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How to hack a WordPress website with WPScan

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How to hack a WordPress website with WPScan

This tutorial in the category WordPress hacking shows you how to scan WordPress for possible vulnerabilities and enumerate WordPress users. We will conclude this tutorial with a demonstration on how to brute force root passwords using WPScan in Kali Linux. WPScan is a black box WordPress vulnerability scanner and a must have tool for any WordPress web developer to scan for vulnerabilities and solve issues before they get exploited. Together with Nikto, a great webserver assessment tool, this tool should be part of any penetration test targeting a WordPress Website.
WPScan comes pre-installed on the following Linux distributions:

The latest version is WPScan 2.8 and the database currently contains:
  • Total vulnerable versions: 98
  • Total vulnerable plugins: 1.076
  • Total vulnerable themes: 361
  • Total version vulnerabilities: 1.104
  • Total plugin vulnerabilities: 1.763
  • Total theme vulnerabilities: 443

Windows is not supported by WPScan. The latest version is available for download at the following website(Linux & Mac): http://wpscan.org/

WPScan update

Start with the following command to update the vulnerabilities database:
wpscan –update

Scanning WordPress vulnerabilities

Than use the following command to scan a website for possible vulnerabilities:
wpscan –url [wordpress url]
WPscan WordPress vulnerability scanner

How to enumerate WordPress users


Use the following command to enumerate the WordPress users:


wpscan –url [wordpress url] –enumerate u

WPscan WordPress vulnerability scanner2


How to brute force the root password

Use the following command to brute force the password for user root:
wpscan –url [wordpress url] –wordlist [path to wordlist] –username [username to brute force] –threads [number of threads to use]
WPscan WordPress vulnerability scanner3

How to avoid WordPress User Enumeration

If you want to avoid WordPress user enumeration, you should avoid using the username as nickname and display name which is shown publicly. Best option is to choose an administrator username which consists of random characters and use another nickname. WPScan scans for usernames in the URL’s so if you won’t use the username it cannot be scanned by WPScan.

How to avoid Wordpres password brute forcing

The best way to keep attackers using brute force methods out is to limit the login attempts for and IP address. There are several plug-ins available for WordPress to limit login attempts. The latest WordPress versions have this option by default. Make sure you limit entries to a maximum of 3 and increase lock out time a lot after 2 lock outs (which is 6 password attempts).



Enumeration Arguments
Fin below an overview of enumeration arguments which can be used for scanning:

–enumerate | -e [option(s)] Enumeration.
option :
u – usernames from id 1 to 10
u[10-20] usernames from id 10 to 20 (you must write [] chars)
p – plugins
vp – only vulnerable plugins
ap – all plugins (can take a long time)
tt – timthumbs
t – themes
vt – only vulnerable themes
at – all themes (can take a long time)
Multiple values are allowed : “-e tt,p” will enumerate timthumbs and plugins

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