This post is part of a series about the Internet marketing strategy I call Inbound Marketing, as well as part of a sub-series on the technical aspects of Inbound marketing. This post is also part of another sub-series that provides information about the specific WordPress plugins I find to be useful to Inbound Marketing.
To access the lead posts please click any of the links in the prior sentences.
A password dictionary attack is when a piece of software attempts to login to a system trying a list of words (the dictionary) as the passwords, one at a time.
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Why do you need to be concerned with this?
Because it happens A LOT!!! I install the WordFence Security plugin on my WordPress websites so when such a dictionary attack is attempted, I’m alerted.
On my busiest website (soleragroup.com) it used to happen daily.
It no longer does. In fact on that website it is now a rare occurrence?
Why? Because I installed the Captcha WordPress plugin and configured it so in order to login to the WordPress dashboard you must answer a simple math problem. Because that renders it impervious to password dictionary attacks, that website is no longer a target.
How serious a problem is this?
The good people at WordFence Security have stated that the average back ground activity of password dictionary attacks are….. are you sitting down…… 2,000 every minute. When activity picks up beyond that level they send out email alerts (I suggest you subscribe).
You can not prevent these attacks, but there are three things you can do to ensure your site never gets compromised:
- Install the Captcha plugin and configure it so anyone attempting to login to the dashboard has to answer a simple match question. The way the math problem is presented, the dictionary attack software can’t see it.
- Install the WordFence Security plugin and configure it so an IP address is locked out after X number of unsuccessful login attempts (the default is 20, I set this to 10).
- Pick good password that do not occur in dictionaries. That’s a whole blog post of it’s own.
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