How serious are the WordPress Malware Attacks?
According to the WordCamp site, there are currently over 75 million sites that use WordPress. While no one actually has the actual number of attacks. The WordFence plugin has been downloaded over 180 million times and protects 4 million WordPress websites.
WordFence reported their customers experience 2800 malicious login attempts per second. WordFence analysis accounts for a very small portion of the WordPress user base.
If malicious attacks rates are consistent. The WordPress platform could easily have 50,000 attacks per-second.
The likelihood of the attacks being consistent is slim. Hackers are smart people. They know that attacking a WordPress site without Security is easier to access than one with Security. Attacks on systems without security is more prevalent.
2021 WordPress Hacks
Shared Hosting Vulnerability
FINALLY – Sucuri has reported (what I have been telling my clients for years). Shared Hosting requires that all sites are up-to-date. Hackers are able to access a website via the cPanel by first accessing a known vulnerable site on the cPanel hosting.
For more information on Share Hosting Infections read – Trojan Spyware and Bec Attacks (if you are not techinal jump to the article conclusion).
Keep All Sites Current to Avoid Shared Hosting Hack.
2021 WordPress Plugin Attacks
Are you using any of the following plugins
It is Time to Update (or remove) Vulnerable WordPress Plugins.
Variation Swatches by Woosuite
Customers Taking Over Your WordPress Site
- 📰 Variation Swatches (800K websites)
All in One SEO
Wipe Your Entire Site Clean
- 📰 All In One SEO (3 million websites)
A critical Authenticated Privilege Escalation bug and a high severity Authenticated SQL Injection. While the attack seems light – if you read begin the lines – you quickly discover that the user privilege can be changed remotely and your entire site can be taken over.
WP Reset Plugin
Wipe Your Entire Site Clean
- 📰 WP Reset Plugin (300 K websites)
Why a developer would leave a reset plugin active on a website is beside me. Once hacked the plugin allows the hacker to wipe the site. Plain and simple. Again, why would this type of plugin be left active on a website?
When is the last time you did a website backup?
Hide My WP
When your security is the problem
- 📰 Hide My WP (100 K websites)
A plugin dedicated to securing WordPress websites got hit. SQL injection vulnerabiity from IP address retrieved in the SQL query.
Those Lead Generators may cost you your site
- 📰 OptinMonster plugin (1 Million+ websites)
HashThemes Demo Importer
Reset and Wipe your WordPress website
- 📰 Hashthemes Demo Importer (8000+ websites)
The subscriber-level user hecker would allow attackers to delete most all of your media files and database content (good reason to always have a backup of your website).
Access Demo Importer plugin
Allow Privileges to Upload to your Server
- 📰 Server Access (20,000+ websites)
Websites that record information, credit cards, logins, or other types of data are particulary vaulnerable. Letting third parties to ability to “expolit the opening maliciously”.
Like many Developers being able to respond to plugin problems quickly may not be the easiest thing to do. For Access Demo Importer the updates took a few months to happen. Their plugin was removed by the managerment system administrators due to difficulty contacting the developers.
Download Monitor Plugin introduces new Malware strain
- 📰 New Strain of Malware called Capoae for Cryptocurrency miner (100,000+ websites)
Uses known WordPress Vulnerabilities by gaining access with weak administractive credentials
New Capoar malware written in Golang programming lauguage. Preforming a remote code execution to your server.
The new malware arrived via a backdoor linked to aWordpress plugin.
Capoae installs the Monera Cryptocurrency miner.
Frontend File Manage plugin
- 📰 Unauthenticated Content Injection (2,000 websites)
WordPress File Management – Riddled with Critical Bugs
Adding a File Management app to your website is not recommended. Leaving it active on your WordPress site can lead to some serious issues, such as deleting all the files and causing trouble with hosting. It just means you’re exposing core installation information and giving everyone who knows how free rein of everything stored on your server.
Adding a file management plugin has no benefits for websites. Use FTP / SFTP access to manage your server files.
SEOPress WordPress plugin
- 📰 Cross-site Scripting (XSS) (100,000 websites)
Any User can take over Post Titles
Attacker can take the full-use of the site over. With malicious web scripts.
All users should update the SEOPress WordPress plugin.
WP User Avatars plugin
- 📰 Vulnerable Plugin Exploited in Spam Redirect (30,000 websites)
Uploading a Backdoor to your website
Yes, this malware attack begins by adding backdoor access to your website. The hacker then installs bogus font plugins to your site that result in redirecting your site visitors to a spam site.
In the background, the hacker creates a connction with your database and gains access to your administrator users information. And then the clever part of this take over is that the Admin user is exempt from the redirect – keeping the take over hidden from the administeator.
