Security experts from MalCare discovered a critical easy-to-exploit authentication bypass vulnerability in “Ultimate
The vulnerability resides in the way the plugins let WordPress account holders, including administrators, authenticate via Facebook and Google login.
The flaw could be exploited by remote
Ultimate Addons are developed by software development company Brainstorm Force, they allow
According to the experts, only two days after the disclosure of the vulnerability, threat actors have already started exploiting this vulnerability in the wild.
Attackers exploited the vulnerability to compromise WordPress sites and install a malicious backdoor for later access.
“Yesterday, during our regular security audits, our security researchers were surprised to discover a vulnerability in the plugins. It’s a major vulnerability that could allow hackers to gain admin access to any WordPress website that had the plugin installed. This means hackers can gain full control of your website if you are using the plugin.” reads the post published by
The two vulnerable plugins are currently installed over hundreds of thousands of WordPress websites.
An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by
“The vulnerability we found occurs as soon as you install the plugin on your website. If a hacker knows the email ID of any user of a WordPress website, they can craft a special request and gain admin control.” continues
“To exploit the vulnerability, the hacker needs to use the email ID of an admin user of the site. In most cases, this information can be retrieved fairly easily. A few hosting providers also make it easy to find the admin email ID of a website. Hence we have reached out to hosting providers informing them about our discovery to minimize the potential damage.”
MalCare discovered this vulnerability on Wednesday and reported the issue to the development team the same day that fixed it within just 7 hours.
The security firm WebARX also confirmed the existence of the issue.
“The vulnerable version of the plugin has a feature that allows people to log in using a regular username/password combination, Facebook and Google. However, the Facebook and Google authentication methods did not verify the token returned by Facebook and Google and since they don’t require a password, there was no password check.” reads a post published by WebARX. “This allowed malicious actors to log in to any user account (including admin) on the website that has a vulnerable version of one of those plugins installed without the password – causing full authentication bypass.”