Mark Maunder co-founded Wordfence in 2011 after his WordPress site was hacked and he learned how hard it was to clean and secure. Today Wordfence is a team of over 35 who protect over 2 million WordPress sites worldwide. Join Mark as he and his colleague Kathy Zant interview industry luminaries and cover interesting topics related to WordPress, security and innovation.
A critical SQL injection vulnerability was discovered in WooCommerce, the most popular e-Commerce plugin used by over 5 million WordPress sites. The WordPress.org team pushed a forced security update ensuring that over 90 versions of WooCommerce were patched. REvil ransomware gang targeted a zero-day vulnerability in Kaseya, used by many in the banking industry, before going dark. A new SolarWinds zero-day was found in their Serv-U FTP platform. WordPress 5.8 will be released next week with many new features, as well as removing support for Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft released a number of patches, including those patching 3 zero-day vulnerabilities.
17 min 30 sec
Security researchers accidentally leaked zero-day exploit code for a new Windows bug, now called PrintNightmare, while easily exploitable vulnerabilities in the ProfilePress plugin, previously called WP User Avatar, were patched quickly. An unprotected cloud database containing over 814 million DreamHost user records was found online. Google Chrome is getting a HTTPS-only feature in an upcoming version, and two bugs, one of which is a zero-day, are leading to attackers fighting over control of internet-connected Western Digital My Book Live devices.
15 min 14 sec
Over 30 million Dell devices are at risk for remote BIOS attacks due to four separate security bugs, which can have far reaching effects for enterprise organizations heavily invested in Dell devices. VMware Carbon Black App Control has been updated this week to fix a critical-severity vulnerability that allows authentication bypass. Antivirus creator John McAffee dies in a Spanish jail, and a bug found by a security researcher in Atlassian’s authentication could have led to a supply chain attack. A security update is planned for Google Drive that could break shared links. And a number of organizations were affected by security breaches, including the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
15 min 46 sec
Sites running Jetpack are being infected via compromised WordPress.com credentials. The largest password dump ever with 8.4 billion passwords is used in credential stuffing attacks. Wordfence Threat Intelligence discloses new plugin vulnerabilities as well as a vulnerability at tsoHost. Data Breaches impact VW and EA, REvil compromises a nuclear weapons contractor, and TurboTax accounts are taken over. Ransomware surveys show conflicting results. Chrome and iOS Safari are both patched against 0-days.
21 min 55 sec
Wordfence is now a CVE Numbering Authority, or a CNA. As a CNA, Wordfence can now assign CVE IDs for new vulnerabilities in WordPress Core, WordPress Plugins and WordPress Themes. An outage at Fastly takes down major websites including Reddit, Twitch, Amazon, and many others. Microsoft patches numerous Windows 0-day vulnerabilities, and Google patches a RCE in Android phones. A FBI informant and a messaging app led to huge global crime sting, and Windows container malware targets Kubernetes clusters used by numerous data centers.
20 min 18 sec
A security fix for an information leak vulnerability was pushed out to WordPress sites using Jetpack that bypassed local settings preventing autoupdates. A ransomware attack on JBS that shut down meat processing operations in the United States has been attributed to REvil, a private Russian ransomware-as-a-service operation. A critical zero-day vulnerability was discovered by the Wordfence site cleaning team in the Fancy Product Manager plugin, used by 17,000 WordPress sites. Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors, unless you opt out by June 8. Google PPC ads are serving up malicious content targeting searches for AnyDesk, Dropbox & Telegram apps.
24 min 14 sec
A Critical Vulnerability in VMWare's vCenter Server threatens some of the largest data centers in the world. An actively exploited 0-day in macOS was used to take screen shots of infected computers. CodeCov claims another victim as Japanese e-Commerce unicorn Mercari reports a massive data breach. Domino's India and Air India suffer from large-scale data breaches. And last, but not least, it's time to update Chrome again, thanks to some high-severity vulnerabilities that were just patched.
