PSA: Attackers Actively Exploiting Critical Vulnerability in Essential Addons for Elementor

On May 11 2023, Essential Addons for Elementor, a WordPress plugin with over one million active installations, released a patch for a critical vulnerability that made it possible for any unauthenticated user to reset arbitrary user passwords, including user accounts with administrative-level access. This vulnerability was discovered and responsibly disclosed by security researcher Rafie Muhammed.

Over the past few days the folks at WordFence have seen millions of probing attempts for the plugin’s readme.txt file, which are likely to be attackers probing for the presence of the plugin to build a target site exploit list, along with over 6,900 blocked exploit attempts. Our attack data is limited due to the fact that the rule only triggers if the plugin is installed on a site with a vulnerable version, but a programmatic exploit was made public on Github on May 14th. This is the type of vulnerability that tends to see widespread attacks due to a combination of a large install base, ease of exploitation, and severity of impact, and we anticipate that exploit attempts will only ramp up from here.

Considering how easily this vulnerability can be successfully exploited, we highly recommend all users of the plugin update ASAP to ensure their site is not compromised by this vulnerability.

The vulnerability patched in Essential Addons for Elementor allowed for attackers to reset passwords for arbitrary accounts on any of the one million WordPress sites running the plugin. This was due to the fact that the reset_password function did not adequately validate a password reset request with a password reset key, so attackers could simply supply a valid username, obtain a valid nonce from the site’s homepage, input random data for the remaining fields, and reset the supplied users password to whatever they chose in one simple request.

WordPress doesn’t consider usernames to be sensitive information which means attackers can easily enumerate a site looking for valid usernames. Additionally, site owners often forget to change the default username making it possible for attackers to use common default usernames such as ‘admin.’ This makes it much easier for attackers to uncover valid accounts that they can compromise in order to elevate their privileges on the site. Once the attacker is logged in as an administrator, they have free rein to perform actions like installing plugins and backdoors to further infect the site, server, and any unsuspecting visitors.

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See also: Vulnerability in Essential Addons for Elementor Leads to Mass Infection ( and

WordPress Core 6.2.1 Security & Maintenance Release – What You Need to Know

On May 16, 2023, the WordPress core team released WordPress 6.2.1, which contains patches for 5 vulnerabilities, including a Medium Severity Directory Traversal vulnerability, a Medium-Severity Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability, and several lower-severity vulnerabilities.

These patches have been backported to every version of WordPress since 4.1. WordPress has supported automatic core updates for security releases since WordPress 3.7, and the vast majority of WordPress sites should receive a patch for their major version of WordPress automatically over the next 24 hours. We recommend verifying that your site has been automatically updated to one of the patched versions. Patched versions are available for every major version of WordPress since 4.1, so you can update without risking compatibility issues.

If your site has not been updated automatically we strongly recommend updating manually as soon as possible, as one of the vulnerabilities patched in this release can be used by an attacker with a low-privileged contributor-level account to take over a site.

Vulnerability Analysis

As with every WordPress core release containing security fixes, the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team analyzed the code changes in detail to evaluate the impact of these vulnerabilities on our customers, and to ensure our customers remain protected.

WordPress Core is vulnerable to Directory Traversal in versions up to, and including, 6.2, via the ‘wp_lang’ parameter. This allows unauthenticated attackers to access and load arbitrary translation files. In cases where an attacker is able to upload a crafted translation file onto the site, such as via an upload form, this could be also used to perform a Cross-Site Scripting attack. This vulnerability would not be easy to exploit in an impactful manner on most configurations.

WordPress Core is vulnerable to Cross-Site Request Forgery due to missing nonce validation on the ‘wp_ajax_set_attachment_thumbnail’ AJAX function in versions up to, and including, 6.2. This allows unauthenticated users to update the thumbnail image associated with existing attachments, granted they can trick an authenticated user with appropriate permissions into performing an action, such as clicking a link. The impact of this vulnerability is incredibly minimal and we do not expect to see any exploitation of this weakness.

