Strong password controls are recommended at Word Press sites to ensure safety as major brute force attacks are more actively circulating
QUOTE: Brute force attacks against WordPress have always been very common. In fact, Brute Force attacks against any CMS these days is a common occurrence, what is always interesting however are the tools employed to make it happen. You create a website, because it’s super easy these days, publish the content and within a few weeks people try to repeatedly log in. These login attempts come from botnets, they are automated and their goal is simple “break into as many websites as they can by guessing their passwords.” Once they find one that matches, they take over of the site and use it to distribute malware, spam and similar activities.
Here is a small example, from our own honeypots, where we see hundreds of login attempts per day, trying various combinations. The passwords may seem silly, but after going through the most common 200/300 dictionary passwords, they can get into many web sites.
user: admin, pass: admin
user: admin, pass: 123456
user: admin, pass: 123123
user: admin, pass 112233
user: admin, pass: pass123
Originally, these brute force attacks always happened via /wp-login.php attempts, lately however they are evolving and now leveraging the XMLRPC wp.getUsersBlogs method to guess as many passwords as they can. Using XMLRPC is faster and harder to be detected, explaining this change in tactics. This is not to be confused with our post back in March where we reported XMLRPC being used to DDOS websites, oh no, in this instance they are leveraging it to break into websites.