16 min 32 sec
Four memory corruption vulnerabilities are being actively exploited on Android devices and nearly 2 dozen popular Android apps exposed over 100 Million users’ sensitive information in cloud databases. Over 600,000 sites using WP Statistics required a patch to fix a blind SQL injection vulnerability. WP User Avatar undergoes a dramatic rebranding to ProfilePress, adding completely divergent functionality and causing a user revolt in reviews. More details emerge about the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, as DarkSide shuts down after losing access to their infrastructure. A popular Russian language hacking forum bans ransomware discussions, and an Apple executive claims there are unacceptable levels of Mac malware during the Epic Games lawsuit.
28 min 15 sec
A ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline affected fuel availability in 17 southeastern US states, and Bloomberg reported that Colonial Pipeline paid $5 million to DarkSide, a Russia-based ransomware service provider. The Biden Administration issued an executive order to increase US cybersecurity defenses. WordPress 5.7.2 was released to patch a critical object injection vulnerability in PHPMailer. A critical vulnerability was patched in the External Media plugin, used by over 8K sites. Vulnerabilities were discovered in all WiFi devices, and patch is available for a zero-day RCE under active attack in Acrobat Reader.
19 min 56 sec
A vulnerability discovered in Packagist, which is used by Composer to manage PHP package requests, could have allowed attackers to cause Composer to download the wrong source code, potentially affecting all WordPress sites. Packagist reports that it's not aware of any exploits. A SQL injection vulnerability was patched in the CleanTalk AntiSpam plugin installed on over 100k sites. Vulnerabilities were discovered in Exim mail server, including 3 RCE vulnerabilities. We’re seeing some of the first trickle-down attacks from the Codecov supply chain attack, first from HashiCorp and also from Twilio. Apple releases iOS 14.5.1 to patch vulnerabilities in WebKit that are being exploited in the wild, a DDoS takes down Belgium, Peloton exposes customer information, and Signal taunts Facebook with a rejected advertising campaign.
24 min 58 sec
Apple patches a gatekeeper bypass vulnerability that has been exploited in the wild on MacOS. Though this vulnerability requires some social engineering to exploit, it is believed to be actively exploited since January 9, 2021. Some Digital Ocean customers were affected by a data breach exposing personally identifiable information. A WordPress trac conversation considers blocking Federated Learning of Cohorts as a security release, and Creative Commons Search is coming to WordPress.org in a few weeks. And Google Chrome has another remote code execution bug requiring an update to patch.
17 min 41 sec
Attacks on unpatched SolarWinds systems continue. We're now learning of a supply chain attack that started in late January 2021 affecting 29,000 customers of Codecov, as well as a zero-day under active attack affecting customers of PulseSecure VPN. Customers of these three services are well known enterprise and government organizations. In the WordPress space, there are two add-on plugins experiencing active attacks: Kaswara Modern WPBakery Page Builder Addons and The Plus Addons for Elementor. Vulnerabilities discovered by our threat intel team in Redirection for Contact Form 7 were patched. We also take a look at updates coming in WordPress 5.8 to prepare the way for WordPress full-site editing.
23 min 28 sec
An FBI initiative began remotely removing webshells from infected Microsoft Exchange servers. WordPress 5.7.1 was released with a few security patches. Over 15 Elementor add on plugins were found to have vulnerabilities similar to those found in the main Elementor plugin; these additional plugin vulnerabilities affected over 3.5 million sites with over 100 vulnerable endpoints. Google Chrome was found to have two 0-day vulnerabilities. The US and UK blame Russian intelligence service hackers for the attack campaigns against SolarWinds. Organizations are still being urged to patch the five VPN and cloud vulnerabilities being exploited in ongoing attacks.
21 min 8 sec
A new Wix ad campaign targets WordPress but ends up being tone deaf in both content and strategy. New details emerge about the PHP compromise, but the full story remains unclear. Facebook user data from 2019 ends up on the dark web, and Have I Been Pwned adds a phone number check to help users determine if they’ve been affected. GitHub Actions are being used by cryptojackers, Gigaset Android phones have been infected with malware in a supply chain attack, and new phishing methods emerge using Telegram.
18 min 30 sec
The self-hosted Git repository for PHP was compromised, with attackers adding a backdoor to a development version of PHP 8.1. The intrusion was detected by the PHP community quickly, and no production environments were affected. Ubiquiti experienced an intrusion in January that was far worse than originally reported; attackers gained access to nearly all of the AWS assets for the company who has shipped 85 million IoT devices. Some OpenSSL vulnerabilities were recently patched, and two new vulnerabilities in Linux-based operating systems could let attackers circumvent Spectre mitigations to obtain sensitive information from kernel memory.
