WordPress uses hashing to encrypt user passwords.1 Hashing is a one-way cryptographic function that takes an input (in this case, the user’s password) and converts it into a fixed-length string of characters known as a hash. To protect user credentials, WordPress(WordPress encrypt password) employs a powerful and secure hashing technique.

Here’s how WordPress encrypts and verifies user passwords:

Password Hashing:

When a user establishes an account or changes their password, WordPress generates a unique salt 2(random data) for the user. This salt is mixed with the user’s password and passed via the bcrypt hashing algorithm.

Salting is the process of adding a random string of characters (the salt) to the user’s password before hashing it. Salting is required to ensure that two identical passwords produce different hash results due to the unique salts. This makes it more difficult for attackers to utilize precomputed tables (rainbow tables) to guess passwords.

Hash Storage:

The generated hash is then saved in the WordPress database. Importantly, WordPress does not save the user’s plaintext password; only the hash and the salt are saved.

Password Verification:

When a user logs in, WordPress fetches the stored hash and salt for the matching user from the database. It then combines the password entered upon login with the stored salt and rehashes it.

This method is secure because even if an attacker gains access to the database, they will only find hashed password values rather than actual passwords. Furthermore, the adoption of a robust hashing method and unique salts for each user makes reverse-engineering the original passwords substantially more difficult.

WordPress’s security procedures are always evolving, so it’s critical to stay up to date on the latest versions and best practices for safeguarding your WordPress website. WordPress may utilize newer and more secure password hashing techniques in the future to protect user data. Always keep your WordPress installation and plugins up to date to take advantage of the most recent security enhancements.

<?php
$wp_hasher = new PasswordHash(8, TRUE);

$password_hashed = '$P$B55D6LjfHDkINU5wF.v2BuuzO0/XPk/';
$plain_password = 'test';

if($wp_hasher->CheckPassword($plain_password, $password_hashed)) {
    echo "YES, Matched";
} else {
    echo "No, Wrong Password";
}
?>
  1. wp_hash_password ↩︎
  2. wordpress.org salt generator – WordPress API/ ↩︎
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