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Discontinued Security Plugins Expose Many WordPress Sites to Takeover

Thousands of WordPress sites are at risk of takeover due to a critical privilege escalation vulnerability in two closed MiniOrange plugins.

Thousands of WordPress websites are potentially at risk of takeover due to a critical-severity vulnerability in two MiniOrange plugins that were discontinued recently, the Wordfence team at WordPress security company Defiant warns.

The two plugins, Malware Scanner and Web Application Firewall from MiniOrange, were closed on March 7, two days after the critical flaw was reported to the maintainers.

Tracked as CVE-2024-2172 (CVSS score of 9.8), the bug exists because of a missing capability check in a function present in both plugins, allowing an unauthenticated attacker to escalate their privileges to administrator.

Because no authentication and password validation is performed when attempting to change a user’s password, an unauthenticated attacker could update the password for any user account, as long as they provide a valid username.

“As with any arbitrary user password change that leads to a privilege escalation vulnerability, this can be used for complete site compromise. Once an attacker has gained administrative user access to a WordPress site they can then manipulate anything on the targeted site as a normal administrator would,” Wordfence notes.

The issue was reported externally through the Wordfence bug bounty program and the reporting researcher received a $1,250 reward for the finding.

When they were shut down last week, Malware Scanner had over 10,000 active installations, while Web Application Firewall had more than 300 installations. Site owners are advised to delete these plugins as soon as possible.

On Thursday, Wordfence warned of another privilege escalation vulnerability impacting thousands of WordPress sites, this time in the RegistrationMagic plugin, which supports user registration functionality such as form, user management, analytics, and more, and has over 10,000 active installations.

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Tracked as CVE-2024-1991, the high-severity flaw was identified in a function responsible for updating user roles, which has been implemented insecurely, thus allowing authenticated users to grant themselves administrative privileges.

This allows attackers authenticated as subscribers on a vulnerable website to elevate their privileges to those of administrators and take over the site.

A patch for the vulnerability was included in RegistrationMagic version 5.3.1.0. A $1,313 bug bounty reward was handed out to the researcher who reported the flaw to Wordfence.

Related: Ultimate Member Plugin Flaw Exposes 100,000 WordPress Sites to Attacks

Related: Critical Flaw in Popular ‘Ultimate Member’ WordPress Plugin

Related: Websites Hacked via Vulnerability in Bricks Builder WordPress Plugin

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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