14 min 4 sec
Attackers continue to exploit recently patched vulnerabilities in Thrive Themes, though not all of them are successful. Two vulnerabilities are patched in the Facebook for WordPress plugin installed on over half a million sites. Google Chrome version 90 will use HTTPS by default, bringing significant improvements to speed and security. A ransomware insurance provider experiences a breach that could affect customers, and Slack’s new “Slack Connect” feature has some security concerns.
21 min 23 sec
An attack shows how a SMS enablement service was used to bypass SMS 2FA for $16. We discuss the recently patched vulnerabilities in Elementor affecting over 7 million WordPress sites and how easily these cross-site scripting vulnerabilities can be exploited. We also talk about the SQL Injection vulnerabilities in Tutor LMS. The data center fire at OVH in France that took 3.5 million sites offline also took down some advanced persistent threat (APT) actors. And there's yet another Chrome use-after-free zero-day vulnerability being actively exploited.
17 min 59 sec
A data breach exposes 150,000 security cameras used by organizations around the world, including Tesla and Cloudflare. State-sponsored hacking groups exploit Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities. A fire in a French data center belonging to hosting company OVH affects millions of websites, including some prominent WordPress services like Imagify and WP Rocket. WordPress 5.7 was released this week with many new features. A zero-day vulnerability was listed for sale in a new way, as an NFT on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.
17 min 36 sec
The Wordfence Threat intelligence team finds vulnerabilities in two plugins, the User Profile Picture plugin and the WooCommerce Upload Files plugin. WordPress 5.7 is set to release on Tuesday, March 9 with numerous enhancements for the block editor, a new robots.txt API, and a stay of execution on jQuery-migrate. A zero day affecting Microsoft Exchange Server allows attackers to steal emails. And Brave buys a search engine to add to their growing privacy-oriented portfolio.
15 min 14 sec
WordPress 5.7 is due to be released on March 9, and it will allow administrators to send password reset emails to users. A botnet is abusing the Bitcoin blockchain for command and control, while VMWare fixes a critical remote code execution bug in all default vCenter installations. Android users now have an easy way to check password security. We talk about the ramifications of vulnerability disclosures and how last year's File Manager vulnerability did not have long lasting effects on plugin installation base or growth. We also discuss how investor data breach fatigue has reduced the stock price of cybersecurity failures.
21 min 47 sec
An analysis of WordPress-related search trends found that interest in WooCommerce related results dominated during 2020. We discuss recent vulnerabilities discovered by our threat intelligence team in Ninja Forms, affecting over 1 million sites. WordPress issues a statement that pirated themes and plugins are prohibited on the repository. And a supply chain attack affects users of the once-legitimate Barcode Scanner Android app. We also discuss some career opportunities on the Wordfence team.
18 min 5 sec
This week, the Wordfence team discusses cryptography in-depth, including the basics, a brief history, hashing, and the Crypto Wars. We also go over current news, including 2 new findings by the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team, a new milestone for WordPress, and a recent attack on a Florida Town's water supply.
47 min 20 sec
Wordfence opens the K-12 site audit and site cleaning service for public schools worldwide. Machine learning is now a big part of our malware identification process, which will speed new malware signatures to deployment for WordPress sites protected by Wordfence. A bug in Sudo can let attackers with access to a local system to elevate their access to a root-level account, which has implications for WordPress sites, Mac users, and many Internet of Things devices. WordPress 5.7, the next major release, will make it much easier for users to migrate their sites from HTTP to HTTPS.
15 min 35 sec
After a disruptive year in 2020, there are new challenges in 2021, but also immense opportunities in numerous fields. In a deep and wide-ranging conversation, Mark Maunder and Kathy Zant discuss artificial intelligence, whether or not we're living in simulation, cryptocurrencies and the opportunities of blockchain technology, open source communities and publishing, avoiding scams and FOMO, as well as what fields are most promising for the next 10 years.