WordPress Core is vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting in versions up to, and including, 6.2, due to insufficient validation of the protocol in the response when processing oEmbed discovery. This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with contributor-level and above permissions to use a crafted oEmbed payload at a remote URL to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.

WordPress Core fails to sufficiently sanitize block attributes in versions up to, and including, 6.2. This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with contributor-level and above permissions to embed arbitrary content in HTML comments on the page, though Cross-Site scripting may be possible when combined with an additional vulnerability. Please note that this would only affect sites utilizing a block editor compatible theme.

WordPress Core processes shortcodes in user-generated content on block themes in versions up to, and including, 6.2. This could allow unauthenticated attackers to execute shortcodes via submitting comments or other content, allowing them to exploit vulnerabilities that typically require Subscriber or Contributor-level permissions. While this is likely to have minimal impact on its own, it can significantly increase the severity and exploitability of other vulnerabilities.


In today’s article, we covered five vulnerabilities patched in the WordPress 6.2.1 Security and Maintenance Release. Most actively used WordPress sites should be patched via automatic updates within the next 24 hours.

The Wordfence firewall’s built-in directory traversal protection should block attempts to exploit the directory traversal vulnerability, and it would typically only be impactful when exploited by a skilled attacker in certain configurations. Most of the other issues fixed today are similar in that they require specific configurations or circumstances, such as other vulnerable plugins, to impactfully exploit.

However, we urge all site owners to verify that WordPress is updated as soon as possible since it is not practical to deploy a firewall rule that protects against the oEmbed issue and as such any site with untrusted contributor-level users may be at risk.

As always, we strongly recommend updating your site to a patched version of WordPress if it hasn’t been updated automatically. As long as you are running a version of WordPress greater than 4.1, an update is available to patch these vulnerabilities while keeping you on the same major version, so you will not need to worry about compatibility issues.

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New Atomic macOS Malware Steals Keychain Passwords and Crypto Wallets

Threat actors are advertising a new information stealer for the Apple macOS operating system called Atomic macOS Stealer (or AMOS) on Telegram for $1,000 per month, joining the likes of MacStealer.

“The Atomic macOS Stealer can steal various types of information from the victim’s machine, including Keychain passwords, complete system information, files from the desktop and documents folder, and even the macOS password,” Cyble researchers said in a technical report.

Among other features include its ability to extract data from web browsers and cryptocurrency wallets like Atomic, Binance, Coinomi, Electrum, and Exodus. Threat actors who purchase the stealer from its developers are also provided a ready-to-use web panel for managing the victims.

The malware takes the form of an unsigned disk image file (Setup.dmg) that, when executed, urges the victim to enter their system password on a bogus prompt to escalate privileges and carry out its malicious activities — a technique also adopted by MacStealer.

The initial intrusion vector used to deliver the malware is immediately not clear, although it’s possible that users are manipulated into downloading and executing it under the guise of legitimate software.

The Atomic stealer artifact, submitted to VirusTotal on April 24, 2023, also bears the name “Notion-7.0.6.dmg,” suggesting that it’s being propagated as the popular note-taking app. Other samples unearthed by the MalwareHunterTeam have been distributed as “Photoshop CC 2023.dmg” and “Tor Browser.dmg.”

“Malware such as the Atomic macOS Stealer could be installed by exploiting vulnerabilities or hosting on phishing websites,” Cyble noted.

Atomic then proceeds to harvest system metadata, files, iCloud Keychain, as well as information stored in web browsers (e.g., passwords, autofill, cookies, credit card data) and crypto wallet extensions, all of which are compressed into a ZIP archive and sent to a remote server. The ZIP file of the compiled information is then sent to pre-configured Telegram channels.

The development is another sign that macOS is increasingly becoming a lucrative target beyond nation-state hacking groups to deploy stealer malware, making it imperative that users only download and install software from trusted sources, enable two-factor authentication, review app permissions, and refrain from opening suspicious links received via emails or SMS messages.

Second Variant of Atomic Stealer Found

SentinelOne, in a follow-up analysis published earlier this week, disclosed details of a previously unreported second variant of Atomic Stealer and the use of Google Ads as a distribution vector for the malware.

