10 Damage causing WordPress Plugins

Plugins are favorable and highly used by WordPress site owners. They help one to execute different functions on their website and enhance its functionality along with appearance. Plugins ease the work of the website owners and the users along with improving the appeal of the website. But, as it is believed good things come with a cost. The same way the amounts of benefits these plugins are filled with, one also has to face multiple issues.

If these plugins are vulnerable they can cause damage to your website. If hackers identify these vulnerabilities then they can enter malicious codes or scripts in the website and re-direct it easily. Therefore, one should always keep the plugins updated and avoid such hacks.

Top 10 WordPress Plugin Vulnerabilities

Let us have a look at some of the vulnerabilities faced by WordPress sites often:

  • Arbitrary file viewing– a source file contains all the sensitive information of a website. Such files are not viewed by a third party, but if they seep into such files then they can get access to sensitive information and its credentials as well. This procedure also allows them to break into your website’s database and enter the malicious script.
  • Arbitrary file upload– Some websites allow their users to upload their content like their pictures or PDF files. Few websites do not complete their safety measures to have a check at the content uploaded by the users. this is one of the ways used by hackers to upload a .php file with an executable code. This code allows the hackers to create a new admin account on the website and create backdoors for them to hack the website.
  • SQL Injections – It is one of the highly used hacking methods. This method involves the insertion of malicious codes or scripts in the input fields of a website. If the plugins are not updated then these codes and scripts are not scanned and the information is immediately sent to the website’s database. The code processes in the database and the website can be redirected easily with it. Read how to detect sql injections.
  • Privilege Escalation– If a hacker is associated with your website in any form may it just be in a form of a follower or a subscriber, then it is enough for the hacker to gain the privileges of an administrator to hack your website.
  • Remote Execution Evaluation– Similar to a Cross-site Scripting attack it involves damaging the pictures or content uploaded on a website. Though it might not sound like harmful damage it opens the gateway for hackers to seep into a website and enter malicious codes to ruin it. 
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)– This form of attack involves the injection of a malicious code or script by a hacker through the input fields provided by the website. This harshly damages the website and can deface it. 
  • Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF)– This vulnerability compels users to perform unwanted actions for the website. This can be advantageous for hackers to get credentials like user ids, passwords, and even permission to transfer funds.

WordPress Plugins with Vulnerabilities

Let us have a glance at some of the WordPress Plugins and their vulnerabilities one should be aware of:

  1. WooCommerce

Woocommerce is one of the popular plugins of WordPress. It enables website owners to turn their websites into e-commerce stores. It has more than 5 million active installations. Being an e-commerce plugin stresses the personal as well as financial data of a user. Though the plugin is maintained well it has faced vulnerabilities in recent years. The plugin has been hampered by vulnerabilities like XSS attacks, SQL injections, and privilege escalation flaws. WooCommerce has regular plugins updated so one can be relaxed about its security.

  1. Ultimate Member

The Ultimate Member plugin allows one for a sign-up and membership option. The plugin is used by more than 1, 00,000 users. The plugin has faced vulnerabilities in the past like XSS and Arbitrary file read. The plugin also releases updates regularly for the complete safety of the website owner. So it is advised to stay updated and secure.

  1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a one-stop-shop for website owners to resolve their SEO issues. The plugin handles all the SEO work of the website and is a reliable plugin. Hence, the plugin has more than 5 million active installations. Though the plugin has gone through vulnerabilities in the past like XSS and remote code execution it has updated the version for complete safety. Therefore, they advise their users to update the plugin to ensure complete safety.

  1. Ninja  Forms

Ninja Forms have more than 1 million active installations. The plugin is a free contact form for the WordPress site. It has vulnerabilities like XSS, remote code execution, and SQL injections. The issues were immediately patched. To improve the safety the plugin released 10 more updates for a safe and healthy plugin experience. 

  1. Wordfence

Wordfence is a security app. Hence, such apps are targeted more by hackers to gain internal and personal information. The app has experienced XSS attacks previously. The vulnerability was soon healed and provided its users a better and updated version.

  1. NextGen Gallery

NextGen Gallery is a popular plugin among photographers, hotels, travel agencies, and similar streams. It helps them to upload high-quality pictures and enhance their gallery. Hence, the plugin has more than 1 million active installations. The plugin has faced vulnerabilities like XSS, remote code execution, and SQL injections. The flaw was immediately patched and a safe update was launched. Therefore, it is highly advised by all plugins to update their versions.

  1. Jetpack

JetPack is a WordPress Management Tool. It helps in managing various functions and coding of the website. Therefore, the plugin is installed by more than 5 million users. The hacked plugin can give immediate access to the personal information of the website to the hacker. The plugin has faced an XSS attack previously. It was immediately cured and patched.

  1. All-in-One SEO Pack

The plugin is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. Hence, the plugin has more than 50 million downloads and more than 1 million active installations. The plugin has faced flaws like XSS and privilege escalation flaws. The plugin has new and updated versions. Hence, it cares about the security of its users.

  1. Elementor

The plugin has more than 3 million active installations. The plugin is highly loved by designers. It has faced issues like privilege escalation flaws. The flaw was immediately healed and new updates were launched for safety as well. 

  1. Contact Form 7

The plugin allows website owners to design and customize their contact forms accordingly. The plugin has faced vulnerabilities in the past like privilege escalation flaws. The flaw was immediately recovered and the damages caused due to it were healed.

Conclusion

The following article represents various plugins faced by WordPress websites. It is common for software to face vulnerabilities but the damage faced by it might not be common for the website owner. Hence, it is advised to the owners to keep their plugins updated and stay at bay from such vulnerabilities and the loss caused due to them. Check out WordPress Vulnerability Scanners.

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