1 hr 4 min
Wordfence announced a new program offering free site cleaning and site audits to public schools in the United States. We talk about why we're offering this program and how to help schools take advantage of it. We also talk about the growing prevalence of WordPress as a content management system and how the incoming administration is using WordPress. We also talk about an unpatched Windows 10 denial of service vulnerability, a breach affecting over 1.9 million Pixlr users, and phishing kits exposing stolen passwords via Google search.
17 min 11 sec
The recent SolarWinds attack was incredibly sophisticated. What happens when that level of sophistication targets a homebuyer during one of the largest transactions of their lifetime? On this episode, we tell the story of an extremely difficult to detect spearphishing attack that almost cost a homebuyer a significant amount. From this story, we review the warning signs and steps you can take to protect against real estate wire transfer fraud.
Earlier this week, we learned that SolarWinds, the largest provider of network management tools for large enterprise organizations fell victim to a supply chain attack. This attack affected their Orion network management system. Reportedly, 18,000 enterprise and government customers downloaded and installed malware that was digitally signed by a valid certificate as part of an update from SolarWinds’ own servers. Microsoft took control of one of the primary command-and-control domains. We also talk about a vulnerability in the PageLayer plugin and a wormable zero-click XSS bug found in the Jabber client.
16 min 6 sec
WordPress 5.6 was released this week with a new feature called application passwords. In this episode we talk about how application passwords work, where to find them in your WordPress installation, and why Wordfence decided to turn these off by default in version 7.4.14. We also talk about a new Magecart attack that places card skimmers inside of CSS files, MailPoet joining WooCommerce and what this means for eCommerce on WordPress sites. FireEye, one of the largest security firms, reported they were hacked by a nation state APT group, and a wormable zero-click vulnerability was found in Microsoft Teams.
23 min 6 sec
With WordPress 5.6’s imminent release and the recent release of PHP 8, we talk about the rapid changes affecting the future of WordPress with new security features and new functionality available to both WordPress users and developers. We also review a recent vulnerability found in iPhones and a social engineering attack on GoDaddy that targeted numerous cryptocurrency exchange sites.
22 min 33 sec
Two hosting providers experienced outages this week. GoDaddy had a brief outage affecting numerous systems on Tuesday, November 17. Managed.com had an extensive outage due to ransomware that affected all systems. We discuss what types of incident response preparations site owners should consider when events beyond their control occur. We also discuss a large-scale attack targeting themes using the Epsilon Framework, the new head of security at Twitter, and an Android chat app exposing private messages.
20 min 23 sec
Three critical privilege escalation vulnerabilities in the Ultimate Member plugin put over 100,000 sites at risk. We also talk about the Page Experience metric to be added as a ranking signal for Google search and what this means for WordPress sites using page builders or Gutenberg. Microsoft warns against using telephone/SMS-based multi-factor authentication, and two zero-day vulnerabilities were patched in Google Chrome. Windows patches over 111 vulnerabilities as a part of November's Patch Tuesday.
24 min 42 sec
A hosting provider exposed over 63 million customer records via an open elastic search database containing verbose logs with plain-text username/password credentials for numerous WordPress, Magento and other sites. We also talk about the security updates in WordPress 5.5.2/5.5.3 and the accidental 5.5.3-alpha autoupdate. We talk about object injection vulnerabilities like the one discovered in the Welcart e-Commerce plugin and how POP chain attacks work. And Google's Project Zero finds a high-severity vulnerability in GitHub Actions not fixed within the 90-day disclosure grace period.
23 min 46 sec
We cover a couple of breaking stories this week, including the emergency release of WordPress 5.5.3 on Friday, October 30. In preparation for this, a number of sites autoupdated to version 5.5.3-alpha. We also look at the the defacement of the Trump Campaign website, and how 2-Factor Authentication could have prevented this. We also look at the implications of a massive Nitro database impacting numerous large organizations. A botnet is targeting a number of content management systems, including WordPress sites. And AdWare found on the Google Play Store is targeting kids.
16 min 18 sec
An easily exploitable SQL injection vulnerability was discovered in the Loginizer plugin installed on over one million WordPress sites, causing the WordPress team to force an update to sites using the vulnerable version. The Justice department is filing antitrust suit against Google for allegedly monopolizing search and search advertising markets. Google Chrome gets an update to fix an actively exploited zero-day vulnerability. And a new feature in Jetpack allows users to post Tweetstorms through WordPress.
