could live without

17 valuable WordPress snippets for a site-specific plugin and functions.php that give you a better WordPress experience. Enhance your WordPress site with these small PHP snippets: WordPress filters, actions and functions. Quickly add or extend the functionality you need for your WordPress website! Read on…

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Deny vulnerable WordPress plugins using Windows Server File Server Resource Manager’s File Screens

Using Windows Server File Server Resource Manager’s File Screens you can block vulnerable WordPress plugins from being saved on your IIS web server. In the following example, you’ll learn how to block WP DB Backup plugin system-wide on Windows Server, read on…

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