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Lock down the WordPress Dashboard

Because of the recent increase in attacks on WordPress, we were recently chatting about locking down /wp-admin and wp-login.php.

We discussed the Limit Login Attempts plugin, which works really well. If a user fails to login after a certain amount of attempts, they are blacklisted for a period of time. But what if we did more?

.htaccess

You could use .htaccess to deny all traffic (except ours) based on IP address. The code to “deny all” is pretty simple and easy to implement. Simply drop the snippet below into .htaccess, and change the IP address to yours. 

This will block anyone from accessing both wp-login.php AND the WordPress dashboard. Don’t worry, if your IP address changes, you can always edit it later using FTP. Here’s an example:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-login\.php(.*)$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-admin$
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^101\.167\.112\.117$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [R=403,L]
</IfModule>

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

Cloudflare

Cloudflare’s Firewall is also a great way to lock down the WordPress Dashboard.

clouflare firewall settings

By Greg Rickaby

Director of Engineering @WebDevStudios / Author & Editor @Wiley

One reply on “Lock down the WordPress Dashboard”

Good advice, Greg. Out of curiosity, does this help with the XMLRPC attacks some of our sites have been getting lately?

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