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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: WordPress

Hackers Planted Secret Backdoor in Dozens of WordPress Plugins and Themes

Hackers Planted Secret Backdoor in Dozens of WordPress Plugins and Themes

January 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
In yet another instance of software supply chain attack, dozens of WordPress themes and plugins hosted on a developer's website were backdoored with malicious code in the first half of September 2021 with the goal of infecting further sites. The backdoor gave the attackers full administrative control over websites that used 40 themes and 53 plugins belonging to AccessPress Themes, a Nepal-based company that boasts of no fewer than 360,000 active website installations. "The infected extensions contained a dropper for a web shell that gives the attackers full access to the infected sites," security researchers from JetPack, a WordPress plugin suite developer, said in a  report  published this week. "The same extensions were fine if downloaded or installed directly from the WordPress[.]org directory." The vulnerability has been assigned the identifier  CVE-2021-24867 . Website security platform Sucuri, in a separate analysis,  said  some of the infected websit
High-Severity Vulnerability in 3 WordPress Plugins Affected 84,000 Websites

High-Severity Vulnerability in 3 WordPress Plugins Affected 84,000 Websites

January 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have disclosed a security shortcoming affecting three different WordPress plugins that impact over 84,000 websites and could be abused by a malicious actor to take over vulnerable sites. "This flaw made it possible for an attacker to update arbitrary site options on a vulnerable site, provided they could trick a site's administrator into performing an action, such as clicking on a link," WordPress security company Wordfence  said  in a report published last week. Tracked as CVE-2022-0215, the cross-site request forgery ( CSRF ) flaw is rated 8.8 on the CVSS scale and impacts three plugins maintained by  Xootix  — Login/Signup Popup  (Inline Form + Woocommerce), Side Cart Woocommerce  (Ajax), and Waitlist Woocommerce  (Back in stock notifier) Cross-site request forgery, also known as one-click attack or session riding, occurs when an authenticated end-user is tricked by an attacker into submitting a specially crafted web request. "If the victim i
1.6 Million WordPress Sites Under Cyberattack From Over 16,000 IP Addresses

1.6 Million WordPress Sites Under Cyberattack From Over 16,000 IP Addresses

December 10, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
As many as 1.6 million WordPress sites have been targeted by an active large-scale attack campaign originating from 16,000 IP addresses by exploiting weaknesses in four plugins and 15 Epsilon Framework themes. WordPress security company Wordfence, which  disclosed  details of the attacks, said Thursday it had detected and blocked more than 13.7 million attacks aimed at the plugins and themes in a period of 36 hours with the goal of taking over the websites and carrying out malicious actions. The plugins in question are Kiwi Social Share (<= 2.0.10), WordPress Automatic (<= 3.53.2), Pinterest Automatic (<= 4.14.3), and PublishPress Capabilities (<= 2.3), some of which have been patched dating all the way back to November 2018. The impacted Epsilon Framework themes and their corresponding versions are as follows — Activello (<=1.4.1) Affluent (<1.1.0) Allegiant (<=1.2.5) Antreas (<=1.0.6) Bonkers (<=1.0.5) Brilliance (<=1.2.9) Illdy (<=2.1.6) M
New Capoae Malware Infiltrates WordPress Sites and Installs Backdoored Plugin

New Capoae Malware Infiltrates WordPress Sites and Installs Backdoored Plugin

September 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A recently discovered wave of malware attacks has been spotted using a variety of tactics to enslave susceptible machines with easy-to-guess administrative credentials to co-opt them into a network with the goal of illegally mining cryptocurrency. "The malware's primary tactic is to spread by taking advantage of vulnerable systems and weak administrative credentials. Once they've been infected, these systems are then used to mine cryptocurrency," Akamai security researcher Larry Cashdollar  said  in a write-up published last week. The PHP malware — codenamed "Capoae" (short for "Сканирование," the Russian word for "Scanning") — is said to be delivered to the hosts via a backdoored addition to a WordPress plugin called "download-monitor," which gets installed after successfully brute-forcing WordPress admin credentials. The attacks also involve the deployment of a  Golang binary  with decryption functionality, with the obfusc
Hackers‌ ‌Actively‌ ‌Exploiting‌ ‌0-Day‌ ‌in WordPress Plugin Installed on Over ‌17,000‌ ‌Sites

Hackers‌ ‌Actively‌ ‌Exploiting‌ ‌0-Day‌ ‌in WordPress Plugin Installed on Over ‌17,000‌ ‌Sites

