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Editorials | wordfence.com | Sep. 13, 2017

The Man Behind Plugin Spam: Mason Soiza

Just your average snitch post showing who the bad guys are.

Security | wordfence.com | May. 25, 2018

Hijacked WordPress.com Accounts Being Used To Infect Sites

There's no security beach on WordPress.com. but if your individual account is compromised, it could mean your self-hosted sites are as well, if you've connected them via JetPack.

Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 19, 2017

Backdoor in Captcha Plugin Affects 300K WordPress Sites

Same scum running similar scammy backdoor code in more newly purchased plugin(s).

Security | wordfence.com | Nov. 9, 2017

WordPress Plugin Banned for Crypto Mining

Now we find a plugin that is using visitor's CPU cycles for profit.

9 min read Donna Cavalier
Security | wordfence.com | Feb. 24, 2017

Cloudflare Data Leak: How to Secure Your Site

While much of this is a rehash of everything we have already seen covered, it does mention a way to search google to see if your site might have been affected. So...worth it for that I guess.

Cloudflare Data Leak: How to Secure Your Site

Security | wordfence.com | Feb. 24, 2017

Cloudflare has experienced a data leak over a 5 month period that mixed sensitive data between websites and visitors. A visitor to one website using Cloudflare may have seen data from another website using Cloudflare that was being sent to a completely different site visitor. Some of the leaked data has been indexed by search engines who have been working over the past few days to try and remove the data from their caches.
In this post I am going to explain in simple terms, what occurred and what you need to do about it.
If you are a WordPress user and simply want to know how to secure your site, you can skip to the What Should I Do section below. I have included some information for non-WordPress site owners in that section too.
Cloudflare provides a firewall and content distribution service. Their servers are between your website visitors and your own web server.
Under normal circumstances, cloudflare returns the data each site visitor requested to that visitor. This may be public or sometimes private information and it is usually done over a secure channel. Each website visitor only sees the data they requested.
From September 22nd, 2016 until February 18th 2017 (last Saturday),

Security | wordfence.com | Feb. 17, 2016

6 Million Password Attacks in 16 Hours and How to Block Them

"During 16 hour window we saw a total of 6,611,909 attacks targeting 72,532 individual websites. We saw attacks during this time from 8,941 unique IP addresses and the average number of attacks per victim website was 6.26."

6 Million Password Attacks in 16 Hours and How to Block Them

Security | wordfence.com | Feb. 17, 2016

Last week in the President’s cyber security op-ed in the Wall Street Journal he implored Americans to move beyond simple passwords and to enable two factor authentication or cellphone sign-in. One of the things we monitor at Wordfence is the number of brute force attacks on WordPress websites. Brute force attacks are password guessing attacks, where an attacker tries to sign in as you by guessing your password.
To give you an idea of the level of attacks in the wild, we gathered data on brute force attacks across the sites we protect within a 16 hour Window starting Sunday until Monday (yesterday) at 2pm Pacific time.
Here are the highlights. Remember, this is only over a 16 hour window which is relatively short.
During this time we saw a total of 6,611,909 attacks targeting 72,532 individual websites. We saw attacks during this time from 8,941 unique IP addresses and the average number of attacks per victim website was 6.26.
The total number of attacking IP’s was actually 55,391 but we only counted IP’s that generated more than 10 failed logins across all sites. That way we excluded accidental login failures.
So where are these attacks coming from. The results are not what you would

Community | wordfence.com | Aug. 16, 2017

Ransomware Targeting WordPress - An Emerging Threat

Wordfence reports that they are seeing a new type of WordPress attack. It encrypts your site files, tries to get you to pay a ransom, but cannot decrypt the files.

13 min read Jan Östlund
Security | wordfence.com | Jun. 1, 2017

7 Popular WordPress Security Myths

A good summary of points and good to know not getting a false sense of security.

7 Popular WordPress Security Myths

Security | wordfence.com | Jun. 1, 2017

Because of its incredible popularity as a platform, WordPress enjoys a sizable, generous community of users that spend their time sharing information, resources, tips and insights with other WordPress users online. Understandably, online security is at the forefront of concerns for many site owners, and a lot of the online conversation about WordPress centers around the best ways to keep your site safe from hackers and security breaches. Despite the best of intentions from most users, there are a few myths surrounding WordPress security that persist and spread like wildfire, even if the recommendations they make don’t do anything to keep your site safe. 1. Moving or Hiding ‘wp-admin’ Will Stop Brute Force Attacks
Brute force attacks occur when malicious bots hammer your login pages over and over attempting to guess your username and password in order to get admin access to your website’s back-end. From there, they can lock you out, compromise your data and deface or even take down your website. Most commonly, these bots try common usernames like “admin” alongside tens of thousands of passwords, hoping that one of them will work and allow them access

5 min read Donna Cavalier
Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 27, 2016

Critical Vulnerability in PHPMailer. Affects WP Core.

