Tag Archives: attack

Protecting Against WordPress Brute-Force Attacks

One of our customers was experiencing very high load today. Checking his logs showed too many IPs trying to hack at the wp-admin.php login page. Here’s a snapshot of what I saw:
# tail -f /var/www/vhosts/*/statistics/logs/*_log
==> /var/www/vhosts/example.com/statistics/logs/access_log <== 10.0.1.169 - - [03/Oct/2013:05:50:17 -0500] "POST /wp-login.php HTTP/1.0" 200 4479 "example.com/wp-login.php" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0" 10.1.1.206 - - [03/Oct/2013:05:50:21 -0500] "POST /wp-login.php HTTP/1.0" 200 4479 "example.com/wp-login.php" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0" 10.0.2.197 - - [03/Oct/2013:05:50:23 -0500] "POST /wp-login.php HTTP/1.0" 200 4479 "example.com/wp-login.php" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0" 10.0.55.117 - - [03/Oct/2013:05:50:24 -0500] "POST /wp-login.php HTTP/1.0" 200 4479 "example.com/wp-login.php" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0"

That went on forever!

The first thing I did was use the fail2ban filter I found here.

Unfortunately this did not work as the attack was widely distributed. Fail2ban is ineffective against such attacks. So the next thing I tried was password protect that page. I added a few lines in the apache configuration for that VirtualHost for basic authentication. That worked and the load instantly dropped to normal.

In case the files got lost or misplaced here's the gist:

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