Severe Vulnerability Impacting 600,000 Sites Patched in Limit Login Attempts

The Wordfence team responsibly disclosed an unauthenticated stored Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability in Limit Login Attempts, a WordPress plugin installed on over 600,000 sites that provides site owners with the ability to block IP addresses that have made repeated failed login attempts.

The plugin is vulnerable in versions up to, and including, 1.7.1. A patch addressing this vulnerability was released on April 4, 2023 as version 1.7.2. We recommend all site owners update to version 1.7.2 as soon as possible.

All WordFence users, including those still using the free version of the plugin, are protected by the Wordfence firewall against any exploits targeting this vulnerability.

Source and more details:

Privilege Escalation Vulnerability Patched Promptly in WP Data Access WordPress Plugin

On April 5, 2023 the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team initiated the responsible disclosure process for a vulnerability we discovered in WP Data Access, a WordPress plugin that is installed on over 10,000 sites. This flaw makes it possible for an authenticated attacker to grant themselves administrative privileges via a profile update, if the targeted site has the ‘Role Management’ setting enabled.

Source and more details:

Hackers exploit WordPress plugin flaw that gives full control of millions of sites

Elementor Pro fixed the vulnerability, but not everyone has installed the patch.

Hackers are actively exploiting a critical vulnerability in a widely used WordPress plugin that gives them the ability to take complete control of millions of sites, researchers said.

The vulnerability, which carries a severity rating of 8.8 out of a possible 10, is present in Elementor Pro, a premium plugin running on more than 12 million sites powered by the WordPress content management system. Elementor Pro allows users to create high-quality websites using a wide range of tools, one of which is WooCommerce, a separate WordPress plugin. When those conditions are met, anyone with an account on the site—say a subscriber or customer—can create new accounts that have full administrator privileges.

The vulnerability was discovered by Jerome Bruandet, a researcher with security firm NinTechNet. Last week, Elementor, the developer of the Elementor Pro plugin, released version 3.11.7, which patched the flaw. In a post published on Tuesday, Bruandet wrote:

An authenticated attacker can leverage the vulnerability to create an administrator account by enabling registration (users_can_register) and setting the default role (default_role) to “administrator”, change the administrator email address (admin_email) or, as shown below, redirect all traffic to an external malicious website by changing siteurl among many other possibilities:

MariaDB [example]> SELECT * FROM `wp_options` WHERE `option_name`='siteurl';
| option_id | option_name | option_value     | autoload |
|		 1 | siteurl     | | yes 	 |
1 row in set (0.001 sec)

Now, researchers with a separate security firm, PatchStack, report that the vulnerability is under active exploitation. Attacks are coming from a variety of IP addresses, including:


Files uploaded to compromised sites often have the following names:

  • wp-rate.php

URLs of compromised sites are often being changed to:

  • away[dot]trackersline[dot]com

The broken access control vulnerability stems from Elementor Pro’s use of the “elementor-pro/modules/woocommerce/module.php” component. When WooCommerce is running, this script registers the following AJAX actions:

 * Register Ajax Actions.
 * Registers ajax action used by the Editor js.
 * @since 3.5.0
 * @param Ajax $ajax
public function register_ajax_actions( Ajax $ajax ) {
   // `woocommerce_update_page_option` is called in the editor save-show-modal.js.
   $ajax->register_ajax_action( 'pro_woocommerce_update_page_option', [ $this, 'update_page_option' ] );
   $ajax->register_ajax_action( 'pro_woocommerce_mock_notices', [ $this, 'woocommerce_mock_notices' ] );


 * Update Page Option.
 * Ajax action can be used to update any WooCommerce option.
 * @since 3.5.0
 * @param array $data
public function update_page_option( $data ) {
   update_option( $data['option_name'], $data['editor_post_id'] );

The update_option function “is supposed to allow the Administrator or the Shop Manager to update some specific WooCommerce options, but user input aren’t validated and the function lacks a capability check to restrict its access to a high privileged user only,” Bruandet explained. He continued:

Elementor uses its own AJAX handler to manage most of its AJAX actions, including pro_woocommerce_update_page_option, with the global elementor_ajax action. It is located in the “elementor/core/common/modules/ajax/module.php” script of the free version (which is required to run Elementor Pro) :

