Yesterday we noted how a moderator of the WordPress Support Forum was getting in the way of people looking for help dealing with the exploitation of a fixed vulnerability in the plugin Simple 301 Redirects – Addon – Bulk Uploader. Today, when we went back to the topic that was the source of that post we found that many of replies on that topic, including almost of all the ones we had quoted, had been removed. In total, only 3 of the previous 11 replies remained. Some of those removed pointed out how what the moderator was doing was bad for the WordPress community. The moderators replies were also removed. You can see the replies at that time of previous post here and what is there at this moment here. That is in line with the kind inappropriate behavior by those moderators we have seen for years and had led to us starting a protest against it nearly a year ago.
When it comes to fixing the problems with the handling of the security of WordPress plugins we feel that fixing the moderation of the Support Forum is important since right now the moderation of that is used to cover problems up (it doesn’t seems like that is necessarily all that intentional, but it ends up having that effect anyway). One of the problems being covered up is that people in charge of the Plugin Directory really don’t seem up to the task and seem to be unable to work with others to try improve. As example of that take something from a few days ago that was posted on the Support Forum, but isn’t accessible, but we saw because of an email alert we have related to keeping track of discussions that might relate to plugin vulnerabilities.
When it comes to improving the security of WordPress plugins the two things that stand out that are of most need and have been for years, are warning people when they are using vulnerable plugins and for serious vulnerabilities, which are likely to be exploited, putting out fixes if the developer doesn’t. The reason that hasn’t happened isn’t because of say a lack of resources, before we suspended doing it last year due to continued bad behavior by people on the WordPress side of things, we were to a large degree single handedly making sure that plugins in the Plugin Directory with public disclosed unfixed vulnerabilities didn’t remain in it (when we stopped they started piling up in it). We easily could provide fixes for the vulnerabilities that are likely to be exploited as well. Instead, the reason for the lack of doing those things is that the people on the WordPress side, for reasons that don’t make sense, are blocking those things from happening.