June 02, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Fancy Product Designer, a WordPress plugin installed on over 17,000 sites, has been discovered to contain a critical file upload vulnerability that's being actively exploited in the wild to upload malware onto sites that have the plugin installed. Wordfence's threat intelligence team, which discovered the flaw, said it reported the issue to the plugin's developer on May 31. While the flaw has been acknowledged, it's yet to be addressed. Fancy Product Designer is a tool that enables businesses to offer customizable products, allowing customers to design any kind of item ranging from T-shirts to phone cases by offering the ability to upload images and PDF files that can be added to the products. "Unfortunately, while the plugin had some checks in place to prevent malicious files from being uploaded, these checks were insufficient and could easily be bypassed, allowing attackers to upload executable PHP files to any site with the plugin installed," Wordfence
70 European and South American Banks Under Attack By Bizarro Banking Malware

70 European and South American Banks Under Attack By Bizarro Banking Malware

May 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A financially motivated cybercrime gang has unleashed a previously undocumented banking trojan, which can steal credentials from customers of 70 banks located in various European and South American countries. Dubbed " Bizarro " by Kaspersky researchers, the Windows malware is "using affiliates or recruiting money mules to operationalize their attacks, cashing out or simply to helping [sic] with transfers." The campaign consists of multiple moving parts, chief among them being the ability to trick users into entering two-factor authentication codes in fake pop-up windows that are then sent to the attackers, as well as its reliance on social engineering lures to convince visitors of banking websites into downloading a malicious smartphone app. Bizarro, which uses compromised WordPress, Amazon, and Azure servers to host the malware, is distributed via MSI packages downloaded by victims from sketchy links in spam emails. Launching the package downloads a ZIP archiv
Flaws in Two Popular WordPress Plugins Affect Over 7 Million Websites

Flaws in Two Popular WordPress Plugins Affect Over 7 Million Websites

March 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have disclosed vulnerabilities in multiple WordPress plugins that, if successfully exploited, could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code and take over a website in certain scenarios. The flaws were uncovered in  Elementor , a website builder plugin used on more than seven million sites, and  WP Super Cache , a tool used to serve cached pages of a WordPress site. According to Wordfence, which discovered the security weaknesses in Elementor, the bug concerns a set of  stored cross-site scripting  (XSS) vulnerabilities (CVSS score: 6.4), which occurs when a malicious script is injected directly into a vulnerable web application. In this case, due to a lack of validation of the HTML tags on the server-side, a bad actor can exploit the issues to add executable JavaScript to a post or page via a crafted request. "Since posts created by contributors are typically reviewed by editors or administrators before publishing, any JavaScript added to one of these posts would
KashmirBlack Botnet Hijacks Thousands of Sites Running On Popular CMS Platforms

KashmirBlack Botnet Hijacks Thousands of Sites Running On Popular CMS Platforms

October 29, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
An active botnet comprising hundreds of thousands of hijacked systems spread across 30 countries is exploiting "dozens of known vulnerabilities" to target widely-used content management systems (CMS). The "KashmirBlack" campaign, which is believed to have started around November 2019, aims for popular CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla!, PrestaShop, Magneto, Drupal, Vbulletin, OsCommerence, OpenCart, and Yeager. "Its well-designed infrastructure makes it easy to expand and add new exploits or payloads without much effort, and it uses sophisticated methods to camouflage itself, stay undetected, and protect its operation," Imperva researchers said in a  two-part   analysis . The cybersecurity firm's six-month-long investigation into the botnet reveals a complex operation managed by one command-and-control (C2) server and more than 60 surrogate servers that communicate with the bots to send new targets, allowing it to expand the size of the botn
Critical Bugs Found in 3 Popular e-Learning Plugins for WordPress Sites

Critical Bugs Found in 3 Popular e-Learning Plugins for WordPress Sites

April 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Security researchers are sounding the alarm over newly discovered vulnerabilities in some popular online learning management system ( LMS ) plugins that various organizations and universities use to offer online training courses through their WordPress-based websites. According to the Check Point Research Team, the three WordPress plugins in question — LearnPress , LearnDash , and LifterLMS — have security flaws that could permit students, as well as unauthenticated users, to pilfer personal information of registered users and even attain teacher privileges. "Because of coronavirus, we're doing everything from our homes, including our formal learning," Check Point Research's Omri Herscovici said. "The vulnerabilities found allow students, and sometimes even unauthenticated users, to gain sensitive information or take control of the LMS platforms." The three LMS systems are installed on approximately 100,000 different educational platforms, includi
Critical Bug in WordPress Theme Plugin Opens 200,000 Sites to Hackers

Critical Bug in WordPress Theme Plugin Opens 200,000 Sites to Hackers

February 17, 2020Swati Khandelwal
A popular WordPress theme plugin with over 200,000 active installations contains a severe but easy-to-exploit software vulnerability that, if left unpatched, could let unauthenticated remote attackers compromise a wide range of websites and blogs. The vulnerable plugin in question is ' ThemeGrill Demo Importer ' that comes with free as well as premium themes sold by the software development company ThemeGrill. ThemeGrill Demo Importer plugin has been designed to allow WordPress site admins to import demo content, widgets, and settings from ThemeGrill, making it easier for them to quickly customize the theme. According to a report WebARX security company shared with The Hacker News, when a ThemeGrill theme is installed and activated, the affected plugin executes some functions with administrative privileges without checking whether the user running the code is authenticated and is an admin. The flaw could eventually allow unauthenticated remote attackers to wipe the e
Flaw in Elementor and Beaver Addons Let Anyone Hack WordPress Sites