The new version masquerades as a game installer and incorporates a “larger number of functions focusing on Firefox and Chromium browsers” but at the same time leverages game-related lures to target cryptocurrency users.

Additionally, the presence of grammatical and spelling errors is an indication that the developer’s first language is likely not English. The identity of the threat actor behind Atomic Stealer is currently unknown.

Another significant trait of Atomic Stealer is its lack of persistence mechanism due to a macOS Ventura feature that alerts users when new apps or services are added to the list of “login items” that are automatically executed when the device starts. Instead, it opts to steal as much information as possible in what’s a smash-and-grab attack.

“Infostealers targeted at Mac users have become increasingly viable for threat actors now that Macs have reached widespread use in organizations, both for work and personal use,” SentinelOne researcher Phil Stokes said.

“As many Mac devices lack good external security tools that can provide both visibility and protection, there is plenty of opportunity for threat actors to develop and market tools to aid cybercriminals.”

Norton LifeLock says thousands of customer accounts breached

Thousands of Norton LifeLock customers had their accounts compromised in recent weeks, potentially allowing criminal hackers access to customer password managers, the company revealed in a recent data breach notice.

In a notice to customers, Gen Digital, the parent company of Norton LifeLock, said that the likely culprit was a credential stuffing attack — where previously exposed or breached credentials are used to break into accounts on different sites and services that share the same passwords — rather than a compromise of its systems. It’s why two-factor authentication, which Norton LifeLock offers, is recommended, as it blocks attackers from accessing someone’s account with just their password.

The company said it found that the intruders had compromised accounts as far back as December 1, close to two weeks before its systems detected a “large volume” of failed logins to customer accounts on December 12.

“In accessing your account with your username and password, the unauthorized third party may have viewed your first name, last name, phone number, and mailing address,” the data breach notice said. The notice was sent to customers that it believes use its password manager feature, because the company cannot rule out that the intruders also accessed customers’ saved passwords.

Gen Digital said it sent notices to about 6,450 customers whose accounts were compromised.

Norton LifeLock provides identity protection and cybersecurity services. It’s the latest incident involving the theft of customer passwords of late. Earlier this year, password manager giant LastPass confirmed a data breach in which intruders compromised its cloud storage and stole millions of customers’ encrypted password vaults. In 2021, the company behind a popular enterprise password manager called Passwordstate was hacked to push a tainted software update to its customers, allowing the cybercriminals to steal customers’ passwords.

That said, password managers are still widely recommended by security professionals for generating and storing unique passwords, so long as the appropriate precautions and protections are put in place to limit the fallout in the event of a compromise.

Source and more details: Norton LifeLock says thousands of customer accounts breached | TechCrunch

Popular password managers auto-filled credentials on untrusted websites

Security shortcomings mean that multiple password managers could be tricked into auto-filling credentials on untrusted pages, security researchers at Google warn.

The team from Google went public with their findings on Tuesday (17 January), 90 days after notifying the applications – Dashlane, Bitwarden, and the built-in password manager bundled with Apple’s Safari browser – of the vulnerabilities.

Both Dashlane and Bitwarden have updated their software although Dashlane, at least, remains unconvinced that the bug represents any kind of security threat. The status of any fix for Apple’s Safari built-in password manager remains unconfirmed at the time of writing. The Daily Swig has asked Apple to comment and we’ll update this story as and when more information comes to hand.

The security shortcomings outlined by Google mean that the vulnerable password managers auto-fill credentials into untrusted pages, without first requiring users to enter their master password.

An advisory from Google explains that the issue arises in two scenarios: where web pages have a CSP (content security policy) sandbox response header or where forms are inside a sandboxed iframe.

Auto-filling by password managers should not happen in either scenario but the affected applications all fail in this regard when encountering sandboxed content. Other password managers (including LastPass, 1Password, and Google Chrome’s password vault technology) avoid this mistake, said Google.

“Password managers should check whether content is sandboxed before auto-filling credentials. This can be done in many ways, but one way is to check self.origin of a page and refusing to fill in credentials if self.origin is ‘null’,” according to the Google advisory.