Fancy Product Designer plugin
- 📰 Developer use to upload Product photography (17,000 websites)
Yes a harker can take over your site if you are using Fancy Product Designer plugin. WordFence were the first to report that hackes could take over a site using Frany Product Designer plugin.
As a developer and designer – I don’t know why anyone would use the Fancy Product Designer plugin. WooCommence is a top heavy resource sucker – no matter you cache it. WooCommence does require an arsenal of companion plugins (shipping rates, shipping labels, custom orders, coupons, colors, abandoned cart – seriously the list goes on).
Why you would want to add another one-function plugin to a WooCommence enviroment really puts the developer at question (quailty is a choice – you may wanna fire that developer).
Facebook for WordPress Plugin
- 📰 Facebook for WordPress Plugin (500,000 websites)
Two critical severity flaws in Facebook for WordPress (formerly Facebook Pixel). The first flaw allowed hackers to achieve remote code execution.
The second flaw simply had to trick the admin user to click a link and the hackers could inject malicious code into the site.
jQuery Migrate Plugin
- 📰 jQuery Migrate Plugin (7.2 million websites)
The full scale of attack remains undetermined. By injecting Scripts hackers can skim credit card info. And, redirect users to fake sites.
Users were redirected to fake sites. And, prompted to confirm they were not a robot. As of March 2021, the malicious file is undetected by 90% of antivirus engines.
Orbit Fox Plugin
- 📰 Orbit Fox Plugin (400K installs)
Inject malicious code into vulnerable website. And take over the website.
Popup Builder Plugin
- 📰 Popup Builder Plugin (400K installs)
Attackers send out newsletter with their own custom content. Followed by deleting your entire contact list. Let Mailchimp handle your newsletter services.
- 📰 123contactform (3K installs)
Sucuri reported the 123ContactForms hack. Attackers are able to use software flaws to create their own posts. And, easily add malicious files to the website.
Contact Form 7 Plugin
- 📰 contactform7 (50K installs)
Stored cross-site scripting (xss) security bug.
Ninja Forms Plugin
Critical security Flaws January 2021 & June 2020.
- 📰 ninjaforms (1+ million installs)
BUG 1: Authenticated Email Hijacking Account Takeover.
Bug 2: Authenticated OAuth Connection Key Disclosure.
Low-level users able to trigger and retrieve client_id for established OAuth connections.
Attacker with subscriber-level access (the lowest access available to WordPress users).
Bug 3: Cross-Site Request Forgery to OAuth Service Disconnection.
Attackers could disconnect OAuth connections. Establish a connection with the Ninja Form dashboard – and read mail.
Bug 4: Administrator Open Redirect.
Attacker redirects the admin user to malicious site. And, infecting the admin’s computer with malware.
2020 WordPress Plugin Attacks
Hackers were able to identify admin users. Followed by a password reset. Locking the admin user out. And, giving the hacker full control to all site functions and user accounts.
WordPress developers categorized the security issues affecting the plugin and one-of-the-worst.
WordPress developers pushed an automatic update to all users (even those that had the plugin disabled).
The forced update was the first indicator that WordPress has the ability to automatically update everyone’s plugins – even when they are not active.
NextGEN Gallery Plugin
Here are articles to learn more about the NextGen Plugin hack.
Over 530,000 sites are still exposed to attackers. Yes, NextGen Gallery got hit by another hacker. This time, using Remote Code Execution to effectively take over the WordPress site.
NextGEN Gallery acted quickly to provide a patch for the hack. A few days after the release only a small portion of the GalleryGen Gallery plugin had updated to the safe version of the plugin. Leaving more than 530,000 potentially exposed to takeover attacks.
In 2017, NextGen Gallery was attacked with a SQL injection. Allowing hackers access to the website database. Including sensitive user information.
Threat Intelligence team reported a XSS flaw in Ninja Forms. The plugin flaw let attackers replace contact forms with a malicious form.
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- 2/18/21 – Second NextGEN Gallery WordPress plugin article link added to blog post..
- 2/25/21 – Second Ninja Forms WordPress Plugin hacked added to blog post.
- 3/3/21 – Updated Ninja Forms Bug 3.
- 3/16/21 – Page Layout Redesign. More information at the bottom of page added to blog post..
- 3/16/21 – New listing. Contact Form 7, Elementor, Popup Builder, and Orbit Fox added to blog post.
- 4/8/21 – jQuery Migrate plugin added to blog post.
- 9/8/21 – Frontend File Manager plugin added to blog post.
- 10/14/21 – Download Monitor Plugin introduces new Malware strain.
- 10/14/21 – Access Demo Importer added to blog post.
- 11/11/21 – Added HashThemes Demo Importer