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WordPress Patches New Vulnerabilities in Plugins

Thousands of WordPress Sites Compromised through MailPoet Vulnerability

Thousands of WordPress Sites Compromised through MailPoet VulnerabilityThe WordPress JetPack plugin and the TwentyFifteen theme have been found vulnerable to a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability actively exploited in the wild, according to news reports.

The JetPack plugin, reported to have over 1 million active installs and TwentyFifteen, the theme in the default WordPress package installed automatically with the CMS, are both susceptible to DOM-based XSS attacks. The problem resides in the Genericons icon font package, which contains an insecure file named “example.html.””

The file is vulnerable to attack from the Document Object Model level (DOM).

DOM-based XSS attacks require the target to click a malicious link in order to execute malicious javascript code in the browser. This way, the attacker can take over the website if the user is logged in as admin.

Today, WordPress issued a critical security release to address this issue. As a result, all themes and plugins published on WordPress.org were updated to remove the HTML file that allowed the security breach.

This is the latest in a series of security issues affecting the CMS platform. Among the recent vulnerabilities that have affected millions of WordPress sites is the zero-day exploit that injects and executes malicious code in the comments sections of a site. The attack would start when simply viewed by unsuspecting admins.

To stay immune to future exploits, users and organizations are advised to regularly update their sites with the newest WordPress versions as well as use an anti-malware solution with anti-exploit capabilities. Security plugins can also help mitigate threats such as brute forcing attacks and malware by scanning the core, theme and plugins on a site. Plugins can also scan posts and comments for malicious code.

About the author

Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.