While we already are far ahead of other companies in keeping up with vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins (amazingly that isn’t an exaggeration), in looking in to how we could get even better we noticed that in a recent instance were a vulnerability was exploited in a plugin, we probably could have warned our customers about the vulnerability even sooner if we had looked at the plugin when it was first closed on the Plugin Directory instead of when the vulnerability was fixed (though as far as we are aware the exploitation started after we had warned our customers of the fix). So we are now monitoring to see if any of the 1,000 most popular plugins are closed on the Plugin Directory and then seeing if it looks like that was due to a vulnerability.
This week three of those plugins were closed and one of those has not been reopened.
WP2FB Auto Publish
In a quick check over the plugin we didn’t see any obvious security issues in it.
Advanced CF7 DB (Advanced Contact form 7 DB)
The plugin Advanced CF7 DB (Advanced Contact form 7 DB), which has 50,000+ installs, was closed on Monday. In a quick check over the plugin we found that among other issues a vulnerability we had noticed almost two years ago, had returned to the plugin. It looks like it might have been closed due to another less serious vulnerability.
The plugin Duplicate Page, which has 900,000+ installs, was closed on Monday. In a quick check over the plugin we didn’t see any obvious security issues in it.
Subsequently a new version was released with the changelog “Security fixes addressed by wordpress”. The changes made replace a couple of unprepared SQL statements with usage of WordPress functions, which is better security wise, but really doesn’t seem to justify removing the plugin, especially when so many plugins known to contain vulnerabilities, not just poorly secured code, are left in it.
The plugin was reopened on Tuesday.