In May, police said Wiranto and three other top officials were targeted in a failed assassination plot linked to deadly riots in Jakarta after Widodo's victory.
The stabbing comes just over a week before President Joko Widodo begins a second term, after winning re-election in April.
Police had arrested a man and a woman they suspected were a couple, and seized sharp weapons they were carrying, including knives and a pair of scissors, said Tohir.
Prasetyo said the attacker also wounded a police chief who was about to greet Wiranto as he got out of a auto, along with a villager.
Soldiers carry Wiranto on a stretcher to a helicopter.
The attacker, who was restrained by Wiranto's aides, and a female companion were arrested, police said.
The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.
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Prasetyo told reporters they may have been radicalized by the Islamic State group's ideology. "No one was killed, the perpetrators were caught alive and can be questioned and Indonesia remains completely stable", she said.
As chief of the armed forces from 1998 to 1999, when the national police force was still under military control, Wiranto oversaw security and defence at a time when student protests erupted nationwide and eventually led to the fall of president Suharto in 1998.
Many past attacks by Indonesian militants have been against police and other state symbols.
Wiranto was indicted by a United Nations panel over the bloodshed surrounding East Timor's 1999 independence vote, when about 1,000 people were killed.
He was a presidential candidate in 2004 but came third.