WordPress Sites used for Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Attacks – Mar 17/14

WordPress sites with Pingback enabled (on by default) can be used in DDOS attacks against other sites. XMLRPC  is used for pingbacks, trackbacks, remote access via mobile devices, etc.  To verify if your site is being used to attack others, look through your logs for any POST requests to the XML-RPC file.  If you see a pingback to a random URL, you know your site is being misused.

You will need to disable the XML-RPC (pingback) functionality on your site to stop your WordPress website from being misused.  The Disable XML-RPC plugin is available at https://wordpress.org/plugins/disable-xml-rpc/ or you can create your own plugin that incorporates the following code:

add_filter( ‘xmlrpc_methods’, function( $methods ) {
unset( $methods[‘pingback.ping’] );
return $methods;
} );