Flaw in Elementor and Beaver Addons Let Anyone Hack WordPress Sites

December 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Attention WordPress users! Your website could easily get hacked if you are using " Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder ," or " Ultimate Addons for Elementor " and haven't recently updated them to the latest available versions. Security researchers have discovered a critical yet easy-to-exploit authentication bypass vulnerability in both widely-used premium WordPress plugins that could allow remote attackers to gain administrative access to sites without requiring any password. What's more worrisome is that opportunistic attackers have already started exploiting this vulnerability in the wild within 2 days of its discovery in order to compromise vulnerable WordPress websites and install a malicious backdoor for later access. Both vulnerable plugins, made by software development company Brainstorm Force, are currently powering over hundreds of thousands of WordPress websites using Elementor and Beaver Builder frameworks, helping website admins and de
How Activity Logs Help WordPress Admins Better Manage Website Security

How Activity Logs Help WordPress Admins Better Manage Website Security

August 20, 2019The Hacker News
Managing a WordPress website can sap a lot of your time and energy, which otherwise you'd spend on managing your business. If you're looking to cut down on the hours, you spend troubleshooting WordPress technical and security problems, better managing and monitoring your website and users, or your customers, you need a WordPress activity log plugin . This post explains how to use the WP Security Audit Log plugin to keep a WordPress security audit log (aka activity log). It also highlights five ways an activity log helps you better manage your website and users and improve its security. WordPress Security Audit Logs - Introduction and Benefits An activity log is a record of everything that happens on your WordPress website. This includes a record of plugins, themes, and WordPress core changes, users activity (such as content changes), site settings changes, break-in attempts, WooCommerce store, and product changes, and everything else that happens on your website. WordP
New Flaw in WordPress Live Chat Plugin Lets Hackers Steal and Hijack Sessions

New Flaw in WordPress Live Chat Plugin Lets Hackers Steal and Hijack Sessions

June 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have been warning about a critical vulnerability they discovered in one of a popular WordPress Live Chat plugin, which, if exploited, could allow unauthorized remote attackers to steal chat logs or manipulate chat sessions. The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2019-12498, resides in the "WP Live Chat Support" that is currently being used by over 50,000 businesses to provide customer support and chat with visitors through their websites. Discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Alert Logic , the flaw originates because of an improper validation check for authentication that apparently could allow unauthenticated users to access restricted REST API endpoints. As described by researchers, a potential remote attacker can exploit exposed endpoints for malicious purposes, including: stealing the entire chat history for all chat sessions, modifying or deleting the chat history, injecting messages into an active chat session, posing as a custome
Critical Unpatched Flaw Disclosed in WordPress WooCommerce Extension

Critical Unpatched Flaw Disclosed in WordPress WooCommerce Extension

April 26, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you own an eCommerce website built on WordPress and powered by WooCommerce plugin, then beware of a new, unpatched vulnerability that has been made public and could allow attackers to compromise your online store. A WordPress security company—called " Plugin Vulnerabilities "—that recently gone rogue in order to protest against moderators of the WordPress's official support forum has once again dropped details  and proof-of-concept exploit for a critical flaw in a widely-used WordPress plugin. To be clear, the reported unpatched vulnerability doesn't reside in the WordPress core or WooCommerce plugin itself. Instead, the vulnerability exists in a plugin , called WooCommerce Checkout Manager , that extends the functionality of WooCommerce by allowing eCommerce sites to customize forms on their checkout pages and is currently being used by more than 60,000 websites. The vulnerability in question is an "arbitrary file upload" issue that can be exploi
Hackers Actively Exploiting Widely-Used Social Share Plugin for WordPress

Hackers Actively Exploiting Widely-Used Social Share Plugin for WordPress

April 23, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Hackers have been found exploiting a pair of critical security vulnerabilities in one of the popular social media sharing plugins to take control over WordPress websites that are still running a vulnerable version of the plugin. The vulnerable plugin in question is Social Warfare which is a popular and widely deployed WordPress plugin with more than 900,000 downloads. It is used to add social share buttons to a WordPress website or blog. Late last month, maintainers of Social Warfare for WordPress released an updated version 3.5.3 of their plugin to patch two security vulnerabilities—stored cross-site scripting (XSS) and remote code execution (RCE)—both tracked by a single identifier, i.e., CVE-2019-9978 . Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to run arbitrary PHP code and take complete control over websites and servers without authentication, and then use the compromised sites to perform digital coin mining or host malicious exploit code. However, the same day when Soc
WordPress iOS App Bug Leaked Secret Access Tokens to Third-Party Sites