I know it says not to panic, but my tummy took a tumble when reading this one. Hey, I'm not immune to fear. :)

Critical Vulnerability in PHPMailer. Affects WP Core.

Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 27, 2016

A critical remote code execution vulnerability in PHPMailer has been discovered by Polish researcher Dawid Golunski. The vulnerability was announced on legalhackers.com yesterday but proof of concept exploit details were not included. Unfortunately someone posted a proof of concept to exploit-db and to github a few hours ago demonstrating how the vulnerability can be exploited in the PHPMailer library, but not targeting any web application that is in use.
We are publishing this unscheduled update to give PHP developers and our community advance warning of this issue. We expect this story to continue to evolve rapidly as more developers and malicious actors look at this code.
PHPMailer is used by WordPress core to send email. You can find the code in the wp-includes/class-smtp.php core file.
Don’t Panic
NOTE: There is no known exploit publicly available for WordPress core or any WordPress theme or plugin at this time. The only exploit we have seen is where a researcher has built their own application and then exploited it, demonstrating the existence of this vulnerability in PHPMailer. (Details below)
Please don’t contact the WordPress core team, WordPress forum moderators

Community | wordfence.com | Dec. 22, 2017

Massive Cryptomining Campaign Targeting WordPress Sites

Another indepth article from WordFence - this time looking at how servers are being hijacked to mine crypto currencies.

10 min read Mustaasam Saleem
Community | wordfence.com | Apr. 13, 2017

Thousands of Hacked Home Routers are Attacking WordPress Sites

Security researchers at Wordfence are reporting that thousands of hacked home routers are attacking WordPress sites. Check if your router is also compromised.

Thousands of Hacked Home Routers are Attacking WordPress Sites

Community | wordfence.com | Apr. 13, 2017

Update: By popular request, we have created a tool that lets you check if your own home router is vulnerable to the problems discussed in this post. Visit this page to check if your home router has port 7547 open or if it’s running a vulnerable version of RomPager. Last week, while creating the Wordfence monthly attack report, we noticed that Algeria had moved from position 60 in our “Top Attacking Countries” list to position 24. That was a big jump and we were curious why Algeria had climbed the attack rankings so rapidly.
What we discovered on closer examination is that over 10,000 IP addresses in Algeria were attacking WordPress websites in March. Most IPs were only launching between 50 and 1000 attacks during the entire month.
The following chart is a histogram. It groups IP addresses by the number of times they attacked. As you can see by the spike on the left, the most common number of attacks was around 100 to 200 for an IP address. Few of the attacking IPs generated more than 2,000 attacks during the entire month of March, 2017.
A Botnet Using Burst Attacks
We extracted the list of Algerian attack IPs and we included the time of first attack logged and the

10 min read Donna Cavalier
Security | wordfence.com | Nov. 22, 2016

Hacking 27% of the Web via WordPress Auto-Update

Well that would have been a major problem. Perhaps more needs to be considered when dealing with this particular point of failure.

Hacking 27% of the Web via WordPress Auto-Update

Security | wordfence.com | Nov. 22, 2016

At Wordfence, we continually look for security vulnerabilities in the third party plugins and themes that are widely used by the WordPress community. In addition to this research, we regularly examine WordPress core and the related wordpress.org systems. Recently we discovered a major vulnerability that could have caused a mass compromise of the majority of WordPress sites. The vulnerability we describe below may have allowed an attacker to use the WordPress auto-update function, which is turned on by default, to deploy malware to up to 27% of the Web at once.
Choosing the most damaging target to attack
The server api.wordpress.org (or servers) has an important role in the WordPress ecosystem: it releases automatic updates for WordPress websites. Every WordPress installation makes a request to this server about once an hour to check for plugin, theme, or WordPress core updates. The response from this server contains information about any newer versions that may be available, including if the plugin, theme or core needs to be updated automatically. It also includes a URL to download and install the updated software.
Compromising this server could allow an attacker to supply their own

2 min read Eric Karkovack
Security | wordfence.com | Feb. 10, 2016

3 Severe Plugin Vulnerabilities Fixed in the Last 24 Hours

WooCommerce Store Toolkit Plugin, WordPress User Meta Manager plugin & WP User Frontend plugin all should be updated right away.