Real world impact

In response to a query from The Daily Swig, Bitwarden confirmed that the issue had been resolved through a recent pull request. Dashlane told The Daily Swig that it had also updated its technology even though it remains unconvinced there was ever a substantive problem in play.

We never submit or propose credentials for a domain when it has not been saved by the user previously – so in that specific use case, we don’t see a concrete attack scenario that would lead to credential stealing.

The findings published by Google’s security team have been helpful in improving the way we communicate with our customers in autofill scenarios.

We always welcome collaborating with security researchers to identify threats and potential attacks so that we can evolve our security architecture and keep offering the highest level of protection to our users.

Google is yet to respond to a request from The Daily Swig to respond to Dashlane’s comments on its research findings.

Source and more details: Popular password managers auto-filled credentials on untrusted websites | The Daily Swig (

This vicious new malware version is now targeting password managers

A new version of an already active malware is now shifting focus to target 1Password – in our view the best password manager for families – and KeePass.

ViperSoftX is an infostealer that has already been after crypto wallets, but its now attacking more of them, in addition to multiple web browsers – not just Google Chrome – and password managers as well. 

It also has stronger code encryption now and is better at avoiding detection from antivirus tools. 

New version

ViperSoftX can install the malicious Chrome extension VenomSoftX, but according to security researchers Trend Micro, it can now also infect Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Brave. 

The malware was first discovered in 2020 stealing crypto currency using a JavaScript-based RAT (remote access trojan). By 2022, however, Avast found that it had advanced considerably in its capabilities, with the cybersecurity vendor claiming that it had stopped close to 100,000 attacks on its customers from the malware through most of last year. Most victims were based in the U.S., Italy, Brazil, and India.

It seems that now, however, ViperSoftX has extended its global reach, with Trend Micro detecting additional prominent activity in Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and France. Enterprises and consumers alike are being targeted too. Analysts found that the malware is often hidden in software cracks and activators. 

In addition to attacking many more crypto wallets now, the latest version of ViperSoftX has been found by Trend Micros to be scouring for files associated with 1Password and KeePass, and attempting to steal data related to their browser extensions. 

An exploit tracked as CVE-2023-24055 does allow for stored passwords to be exported in a plain text file, but Trend Micro found now evidence that this is being used by ViperSoftX.

However, it told BleepingComputer that it could steal users’ vaults in the later stages of the attack, once the malware has taken hold and extracted data from the victim’s system and sent it to the threat actor.

More worringly, the new ViperSoftX uses DLL sideloading in order to be mistakenly recognized as a trusted process, thus remaining undetected by security software. It also checks to see if monitoring tools like VMWare or Process Monitor and antivirus software such as Windows Defender and ESET are present on the system before it it begins its processes.

It also uses byte mapping, a technique to encrypt its code in a way that makes it much harder to decrypt without having the correct map to do so.

Source: This vicious new malware version is now targeting password managers | TechRadar

About Rapid Security Responses for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

Rapid Security Responses deliver important security improvements between software updates.

Rapid Security Responses are a new type of software release for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. They deliver important security improvements between software updates — for example, improvements to the Safari web browser, the WebKit framework stack, or other critical system libraries. They may also be used to mitigate some security issues more quickly, such as issues that might have been exploited or reported to exist “in the wild.”

New Rapid Security Responses are delivered only for the latest version of iOS, iPadOS and macOS — beginning with iOS 16.4.1, iPadOS 16.4.1, and macOS 13.3.1.

By default, your device allows Rapid Security Responses to be applied automatically and, if necessary, will prompt you to restart your device. To check your device settings:

  • iPhone or iPad: Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates, then make sure that “Security Responses & System Files” is turned on.
  • Mac: Choose Apple menu  > System Settings. Click General in the sidebar, then click Software Update on the right. Click the Show Details button  next to Automatic Updates, then make sure that “Install Security Responses and system files” is turned on.

When a Rapid Security Response has been applied, a letter appears after the software version number, as in this example: macOS 13.3.1 (a).

If you choose to turn off this setting or not to apply Rapid Security Responses when they’re available, your device will receive relevant fixes or mitigations when they’re included in a subsequent software update.

