How to deal with endless bot hits on wp-login.php

Kaz Wolfe

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#1
When I view log file for my Wordpress site, there has so many records that showing bots trying to hit my my wp-login.php. Is there a way to secure wp-login.php. I would appreciate any opinions on this.
 

VirtuBox

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#2
If you are using Nginx, here the settings for wordpress :

Code:
# Limit access to avoid brute force attack
location = /wp-login.php {
  limit_req zone=one burst=1 nodelay;
  include fastcgi_params;
  fastcgi_pass php;
}
# Disable wp-config.txt
location = /wp-config.txt {
  deny all;
  access_log off;
  log_not_found off;
}
# Disallow php in upload folder
location /wp-content/uploads/ {
  location ~ \.php$ {
    #Prevent Direct Access Of PHP Files From Web Browsers
    deny all;
  }
}
# Yoast sitemap
location ~ ([^/]*)sitemap(.*)\.x(m|s)l$ {
  rewrite ^/sitemap\.xml$ /sitemap_index.xml permanent;
  rewrite ^/([a-z]+)?-?sitemap\.xsl$ /index.php?xsl=$1 last;
  # Rules for yoast sitemap with wp|wpsubdir|wpsubdomain
  rewrite ^.*/sitemap_index\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=1 last;
  rewrite ^.*/([^/]+?)-sitemap([0-9]+)?\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=$1&sitemap_n=$2 last;
  # Following lines are options. Needed for WordPress seo addons
  rewrite ^/news_sitemap\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=wpseo_news last;
  rewrite ^/locations\.kml$ /index.php?sitemap=wpseo_local_kml last;
  rewrite ^/geo_sitemap\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=wpseo_local last;
  rewrite ^/video-sitemap\.xsl$ /index.php?xsl=video last;
  access_log off;
}
 
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#3
When I view log file for my Wordpress site, there has so many records that showing bots trying to hit my my wp-login.php. Is there a way to secure wp-login.php. I would appreciate any opinions on this.
File or folder protect with password is a good way to stop malicious login attempts

If you are using Nginx, here the settings for wordpress :

Code:
# Limit access to avoid brute force attack
location = /wp-login.php {
  limit_req zone=one burst=1 nodelay;
  include fastcgi_params;
  fastcgi_pass php;
}
# Disable wp-config.txt
location = /wp-config.txt {
  deny all;
  access_log off;
  log_not_found off;
}
# Disallow php in upload folder
location /wp-content/uploads/ {
  location ~ \.php$ {
    #Prevent Direct Access Of PHP Files From Web Browsers
    deny all;
  }
}
# Yoast sitemap
location ~ ([^/]*)sitemap(.*)\.x(m|s)l$ {
  rewrite ^/sitemap\.xml$ /sitemap_index.xml permanent;
  rewrite ^/([a-z]+)?-?sitemap\.xsl$ /index.php?xsl=$1 last;
  # Rules for yoast sitemap with wp|wpsubdir|wpsubdomain
  rewrite ^.*/sitemap_index\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=1 last;
  rewrite ^.*/([^/]+?)-sitemap([0-9]+)?\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=$1&sitemap_n=$2 last;
  # Following lines are options. Needed for WordPress seo addons
  rewrite ^/news_sitemap\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=wpseo_news last;
  rewrite ^/locations\.kml$ /index.php?sitemap=wpseo_local_kml last;
  rewrite ^/geo_sitemap\.xml$ /index.php?sitemap=wpseo_local last;
  rewrite ^/video-sitemap\.xsl$ /index.php?xsl=video last;
  access_log off;
}
Nice codes but if I am using other OS, there is a way to do it with a plugin or a simpler way?
 

WPCycle

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#12
WPCycle
The best option is to find out the equivalent codes to the OS you're using. Blocking traffic is more effective from the server before it goes to PHP or MySqL. Doing it from a plugin then requires PHP processes to block the traffic, and jams the tables with information related to those blocks.
 
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VirtuBox

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#4
You can do the same with Apache using the .htaccess.
But that's also why I prefer to use nginx with 1 .conf file / domain instead of thousands of .htaccess
 

Kaz Wolfe

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#5
Kaz Wolfe
Using Apache as my web server, I am going to move to nginx because it has better performance than Apache.

Code:
/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
Is this the location of .conf file which you mentioned to?
 

Nixtree

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#6
For Apache, I will suggest Modsec rules and for nginx , the method virtubox given will be perfect !!
 

Kaz Wolfe

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#8
Kaz Wolfe
Can you share Modsec rules for Apache? I would give it a try if it really has a difference.
 

Laurence Flynn

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#9
Last edited by a moderator:

Kaz Wolfe

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#10
Kaz Wolfe
Whoops I didn't check your link, rarely check links if its not related to my question.
btw, it's blocking bots using htaccess file, I thought I can do that on my hosting panel with some clicks.
If using this way, I would block directly wp-login.php by htaccess, it is more easier and convenient.

