More WordPress Security Issues – Malware Hiding in Popular Plugins

There is more bad news for WordPress website owners and developers.  WordFence has found more instances of popular plug-ins being modified to contain malicious software.  The three most recent discoveries are:

WordFence had reported earlier about another 9 affected plug-ins.  The ones that are marked safe appear to be clean in their current versions.  Some plug-ins were removed from the repository.

  • 404 to 301: Safe
  • Display Widgets Plugin: Safe, but no longer maintained. Use Jetpack’s Widget Visibility Module instead.
  • WP Slimstat: Safe
  • WP Maintenance Mode: Safe
  • Menu Image: Safe
  • NewStatPress: Safe
  • Financial Calculator Plugin: Safe. Never included malicious code, but Soiza did have access for some time this year.
  • Weptile Image: Removed from repository
  • No Comment: Removed from repository

These plug-ins are being exploited in a variety of ways.  In some cases, the plug-in is being purchased from the original developer by a bad actor who then modifies the code with malware.  Sometimes the code is being exploited via a hijacked supply chain login credential belonging to a contract developer.  This again points to the fact that an organization is only as secure are the least secure member of the team.  If your company allows vendors and contractors to connect to your network this can affect you.  Read the WordFence articles below if you are interested in specifics.

If you are running a WordPress site using any of these plugins, you need to update or remove them now.  If you are not yet running a security plug-in such as WordFence, you should add this to your plug-in collection.

More information:


About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, Bob also conducts security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. Bob also teaches Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. Bob works as an instruction for CompTIA’s non-profit IT-Ready Program in the Twin Cities. IT-Ready is a tuition free 8-week program designed to teach students of all ages the fundamentals of IT support to prepare them for an entry level position in Information Technology Support. Graduates of the classes take the exams to become CompTIA A+ certified. Bob is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. Bob has been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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