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Almost a million WordPress websites at risk from this security flaw — here's what you need to know to keep your site safe

 Laptop computer displaying logo of WordPress, a free and open-source content management system (CMS).
Laptop computer displaying logo of WordPress, a free and open-source content management system (CMS).

Almost a million WordPress websites were vulnerable to a flaw that allowed hackers to modify content on different pages.

A report from Wordfence noted the vulnerability could lead to hackers altering sensitive data and potentially exploiting the website builder system.

As per the report, the websites were vulnerable through a WordPress plugin called Website Builder, developed by SeedProd which has more than 900,000 active installations. The vulnerability involved a missing capability check in one of the plugin’s functions, allowing hackers to modify content on sites such as “coming soon”, maintenance pages, or 404 pages, created using the plugin.

Targeting plugins

WordPress websites with versions up to 6.15.21 of the plugin installed were vulnerable, the report further stated. SeedProd has addressed it, however, and released a patch bringing the plugin up to version 6.15.22. All WordPress website owners using the plugin are advised to apply the patch immediately.

The vulnerability itself is tracked as CVE-2024-1072, and carries a severity score of 8.2/10 in the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), making it a “high risk” flaw.

WordPress is by far the world’s most popular website builder, powering almost half (43%) of all websites on the internet. This also makes it an extremely popular target among hackers. However, WordPress is generally considered safe, as less than 1% of all known vulnerabilities on the platform target the website builder itself.

Instead, hackers usually look for flaws in plugins and addons, as many of them aren’t as thoroughly monitored, or frequently updated, as they should be. This rings particularly true for non-commercial plugins, which are often built by a single developer, and sometimes abandoned, but still widely used. Administrators are advised to always keep all of their plugins updated.

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