For example

Code:
<Files "wp-login.php">
order allow,deny
deny from all
Allow from myy.ipp.add.res
</Files>
 

Laurence Flynn

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#7
Absolutely mod_security. Here are some resources:

https://www.andreapernici.com/wordpress-brute-force-attacks-lock-modsecurity/
http://honeyco.nyc/blog/prevent-brute-force-login-on-wordpress/

In /etc/httpd/conf/modsecurity.d/ this is our wp-login.conf:

Code:
SecAction phase:1,nolog,pass,initcol:ip=%{REMOTE_ADDR},initcol:user=%{REMOTE_ADDR},id:1
<Location /wp-login.php>
SecRule user:bf_block "@gt 0" "deny,status:401,log,msg:'ip address blocked for 5 minutes, more than 15 login attempts in 3 minutes.',id:2"
SecRule RESPONSE_STATUS "^302" "phase:5,t:none,log,pass,setvar:ip.bf_counter=0,id:3"
SecRule RESPONSE_STATUS "^200" "phase:5,chain,t:none,log,pass,setvar:ip.bf_counter=+1,deprecatevar:ip.bf_counter=1/180,id:4"
SecRule ip:bf_counter "@gt 15" "t:none,setvar:user.bf_block=1,expirevar:user.bf_block=300,setvar:ip.bf_counter=0"
</location>
You should also protect xml-rpc.php. Again, some resources:

http://alzabo.io/modsecurity/2014/09/15/wordpress-xml-rpc-brute-force.html

https://gist.github.com/arg0sy/20a85ce5187d9dfc159b

Our xml-rpc.conf:

Code:
ecDataDir /tmp

SecResponseBodyAccess On
SecResponseBodyLimitAction ProcessPartial
SecResponseBodyMimeType text/xml

# SecStreamInBodyInspection requires ModSecurity 2.6.0 or greater
SecStreamInBodyInspection On

SecAction "phase:1,nolog,pass,id:19300,\
    initcol:ip=%{REMOTE_ADDR}"

<FilesMatch "xmlrpc.php">
    SecRule RESPONSE_BODY "faultString" "id:19301,nolog,phase:4,\
        t:none,t:urlDecode,setvar:ip.xmlrpc_bf_counter=+1,\
        deprecatevar:ip.xmlrpc_bf_counter=1/300,pass"

    SecRule STREAM_INPUT_BODY "<methodCall>wp\." "id:19302,log,chain,\
        deny,status:406,phase:4,t:none,t:urlDecode,\
        msg:'Temporary block due to multiple XML-RPC method call failures'"

    SecRule ip:xmlrpc_bf_counter "@gt 4" "t:none,t:urlDecode,\
        t:removeWhitespace
</FilesMatch>
Hope this helps.
 

Laurence Flynn

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#11
Yep, if using standard shared hosting you have to use .htacess. But your host should have the mod_sec rules in place or something similar.
 

Danami

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#13

Dr. McKay

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#20
Dr. McKay
This way seems pretty complex, I would like to use password protect your WordPress admin or wp-login.php with .htaccess. I am using this way for my Wordpress sites and it is effective.
 

LJSHost

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#14
This is big problem for any hosting provider. I deal with many cases of this daily along with XMLRPC attacks, which do eat a decent amount of CPU and if left unchecked overtime will dominate all resources on the account/server. I use a script which monitors Apache logs and mails me when triggers happen. A simple alternative is just to use the watch command with apache status and a grep -v you can clearly see all the bot attacks on wp-login.php and xmlrpc.

It's just a simple matter of blocking them at the firewall.

Code:
106.75.85.203
96.10.116.230
155.133.82.12
95.39.39.126
195.154.250.118
195.154.250.248
108.175.2.210
91.102.224.83
91.200.12.53
195.154.250.216
182.255.0.60
37.59.110.98
2.50.32.153
195.154.241.166
62.210.188.86
199.15.233.168
199.15.233.162
114.108.150.159
61.19.112.28
197.253.1.252
94.23.250.199
195.154.226.186
173.208.157.186
185.13.224.189
43.228.128.187
103.215.83.39
199.15.233.170
91.197.232.109
130.211.177.25
199.15.233.147
46.4.133.5
14.1.30.27
74.208.86.223
51.254.215.108
138.197.124.33
195.154.183.190
62.210.88.4
125.209.122.46
84.255.248.64
196.3.88.149
93.186.254.98
104.131.228.134
149.156.173.214
195.154.232.138
177.220.137.198
195.154.178.53
91.200.12.103
186.208.1.235
156.67.106.211
137.74.20.93
176.31.106.171
80.122.108.46
51.15.138.215
199.15.233.142
47.90.55.236
61.41.4.26
181.39.89.146
203.154.220.132
124.124.214.44
181.143.230.53
91.200.12.15
217.70.32.3
Here is our repeat offenders for xmlrpc and wp-login since Feb 1st if any if you want to add these to your firewall :)

As others have said many different solutions exist for this problem and they all work good
 

LJSHost

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#17
As a hosting company we cannot rely on customers to take the correct security actions. WordPress is a customer application that we have nothing to do with the management of but like I said in my previous post these attacks have to be dealt with asap as the do create server load. I've had whole CPU cores eaten up by huge amounts of brute force on many sites.
 

rankmyhub

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#18
If you want plugin based solution, i would recommend

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-simple-firewall/

Install their free version on wordpress.org it does a good job and hardens most parts of wordpress. You can even implement CSP, Secure Headers and other things right from the plugin.

Hope this helps you. Thanks
 

Dewlance

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#19
Best option is allow from your IP and deny access from everyone using .htaccess file in wp-admin folder.

Other option is referral checker which will not allow direct access to wp-login.php
 
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