WP Author Security

Description

WP Author Security is a lightweight but powerful plugin to protect against user enumeration attacks on author pages and other places where valid user names can be obtained.

By default, WordPress will display some sensitive information on author pages.
The author page is typically called by requesting the URI https://yourdomain.tld/?author=<id> or with permalinks https://yourdomain.tld/author/<username>.
The page will include (depending on your theme) the full name (first and last name) as well as the username of the author which is used to log in to WordPress.

In some cases, it is not wanted to expose this information to the public. An attacker is able to brute force valid IDs or valid usernames. This information might be used for further attacks like social engineering attacks or log in brute force attacks with gathered usernames.
However, when using the plugin and you disable author pages completely it must be noted that you need to take care that your active theme will not display the author name itself on posts like “Posted by admin” or something like that. This is something the plugin will not handle (at the moment).

By using the extension, you are able to disable the author pages either completely or display them only when the author has at least one published post. When the page is disabled the default 404 error page of the active theme is displayed.

In addition, the plugin will also protect other locations which are commonly used by attackers to gather valid user names. These are:

  • The REST API for users which will list all users with published posts by default.
    https://yourdomain.tld/wp-json/wp/v2/users
  • The log in page where different error messages will indicate whether an entered user name or mail address exists or not. The plugin will display a neutral error message independently whether the user exists or not.
  • The password forgotten function will also allow an attacker to check for the existence of a user. As for the log in page the plugin will display a neutral message even when the user does not exists.

Screenshots

  • Admin settings
  • 404 page when requesting author page by user ID.
  • Log in error message when the user name exists but a wrong password is entered.

Installation

  1. Install the plugin via the Dashboard Plugins -> Add new or upload the plugin’s folder ‘wp-author-security’ from the zip into your WordPress plugin folder wp-content/plugins/ (e.g. via ftp)
  2. Activate the plugin in the WordPress backend
  3. Customize the settings by navigating to Settings -> WP Author Security

Reviews

There are no reviews for this plugin.

Contributors & Developers

“WP Author Security” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“WP Author Security” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “WP Author Security” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

1.2.1

  • updated documentation
  • bugfix wrong mail detection

1.2.0

  • added protection for log in and password forgotten page
  • added language support for de/en

1.1.0

  • added protection for REST API

1.0.0

  • initial release