3 Severe Plugin Vulnerabilities Fixed in the Last 24 Hours

Security | wordfence.com | Feb. 10, 2016

The following three plugins contain severe vulnerabilities that have all been fixed within the past 24 hours. Details of these vulnerabilities have been released to the public so they are likely already being exploited. If you use any of these plugins, upgrade immediately. Please share with the larger WordPress community. WooCommerce Store Toolkit Plugin (A plugin for WooCommerce made by Visser Labs, not the core product) version 1.5.6 contains a privilege escalation vulnerability. The vulnerability allows a registered user to delete all posts, comments, products, orders, media and more. Upgraded to version 1.5.7 immediately to fix this issue.
WordPress User Meta Manager plugin version 3.4.6 contains an information disclosure vulnerability that allows an unprivileged user to download the user_meta table. It also contains a privilege escalation vulnerability that lets anyone upgrade themselves to admin along with a blind SQL injection vulnerability. These are fixed in 3.4.8. The fix was released within the last 24 hours. Upgrade immediately.
The WP User Frontend plugin version 2.3.10 and older contains an unrestricted file upload vulnerability that allows anyone to upload a file to your

Community | wordfence.com | Apr. 17, 2017

Chrome and Firefox Phishing Attack Uses Domains Identical to Known Safe Sites

A phishing attack that is receiving much attention today in security community.

Chrome and Firefox Phishing Attack Uses Domains Identical to Known Safe Sites

Community | wordfence.com | Apr. 17, 2017

This is a Wordfence public service security announcement for all users of Chrome and Firefox web browsers: There is a phishing attack that is receiving much attention today in the security community.
As a reminder: A phishing attack is when an attacker sends you an email that contains a link to a malicious website. You click on the link because it appears to be trusted. Merely visiting the website may infect your computer or you may be tricked into signing into the malicious site with credentials from a site you trust. The attacker then has access to your username, password and any other sensitive information they can trick you into providing.
This variant of a phishing attack uses unicode to register domains that look identical to real domains. These fake domains can be used in phishing attacks to fool users into signing into a fake website, thereby handing over their login credentials to an attacker.
This affects the current version of Chrome browser, which is version 57.0.2987 and the current version of Firefox, which is version 52.0.2. This does not affect Internet Explorer or Safari browsers.
We created our own example to demonstrate how an attacker can register their own domain

6 min read Eric Karkovack
Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 16, 2016

Huge Increase in Brute Force Attacks in December and What to Do

Anyone else notice more attacks during December? My WordFence installs are off the hook with banning IPs.

Huge Increase in Brute Force Attacks in December and What to Do

Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 16, 2016

At Wordfence we constantly monitor the WordPress attack landscape in real-time. Three weeks ago, on November 24th, we started seeing a rise in brute force attacks. As a reminder, a brute force attack is one that tries to guess your username and password to sign into your WordPress website. In today’s post we show you how attacks have increased during the past 3 weeks and share some data about where attacks are originating from.
First: How to protect yourself from these attacks
Brute force attacks are unsophisticated. They are simple password guessing attacks. A machine will automatically try to sign into your website over and over in the hope that it can guess your password.
If you install the free version of Wordfence, you are automatically protected against brute force attacks. It’s that simple. We also automatically block the worst offenders completely, and we share some information below on who those are.
We have a few other really cool options, like preventing username discovery and immediately locking out invalid usernames. All these techniques help protect you against brute force attacks.
Download and install the free version of Wordfence today to get instant protection

4 min read Ahmad Awais
Security | wordfence.com | May. 5, 2016

Ninja Forms Shell Upload Vulnerability - Very High Risk

Big heads up to you Ninja Forms users. Bad vulnerability. Update now.

Ninja Forms Shell Upload Vulnerability - Very High Risk

Security | wordfence.com | May. 5, 2016

A few times a year we see very bad vulnerabilities come along. This is, unfortunately, one of those times. Ninja Forms versions 2.9.36 to 2.9.42 contain multiple vulnerabilities. One of the vulnerabilities results in an attacker being able to upload and execute a shell on WordPress sites using Ninja Forms. We have developed a working exploit for internal use at Wordfence. The only information the exploit needs is a URL on the target site that has a form powered by Ninja Forms version 2.9.36 to 2.9.42.
Wordfence Firewall already protects against uploading of malicious PHP files, so you were already protected against this attack while it was still a 0 day. As an additional precaution, this morning we have released three additional rules via the Wordfence Threat Defense Feed which are already active on our Wordfence Premium customer sites.
Ninja Forms has over 500,000 active installs, so the impact of this vulnerability is going to be fairly wide-spread.
We are monitoring attacks in real-time and are not yet seeing this being widely exploited yet. We suspect this is because an exploit has not shown up yet on exploit-db or other public exploit databases (as of 9am Pacific time on May 5th).

4 min read David McCan
Community | wordfence.com | Jan. 17, 2017

Imminent: Non-HTTPS Sites Labeled "Not Secure" by Chrome

Google is pushing forward with its plans to promote SSL. This article discusses what WordPress site owners can expect and what users might see in their browsers.