On this week's episode of Think Like a Hacker, we chat about the cross-site request forgery vulnerability found in the Child Theme Creator by Orbisius and how attackers could potentially use a vulnerability like this with spearphishing to wreak havoc, much like the phishing campaigns now being found on the Canva design platform. We also discuss the benefits of adding application passwords for REST API authentication planned for WordPress version 5.6. We also consider the ramifications of the critical, wormable RCE bug patched by Microsoft, and how attackers are actively attacking the recent zerologon vulnerability that was patched in August.
17 min 57 sec
A vulnerability discovered by the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team in the WPBakery plugin exposes over 4 million sites. High severity vulnerabilities were discovered in the Post Grid and Team Showcase plugins. The online avatar service Gravatar, has been exposed to a user enumeration technique, which could be abused to collect data on its users' profiles, and a card skimmer was found on Boom! Mobile's web site, putting customer card data at risk.
7 min 23 sec
Shopify reports that rogue employees stole data from 200 merchants on their platform. A security researcher found a vulnerability in the Medium Partner Program could have allowed an attacker to steal writers' earnings. Symantec reports that a state-sponsored hacking group has been hiding out in company networks as a part of an information-stealing campaign. And Twitter reports that an API bug exposed app keys and tokens via a caching issue.
6 min 15 sec
Our Threat Intelligence team discovered several vulnerabilities present in XCloner Backup and Restore, a WordPress plugin installed on over 30,000 sites. These vulnerabilities could have allowed an attacker to modify arbitrary files, including PHP files. The US government Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is warning of detected persistent malicious activity traced back to LokiBot infections. An upcoming API change will break Facebook and Instagram oEmbed links across the web beginning October 24. Google has launched the Web Stories for WordPress plugin with a drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG interface for making full-screen, tappable content. Drupal patches a critical reflected XSS vulnerability. And a critical stored XSS vulnerability in Instagram's Spark AR Studio nets a 14-year-old researcher $25,000.
7 min 29 sec
Vulnerabilities were recently patched in the Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin installed on over 40,000 WordPress sites. Developers from OWASP Core Rule Set said ModSecurity v3 is exposed to denial of service exploits, though the maintainers of ModSecurity reject that claim. A severe vulnerability called Zerologon in Windows Netlogon was patched in August; this bug could be exploited to attack enterprise servers. And a security researcher also discovered that the Windows TCPIP Finger command can also function as a file downloader and a makeshift command and control server. Last weekend, nearly 2,000 Magento stores were compromised in the largest hacking campaign since 2015.
9 min 34 sec
7 min 21 sec
Over 700,000 WordPress users were affected by a zero-day vulnerability in the File Manager plugin, and the WordPress 5.5.1 release fixed millions of sites affected by deprecation of jQuery Migrate. SendGrid is under siege from spammers using hacked accounts, and Apple approves a notorious malware variant to run on Macs.
6 min 35 sec
The Google Chrome web browser has a high-severity vulnerability that could be used to execute arbitrary code, which has been fixed in Chrome version 85. Google also announced that Chrome 86 will alert users if a form submission is using the insecure HTTP protocol, making it a good time to audit older sites that may have migrated to HTTPS, but still have forms submitting via HTTP. A security researcher found a flaw in Apple's Safari browser that could allow an attacker to access files on a Mac or iOS device. The FBI and CISA have issued a joint alert to warn about the growing threat from vishing attacks targeting companies.
The Wordfence Threat Intelligence team discovered vulnerabilities in the Advanced Access Manager plugin installed on over 100,000 WordPress sites. A high severity authorization bypass could lead to privilege escalation and site takeover. Critical vulnerabilities found in the Quiz and Survey Master plugin could also lead to site takeover on the 30,000 WP sites using the vulnerable version of this plugin. Thousands of sites broke after updating to WordPress 5.5 due to deprecated support for jQuery Migrate, and the release of the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin reached 10,000 active installations to help fix these sites using older themes or plugins. As cryptocurrency values rise, we’re seeing a wave of new scams and hacking campaigns with cryptocurrency as a driving force, such as the recent Twitter hack and a botnet campaign breaching SSH servers.
