Menu
Critical vulnerability in popular WordPress newsletter plug-in endangers many blogs

Critical vulnerability in popular WordPress newsletter plug-in endangers many blogs

Attackers could exploit a flaw in the MailPoet Newsletters plug-in to take full control of vulnerable blogs, researchers from Sucuri said

A critical vulnerability found in a WordPress plug-in that has been downloaded over 1.7 million times allows potential attackers to take complete control of blogs that use it.

The flaw is located in the MailPoet Newsletters plug-in, previously known as wysija-newsletters, and was discovered by researchers from Web security firm Sucuri.

"This bug should be taken seriously; it gives a potential intruder the power to do anything he wants on his victim's website," Daniel Cid, Sucuri's chief technology officer, said in a blog post Tuesday. "It allows for any PHP file to be uploaded. This can allow an attacker to use your website for phishing lures, sending SPAM, hosting malware, infecting other customers (on a shared server), and so on!"

The vulnerability was patched in MailPoet version 2.6.7, released Tuesday, so all WordPress blog administrators should upgrade the plug-in to the latest version as soon as possible if they use it.

The flaw was the result of the MailPoet developers wrongly assuming that the "admin_init" hook in WordPress is only triggered when an administrator visits pages from the administration panel, Cid said.

The MailPoet developers used admin_init to verify whether the active user is allowed to upload files, but since this hook is actually also triggered by a page accessible to unauthenticated users, the plug-in's file upload functionality was made available to virtually anyone.

It's easy to make this mistake and all plug-in developers should be mindful of this behavior, Cid said. "If you are a developer, never use admin_init() or is_admin() as an authentication method."

WordPress sites are a constant target for attackers and those that get compromised are frequently used to host spam pages or malicious content as part of other attacks. Cybercriminals are running scans on the Internet every day to identify WordPress installations affected by vulnerabilities like the one found in MailPoet.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchessecurityAccess control and authenticationpatch managementSucuriExploits / vulnerabilities

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments