A security researcher with a grudge is dropping Web 0days on innocent users

(credit: Pixabay)

Over the past three weeks, a trio of critical zeroday vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins has exposed 160,000 websites to attacks that allow criminal hackers to redirect unwitting visitors to malicious destinations. A self-proclaimed security provider who publicly disclosed the flaws before patches were available played a key role in the debacle, although delays by plugin developers and site administrators in publishing and installing patches have also contributed.

Over the past week, zeroday vulnerabilities in both the Yuzo Related Posts and Yellow Pencil Visual Theme Customizer WordPress plugins, used by 60,000 and 30,000 websites respectively, have come under attack. Both plugins were removed from the WordPress plugin repository around the time the zeroday posts were published, leaving websites little choice than to remove the plugins. On Friday, Yellow Pencil issued a patch, three days after the vulnerability was disclosed. At the time this post was being reported Yuzo Related Posts remained closed with no patch available.

In-the-wild exploits against Social Warfare, a plugin used by 70,000 sites, started three weeks ago. Developers for that plugin quickly patched the flaw, but not before sites that used it were hacked.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

…read more