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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: WordPress

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

Hidden Backdoor Found In WordPress Captcha Plugin Affects Over 300,000 Sites

Hidden Backdoor Found In WordPress Captcha Plugin Affects Over 300,000 Sites
December 20, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Buying popular plugins with a large user-base and using it for effortless malicious campaigns have become a new trend for bad actors. One such incident happened recently when the renowned developer BestWebSoft sold a popular Captcha WordPress plugin to an undisclosed buyer, who then modified the plugin to download and install a hidden backdoor. In a blog post published on Tuesday, WordFence security firm revealed why WordPress recently kicked a popular Captcha plugin with more than 300,000 active installations out of its official plugin store. While reviewing the source code of the Captcha plugin, WordFence folks found a severe backdoor that could allow the plugin author or attackers to remotely gain administrative access to WordPress websites without requiring any authentication. The plugin was configured to automatically pull an updated "backdoored" version from a remote URL — https[://]simplywordpress[dot]net/captcha/captcha_pro_update.php — after installati

WordPress Plugin Used by 300,000+ Sites Found Vulnerable to SQL Injection Attack

WordPress Plugin Used by 300,000+ Sites Found Vulnerable to SQL Injection Attack
July 01, 2017Wang Wei
A SQL Injection vulnerability has been discovered in one of the most popular Wordpress plugins, installed on over 300,000 websites, which could be exploited by hackers to steal databases and possibly hijack the affected sites remotely. The flaw has been discovered in the highly popular WP Statistics plugin, which allows site administrators to get detailed information related to the number of users online on their sites, the number of visits and visitors, and page statistics. Discovered by Sucuri team, WordPress plugin WP Statistics is vulnerable to SQL Injection flaw that allows a remote attacker, with at least a subscriber account, to steal sensitive information from the website's database and possibly gain unauthorized access to websites. SQL Injection is a web application bug that allows hackers to inject malicious Structured Query Language (SQL) code to web inputs in order to determine the structure and location of key databases, which eventually allows stealing of

Thousands of WordPress Sites Hacked Using Recently Disclosed Vulnerability

Thousands of WordPress Sites Hacked Using Recently Disclosed Vulnerability
February 07, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last week, we reported about a critical zero-day flaw in WordPress that was silently patched by the company before hackers have had their hands on the nasty bug to exploit millions of WordPress websites. To ensure the security of millions of websites and its users, WordPress delayed the vulnerability disclosure for over a week and worked closely with security companies and hosts to install the patch, ensuring that the issue was dealt with in short order before it became public. But even after the company's effort to protect its customers, thousands of admins did not bother to update their websites, which are still vulnerable to the critical bug and has already been exploited by hackers. While WordPress includes a default feature that automatically updates unpatched websites, some admins running critical services disable this feature for first testing and then applying patches. Even the news blog of one of the famous Linux distribution OpenSUSE (news.opensuse.org) was

Critical WordPress REST API Bug: Prevent Your Blog From Being Hacked!

Critical WordPress REST API Bug: Prevent Your Blog From Being Hacked!
February 02, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last week, WordPress patched three security flaws, but just yesterday the company disclosed about a nasty then-secret zero-day vulnerability that let remote unauthorized hackers modify the content of any post or page within a WordPress site. The nasty bug resides in Wordpress REST API that would lead to the creation of two new vulnerabilities: Remote privilege escalation and Content injection bugs. Wordpress is the world's most popular content management system (CMS) used on millions of websites. The CMS recently added and enabled REST API by default on WordPress 4.7.0. Flaw lets Unauthorised Hacker Redirect Visitors to Malicious Exploits The vulnerability is easy to exploit and affects versions 4.7 and 4.7.1 of the Wordpress content management system (CMS), allowing an unauthenticated attacker to modify all pages on unpatched sites and redirect visitors to malicious exploits and a large number of attacks. The vulnerability was discovered and reported by Marc-Alexandr

WordPress enables Free HTTPS Encryption for all Blogs with Custom Domain

WordPress enables Free HTTPS Encryption for all Blogs with Custom Domain
April 09, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Do you own a custom domain or a blog under the wordpress.com domain name? If yes, then there is good news for you. WordPress is bringing free HTTPS to every blog and website that belongs to them in an effort to make the Web more secure. WordPress – free, open source and the most popular a content management system (CMS) system on the Web – is being used by over a quarter of all websites across the world, and this new move represents a massive shift over to a more secure Internet WordPress announced on Friday that it has partnered with the Electronic Frontier Foundation's " Let's Encrypt " project, allowing it to provide reliable and free HTTPS support for all of its customers that use custom domains for their WordPress.com blogs. Now every website hosted on wordpress.com has an SSL certificate and will display a green lock in the address bar. "For you, the users, that means you'll see secure encryption automatically deployed on ev

WordPress 4.2.3 Security Update Released, Patches Critical Vulnerability

WordPress 4.2.3 Security Update Released, Patches Critical Vulnerability
July 23, 2015Swati Khandelwal
WordPress has just released the new version of its content management system (CMS), WordPress version 4.2.3 , to fix a critical security vulnerability that could have been exploited by hackers to take over websites, affecting the security of its Millions of sites. WordPress version 4.2.3 resolves a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) flaw that could allow any user with the Contributor or Author role to compromise a website, Gary Pendergast of the WordPress team wrote in a blog post on Thursday. Cross-site scripting is actually a vulnerability in the Web applications' code that opens up the target website to attacks. The vulnerability is one of the most favorite and commonly used flaws by cyber criminals. According to the company, the vulnerability could allow hackers to embed maliciously-crafted HTML, JavaScript, Flash, or other code to bypass WordPress's kses protection by fooling users into executing a malicious script on their computer system. This, in turn, le

WordPress Analytics Plugin Leaves 1.3 Million Sites Vulnerable to Hackers

WordPress Analytics Plugin Leaves 1.3 Million Sites Vulnerable to Hackers
February 25, 2015Mohit Kumar
A critical vulnerability has been discovered in one of the most popular plugins of the the WordPress content management platform that puts more than one Million websites at risks of being completely hijacked by the attackers. The vulnerability actually resides in most versions of a WordPress plugin called Wettable Powder Slimstat (WP-Slimstat) . While there are more than 70 million websites on the Internet currently running WordPress, more than 1.3 Million of them use the 'WP-Slimstat' Plugin , making it one of the popular plugins of WordPress for powerful real-time web analytic. All the WP-Slimstat versions prior to the latest release of Slimstat 3.9.6 contain an easily guessable 'secret' key which is used to sign data sent to and from the visiting end-user computers, explained in a blog post published Tuesday by Web security firm Sucuri. Once the weak 'secret' key is break, an attacker could perform an SQL injection attack against the target website

GHOST glibc Vulnerability Affects WordPress and PHP applications

GHOST glibc Vulnerability Affects WordPress and PHP applications
January 30, 2015Swati Khandelwal
After the disclosure of extremely critical GHOST vulnerability in the GNU C library (glibc) — a widely used component of most Linux distributions, security researchers have discovered that PHP applications, including the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), could also be affected by the bug. " GHOST " is a serious vulnerability ( CVE-2015-0235 ), announced this week by the researchers of California-based security firm Qualys, that involves a heap-based buffer overflow in the glibc function name - "GetHOSTbyname()." Researchers said the vulnerability has been present in the glibc code since 2000. Though the major Linux distributors such as Red Hat , Debian and Ubuntu , have already updated their software against the flaw, GHOST could be used by hackers against only a handful of applications currently to remotely run executable code and silently gain control of a Linux server. As we explained in our previous article, heap-based buffer overflow was found
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