WordPress iOS App Bug Leaked Secret Access Tokens to Third-Party Sites

April 03, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you have a "private" blog with WordPress.com and are using its official iOS app to create or edit posts and pages, the secret authentication token for your admin account might have accidentally been leaked to third-party websites. WordPress has recently patched a severe vulnerability in its iOS application that apparently leaked secret authorization tokens for users whose blogs were using images hosted on third-party sites, a spokesperson for Automattic confirmed The Hacker News in an email. Discovered by the team of WordPress engineers, the vulnerability resided in the way WordPress iOS application was fetching images used by private blogs but hosted outside of WordPress.com, for example, Imgur or Flickr. That means, if an image were hosted on Imgur and then when the WordPress iOS app attempted to fetch the image, it would send along a WordPress.com authorization token to Imgur, leaving a copy of the token in the access logs of the Imgur's web server. It sh
New WordPress Flaw Lets Unauthenticated Remote Attackers Hack Sites

New WordPress Flaw Lets Unauthenticated Remote Attackers Hack Sites

March 14, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If for some reason your WordPress-based website has not yet been automatically updated to the latest version 5.1.1, it's highly recommended to immediately upgrade it before hackers could take advantage of a newly disclosed vulnerability to hack your website. Simon Scannell, a researcher at RIPS Technologies GmbH, who previously reported multiple critical vulnerabilities in WordPress, has once again discovered a new flaw in the content management software (CMS) that could potentially lead to remote code execution attacks. The flaw stems from a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) issue in the Wordpress' comment section, one of its core components that comes enabled by default and affects all WordPress installations prior to version 5.1.1. Unlike most of the previous attacks documented against WordPress, this new exploit allows even an "unauthenticated, remote attacker" to compromise and gain remote code execution on the vulnerable WordPress websites. "
Critical Flaw Uncovered In WordPress That Remained Unpatched for 6 Years

Critical Flaw Uncovered In WordPress That Remained Unpatched for 6 Years

February 19, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Exclusive — If you have not updated your website to the latest WordPress version 5.0.3, it's a brilliant idea to upgrade the content management software of your site now. From now, I mean immediately. Cybersecurity researchers at RIPS Technologies GmbH today shared their latest research with The Hacker News, revealing the existence of a critical remote code execution vulnerability that affects all previous versions of WordPress content management software released in the past 6 years. The remote code execution attack, discovered and reported to the WordPress security team late last year, can be exploited by a low privileged attacker with at least an "author" account using a combination of two separate vulnerabilities—Path Traversal and Local File Inclusion—that reside in the WordPress core. The requirement of at least an author account reduces the severity of this vulnerability to some extent, which could be exploited by a rogue content contributor or an attacker w
Popular AMP Plugin for WordPress Patches Critical Flaw – Update Now

Popular AMP Plugin for WordPress Patches Critical Flaw – Update Now

November 15, 2018Mohit Kumar
A security researcher has disclosed details of a critical vulnerability in one of the popular and widely active plugins for WordPress that could allow a low-privileged attacker to inject malicious code on AMP pages of the targeted website. The vulnerable WordPress plugin in question is " AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages " that lets websites automatically generate valid accelerated mobile pages for their blog posts and other web pages. AMP , stands for Accelerated Mobile Page s , is an open-source technology that has been designed by Google to allow websites build and server faster web pages to mobile visitors. Though I am pretty sure the main version of "The Hacker News" website is enough fast for both desktop and mobile device users, you can also check the AMP version for this specific article here . Out of hundreds of plugins that allows WordPress websites to create Google-optimize AMP pages, "AMP for WP" is the most popular among others
Unpatched WordPress Flaw Gives Attackers Full Control Over Your Site

Unpatched WordPress Flaw Gives Attackers Full Control Over Your Site

June 27, 2018Mohit Kumar
UPDATE— WordPress has released version 4.9.7 to finally patch this vulnerability that could allow remote attackers to gain full control over affected websites. You are recommended to install the latest available version of WordPress as soon as possible. Last week we received a tip about an unpatched vulnerability in the WordPress core, which could allow a low-privileged user to hijack the whole site and execute arbitrary code on the server. Discovered by researchers at RIPS Technologies GmbH, the " authenticated arbitrary file deletion " vulnerability was reported 7 months ago to the WordPress security team but remains unpatched and affects all versions of WordPress, including the current 4.9.6. The vulnerability resides in one of the core functions of WordPress that runs in the background when a user permanently deletes thumbnail of an uploaded image. Researchers find that the thumbnail delete function accepts unsanitized user input, which if tempered, could all
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