8 min 37 sec
WordPress 5.5 was released on August 11 with a number of important updates, including a new feature allowing auto-updates of themes and plugins as well as changes to the block editor. The popular Astra theme was suspended from the repository for having affiliate links in the code. A vulnerability found in Google Chromium browsers could allow attackers to bypass content security policy in order to steal data and execute rogue code, this vulnerability affects billions of users. The Wall Street Journal reported that government tracking software is embedded in over 500 mobile apps.
7 min 36 sec
Our Threat Intelligence team disclosed numerous vulnerabilities this week, including a critical vulnerability in the Divi and Extra themes as well as the Divi Builder plugin. In total, this vulnerability affected over 700,000 sites. A vulnerability found in The Official Facebook Chat Plugin created a vector for social engineering attacks as it allowed an attacker to pose as a site owner via chat. Object injection vulnerabilities discovered in the Newsletter plugin affected over 300,000 sites. We also look at the charges brought against 3 people in connection with the recent Twitter hack. The WordCamp US organizing team made the difficult decision to cancel WCUS this year amid online event fatigue.
9 min 8 sec
Our threat intelligence team discovered a vulnerability in the wpDiscuz plugin, affecting over 80,000 sites. A blind SQL injection attack affected analytics service WayDev, exposing OAuth tokens for GitHub repositories for software companies, leading to further breaches. A debate about problematic admin notices on the WordPress admin dashboard has many wondering how to best solve the issue, while WordCamps move to all virtual in 2020. Garmin's ransomware attack takes down more than step counting.
8 min 7 sec
A number of high profile Twitter accounts including those of Elon Musk, Apple, Uber, Bill Gates, Joe Biden and others were compromised as a part of a coordinated bitcoin scam attack. The attack lasted a few hours and netted the attackers about $100,000 worth of bitcoin. We talk about how this attack could have possibly happened and lessons for businesses with remote workers accessing company systems. We also talk about a vulnerability our Threat Intelligence team discovered in the All in One SEO Pack plugin used by over 2 million WordPress sites. This vulnerability could be used by a malicious contributor account to take over a WordPress site. We also discuss SigRed: A 17-year-old ‘wormable’ vulnerability that could be used to hijack Windows servers, a vulnerability that could have severe ramifications for enterprise Windows networks. This vulnerability was patched on July 14. And we take a look at some privacy concerns with the increasingly popular TikTok app and how Apple discovered TikTok spying on iPhone users.
40 min 59 sec
This week, we look at some targeted phishing attacks that are bypassing Microsoft Outlook’s protective filters, and phishing campaigns using calendar invitations to target unsuspecting recipients. We also look at some successful bitcoin scams and a new record for a massive DDoS attack that targeted an AWS customer. Drupal pushes out some security fixes, and zero-day vulnerabilities found in numerous Netgear routers.
13 min 47 sec
This week, we look at the WP 5.4.2 release and a ransomware bitcoin scam targeting site owners with a “You’ve Been Hacked” email. We also look at an FBI warning about online banking app malware, the Verizon data breach report and what is says about WordPress, and how some white hat hackers are becoming millionaires by responsibly disclosing vulnerabilities via HackerOne.
14 min 9 sec
On this week's Think Like a Hacker podcast, we cover an active attack campaign targeting WordPress sites and numerous plugin vulnerabilities. This active attack campaign has been ongoing and has outpaced all other attacks on WordPress vulnerabilities. Our threat intelligence team has been tracking this attacker for months now, and we’re seeing these attacks intensifying. We also look at vulnerabilities found in Google's Site Kit plugin and the Page Builder by SiteOrigin, and why it’s so important for plugin developers to have a Responsible Disclosure Policy published in an easy to find location on their site. We also look at how a combination of two vulnerabilities were used in a zero-day active attack on sites running Elementor Pro and the Ultimate Addons for Elementor plugin. We also look at some new updates to Fast or Slow, the new global site speed profiling tool created by the Wordfence engineering team, and the impromptu hard launch the site experienced when it rose to the #1 position on Hacker News on May 8, 2020. May has been a rather busy month in WordPress security and for the Wordfence team. Enjoy the podcast, and stay safe.
18 min 48 sec