Source: About Rapid Security Responses for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS – Apple Support

Multiple Vulnerabilities Patched in Shield Security

Wordfence Threat Intelligence team began the responsible disclosure process for two vulnerabilities in Shield Security, a security plugin with over 50,000 installations. One of these vulnerabilities allowed unauthenticated attackers to inject malicious JavaScript into an administrator dashboard in some configurations, while another allowed authenticated attackers to spoof log entries into the same dashboard, which could also be used to exploit the first vulnerability in configurations where the unauthenticated technique was not viable.

The Shield Security plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting in versions up to, and including, 17.0.17 via the ‘User-Agent’ header. This makes it possible for unauthenticated attackers to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.

The Shield Security plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Missing Authorization on the ‘theme-plugin-file’ AJAX action in versions up to, and including, 17.0.17. This allows authenticated attackers to add arbitrary audit log entries indicating that a theme or plugin has been edited, and is also a vector for Cross-Site Scripting via CVE-2023-0992.

The Shield Security plugin includes a number of features, including an audit log that records certain types of suspicious activity, such as plugin and theme installation, modification, post deletion, and other types of activity that might impact the site. While most of these events require authentication or higher privileges in order to trigger, we found that certain events could be triggered by unauthenticated users. In particular, failed attempts to authenticate using application passwords, new user registrations, and spam activity are among the actions recorded for unauthenticated users.

The audit log records metadata about the client that performed the logged activity, including the client’s User-Agent, which can be accessed by clicking the “Meta” tag icon on an audit log entry. Unfortunately, the metadata was not escaped when it was output. While most of the metadata collected about a request has a very strict format and can only be spoofed to a limited extent, User-Agent strings are alphanumeric, and we were able to inject a script in an iframe in the User-Agent header that fired when an administrator viewed an event entry.

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Blubrry Addresses Authenticated Stored XSS Vulnerability in PowerPress WordPress Plugin

On April 5, 2023, our Wordfence Threat Intelligence team identified and began the responsible disclosure process for a stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Blubrry’s PowerPress plugin, which is actively installed on more than 50,000 WordPress websites. The vulnerability enables threat actors with contributor-level permissions or higher to inject malicious web scripts into pages using the plugin’s shortcode.

We contacted Blubrry on April 6, 2023, and promptly received a response. After providing full disclosure details, the developer released a patch on April 10, 2023. We commend the PowerPress development team for their swift response and timely patch release.

We urge users to update their sites with the latest patched version of PowerPress, version 10.0.4 at the time of this writing, as soon as possible.

Technical Analysis

PowerPress is a plugin that allows WordPress users to publish and manage podcasts. It provides a shortcode ([powerpress]) that allows users to display the PowerPress player on a WordPress page. However, insecure implementation of the plugin’s shortcode functionality allows for the injection of arbitrary web scripts into these pages. A closer examination of the code reveals that the ‘powerpress_shortcode_handler’ function did not adequately sanitize user-supplied input and a number of functions (for various podcast player options) that utilize the shortcode attributes did not adequately escape output.

This makes it possible for threat actors to carry out stored XSS attacks. Once a script is injected, it will execute each time a user accesses the affected page. Threat actors could potentially steal sensitive information, manipulate site content, or redirect users to malicious websites.

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Hiding in Plain Sight: Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerabilities Patched in Weaver Products

On March 14, 2023, the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team initiated the responsible disclosure process for 2 nearly identical Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities in the Weaver Xtreme theme and the Weaver Show Posts plugin, which each have over 10,000 installations. The plugin developer responded the same day and we provided full disclosure.

A patched version of the Weaver Show Posts plugin, 1.7, was released on April 1, 2023, while the patched version 6.2 of the Weaver Xtreme theme became available on April 5, 2023.

The Weaver Xtreme theme for WordPress is vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting due to insufficient escaping of the profile display name in versions up to, and including, 5.0.7. This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with contributor-level and above permissions to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.

The Weaver Show Posts plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting due to insufficient escaping of the profile display name in versions up to, and including, 1.6. This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with contributor-level and above permissions to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.

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