An automatic update pushed to roughly five million WordPress sites over the past few days addresses a critical vulnerability introduced in 2012.
Maintained by Automattic, Jetpack is a WordPress plugin providing security features such as malware scan, real-time backup and restore, spam and brute-force attack protection, and more.
The suite of security tools has more than five million active installations, making it one of the most popular plugins for the content management system.
On Tuesday, Automattic announced that it has started rolling out a critical security update that addresses a vulnerability impacting all plugin versions since Jetpack 2.0.
“During an internal security audit, we found a vulnerability with the API available in Jetpack since version 2.0, released in 2012. This vulnerability could be used by authors on a site to manipulate any files in the WordPress installation,” Automattic says.
A total of 102 Jetpack versions were updated this week, and the patches were automatically rolled out to users. Over the past two days, the plugin has amassed close to five million downloads, meaning that almost all impacted websites have received the update.
According to Automattic, there is no evidence that the vulnerability has been exploited in malicious attacks. However, vulnerabilities in popular WordPress plugins are known to represent an attractive target for cybercriminals, given the potential damage successful exploitations could cause.
Site owners are advised to ensure that their Jetpack installations are up to date. Automattic has provided a complete list of the 102 plugin versions released this week.