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  • Display Widgets Plugin: Safe, but no longer maintained.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:

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at Computer Integration Technologies, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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