Imminent: Non-HTTPS Sites Labeled "Not Secure" by Chrome

Community | wordfence.com | Jan. 17, 2017

On approximately January 31st of this month, version 56 of the Chrome web browser will be released. There is a significant change in the way it displays websites that are not using HTTPS, also known as SSL. This change may confuse your site visitors or surprise you if you are not expecting it. Starting with the release of Chrome 56 this month, any website that is not running HTTPS will have a message appear in the location bar that says “Not Secure” on pages that collect passwords or credit cards. It will look like this:
This is the first part of a staged rollout that encourages websites to get rid of plain old HTTP.
In an upcoming release Google Chrome will label all non-HTTPS pages in incognito mode as “Not secure” because users using this mode have an increased expectation of privacy.
The final step in the staged rollout will be that Chrome will label all plain HTTP pages as “Not secure”. It will look like this:
So, once again, starting on approximately January 31st of this month, any page on your website that is non-HTTPS and has a password form or credit card field will be labeled as “Not secure” in the location bar by Google Chrome.

12 min read Donna Cavalier
Security | wordfence.com | Mar. 2, 2017

The February 2017 WordPress Attack Report

Definitely interesting to see the data represented in this way. Way to pull out all the stops to help visualize the information.

The February 2017 WordPress Attack Report

Security | wordfence.com | Mar. 2, 2017

Today we are releasing the WordPress attack report for February 2017. You can also find our January 2017 and December 2016 attack reports on the blog. This report contains a new kind of analysis on the top 25 attacking IPs, called topology analysis. We have used this technique to identify groups of IPs acting in concert with each other. It is a fun visual kind of analysis and is a powerful way to analyze graph data. I think you are going to find it provides a clearer picture of the WordPress threat landscape.
The report also contains the data you have come to expect, including top 25 attacking IPs and their details, charts of brute force and complex attacks, top attacked themes and plugins and top attacking countries.
Most Active IPs
I’m including our usual explanation of how the table below works. If you’re familiar with our attack reports, you can skip down to the table below which contains the February data and read my comments that follow the table.
Brief introduction if you’re new to viewing these reports
In the table below we have listed the most active attack IPs for February 2017. Note that the ‘Attacks’ column is in millions and is the total of

Security | wordfence.com | Nov. 12, 2015

New Vulnerabilities in 6 Popular WordPress Plugins

Over 500,000 WP installs affected, rarely anyone pays attention these days.

New Vulnerabilities in 6 Popular WordPress Plugins

Security | wordfence.com | Nov. 12, 2015

This week we have several high profile plugin vulnerabilities we’d like to bring your attention to. If you are using one of these plugins, upgrade to the fixed version immediately. Fast Secure Contact Form (400,000+ active installs) version 4.0.37 and earlier contain an XSS vulnerability that was publicly announced on October 27th. This was fixed in version 4.0.38. Upgrade immediately if you haven’t already. Note that this plugin is very popular with over 400,000 active installs.
Bulletproof Security (100,000+ active installs) version .52.4 contains a XSS vulnerability that was publicly announced 2 weeks ago. Please upgrade to the newest version which fixes the issue if you haven’t already.
Blubrry PowerPress podcasting plugin (50,000+ active installs) version 6.0.4 and earlier contains an XSS vulnerability publicly announced on October 27th. Upgrade as soon as possible.
Form Manager version (30,000+ active installs) 1.7.2 and earlier contain an unauthenticated remote command execution (RCE) vulnerability published on October 23rd. This was fixed in 1.7.3. Upgrade as soon as possible.
WordPress Files Upload (10,000+ active installs) version 3.4.0 and earlier allowed a malicious executable

Security | wordfence.com | Nov. 7, 2017

The October 2017 WordPress Attack Report by Wordfence

Interesting look at how hackers target WordPress. Which plugins & themes are targeted. By what countries & IPs. Part of a monthly series.

5 min read Jan Östlund
Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 12, 2016

Wordfence Blocks Username Harvesting via the New REST API in WP 4.7

Parts of this new API are available to anyone on the Internet. It's possible to list users on a WordPress website without registering.

Wordfence Blocks Username Harvesting via the New REST API in WP 4.7

Security | wordfence.com | Dec. 12, 2016

WordPress 4.7 was released 6 days ago, on December 6th. It includes a REST API that will be used by many WordPress plugins, mobile apps, desktop applications, cloud services and even WordPress core in future. Every site that upgrades to WordPress 4.7 has this API enabled by default. The API is powerful and allows WordPress to move from being a simple web based content-management system into being an application framework. What this means is that developers can write applications that run anywhere and talk to your WordPress website. So in future you’ll be able to publish content and manage your site from the cloud, from your phone, tablet or desktop and plugin developers will be able to create new kinds of extensions that improve your WordPress experience. All of these applications will use the new WordPress REST API that was released in WordPress core version 4.7.
As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Parts of this new API are available to anyone on the internet. They don’t need to sign into your WordPress website to use the API. They can just connect and use it. With the launch of this API, we expect developers to embrace it, but we also expect