In a continuation of our recent running across of plugins that work WooCommerce being insecure and in many cases being targeted by hackers, we had what appears to be a hacker probing for usage of the plugin Dropshix, which has the slogan “WooCommerce + Dropshipping Made Simple”, on our website recently and in looking over the plugin we found much of its admin functionality is insecure. These continuing problems are good reminder of the security risk surrounding plugins that extend WooCommerce functionality. Our main service can keep you alerted to publicly known vulnerabilities whether they are things we find because hackers are targeting them or otherwise disclosed. We also offer security reviews so that you can get the security of the plugins you use reviewed before hackers might come across vulnerabilities in them.
As part of making sure the customers of our service are getting the best information on vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins they may be using we monitor for hackers probing for usage of plugins on our website and then try to figure out what the hackers might be looking to exploit. A week ago that led to us running across two plugins with unfixed vulnerabilities. One of those plugins was closed on the WordPress Plugin Directory on May 9. In the past day we had saw a hacker probing for another plugin that was closed on the same day, Real Estate Manager – Property Listing and Agent Management.
When it comes the security of WordPress plugins the unfortunate reality is that the same problems occur over and over and yet it seems we are largely alone in being interested in trying to take actions to address those. One of the issues with that is that what we can do is limited, most of the changes require the people in charge of the Plugin Directory being willing to work with others to fix them, which isn’t happening as they seem to be detached from reality and are unwilling to even acknowledge the problems exist, much less discuss making changes to fix those problems.
When it comes to WordPress security plugins, not only do they often not provide much, if any, security against threats that really impact a website, but they can actually introduce security vulnerabilities of their own. That is the case with the plugin LionScripts: IP Blocker Lite, which is described as:
One of the things we do during security reviews of WordPress plugins is to check if .php files that are not intended to be directly accessed are protected against direct access of them. The lack of that usually makes no difference, but it is an easy way to avoid or limit vulnerabilities, like the local file inclusion (LFI) vulnerability our proactive monitoring of changes made to plugins in the Plugin Directory to try to catch serious vulnerabilities caught in the plugin Revamp CRM for WooCommerce.
As part of making sure the customers of our service are getting the best information on vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins they may be using we monitor for hackers probing for usage of plugins on our website and then try to figure out what the hackers might be looking to exploit. For the second time today, that has led to us running across a plugin with an unfixed vulnerability that hackers could be interested in.
As part of making sure the customers of our service are getting the best information on vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins they may be using we monitor for hackers probing for usage of plugins on our website and then try to figure out what the hackers might be looking to exploit. Today we had what looks to be a hacker probing for usage of the plugin Excel Like Price Change for WooCommerce and WP E-commerce (Excel-Like Price Changer for WooCommerce and WP E-commerce) on our website.
One of the ways we help to improve the security of WordPress plugins, not just for our customers, but for everyone using them, is our proactive monitoring of changes made to plugins in the Plugin Directory to try to catch serious vulnerabilities. Through that we caught just such a vulnerability, an authenticated option update vulnerability, in the plugin WPMktgEngine. This vulnerability likely would have been widely exploited by now if the plugin was more popular, considering how easy it would be to detect it.
We can’t emphasize enough that you should not use the plugin Ultimate Member as the plugin has been riddled with security vulnerabilities including one that was widely exploited last year and was slow to be fixed, due to what appears to be a lack of interest by the developer in getting it secure. That lack of interest is particularly problematic due to the fact that the plugin has 100,000+ active installations according to wordpress.org. The latest vulnerability found in it is yet another reminder of that, as the developer attempted to fix a serious vulnerability, but used the wrong code, so there is still a vulnerability, though less easily exploited. The continuation of the vulnerability also involves a security failure in WordPress that was warned about back in February of 2011, but still hasn’t been resolved despite being continually being implicated in widely exploited vulnerabilities.
One ongoing indication of the poor security of WordPress plugins is how often our Plugin Security Checker, which is an automated tool for identifying some possible security issues with plugins, is picking up vulnerabilities in fairly popular plugins. We would not describe the tool as being advanced by any means, so that being true is not a great indication of the handling of plugins’ security. In looking over some of the recent results for plugins in the Plugin Directory that were checked through that to see if could further improve its results we found that the plugin Paid Memberships Pro, which has 80,000+ active installations according to wordpress.org, contains an authenticated open redirect vulnerability.