 * Handle ajax request.
 * Verify ajax nonce, and run all the registered actions for this request.
 * Fired by `wp_ajax_elementor_ajax` action.
 * @since 2.0.0
 * @access public
public function handle_ajax_request() {
   if ( ! $this->verify_request_nonce() ) {
  	$this->add_response_data( false, esc_html__( 'Token Expired.', 'elementor' ) )
     	->send_error( Exceptions::UNAUTHORIZED );

Anyone using Elementor Pro should ensure they’re running 3.11.7 or later, as all previous versions are vulnerable. It’s also a good idea for these users to check their sites for the signs of infection listed in the PatchStack post.


WiFi protocol flaw allows attackers to hijack network traffic

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a fundamental security flaw in the design of the IEEE 802.11 WiFi protocol standard, allowing attackers to trick access points into leaking network frames in plaintext form.

WiFi frames are data containers consisting of a header, data payload, and trailer, which include information such as the source and destination MAC address, control, and management data.

These frames are ordered in queues and transmitted in a controlled matter to avoid collisions and to maximize data exchange performance by monitoring the busy/idle states of the receiving points.

The researchers found that queued/buffered frames are not adequately protected from adversaries, who can manipulate data transmission, client spoofing, frame redirection, and capturing.

“Our attacks have a widespread impact as they affect various devices and operating systems (Linux, FreeBSD, iOS, and Android) and because they can be used to hijack TCP connections or intercept client and web traffic,” reads the technical paper published yesterday by Domien Schepers and Aanjhan Ranganathan of Northeastern University, and Mathy Vanhoef of imec-DistriNet, KU Leuven.

Power-saving flaw

The IEEE 802.11 standard includes power-save mechanisms that allow WiFi devices to conserve power by buffering or queuing frames destined for sleeping devices.

When a client station (receiving device) enters sleep mode, it sends a frame to the access point with a header that contains the power-saving bit, so all frames destined for it are queued.

The standard, however, does not provide explicit guidance on managing the security of these queued frames and does not set limitations like how long the frames can stay in this state.

Once the client station wakes up, the access point dequeues the buffered frames, applies encryption, and transmits them to the destination.

An attacker can spoof the MAC address of a device on the network and send power-saving frames to access points, forcing them to start queuing frames destined for the target. Then, the attacker transmits a wake-up frame to retrieve the frame stack.

The transmitted frames are usually encrypted using the group-addressed encryption key, shared among all the devices in the WiFi network, or a pairwise encryption key, which is unique to each device and used to encrypt frames exchanged between two devices.

However, the attacker can change the security context of the frames by sending authentication and association frames to the access point, thus forcing it to transmit the frames in plaintext form or encrypt them with an attacker-provided key.

Attack diagram
Attack diagram (

This attack is possible using custom tools created by the researchers called MacStealer, which can test WiFi networks for client isolation bypasses and intercept traffic destined for other clients at the MAC layer.

The researchers report that network device models from Lancom, Aruba, Cisco, Asus, and D-Link are known to be affected by these attacks, with the complete list below.

Devices tested by the analysts
Tested devices found vulnerable (

The researchers warn that these attacks could be used to inject malicious content, such as JavaScript, into TCP packets.

“An adversary can use their own Internet-connected server to inject data into this TCP connection by injecting off-path TCP packets with a spoofed sender IP address,” warn the researchers.

“This can, for instance, be abused to send malicious JavaScript code to the victim in plaintext HTTP connections with as goal to exploit vulnerabilities in the client’s browser.”

While this attack could also be used to snoop on traffic, as most web traffic is encrypted using TLS, there would be a limited impact.

The technical details and research are available in USENIX Security 2023 paper, which will be presented at the upcoming BlackHat Asia conference on May 12, 2023. 

Cisco acknowledges flaw

The first vendor to acknowledge the impact of the WiFi protocol flaw is Cisco, admitting that the attacks outlined in the paper may be successful against Cisco Wireless Access Point products and Cisco Meraki products with wireless capabilities.

However, Cisco believes says that the retrieved frames are unlikely to jeopardize the overall security of a properly secured network.

“This attack is seen as an opportunistic attack, and the information gained by the attacker would be of minimal value in a securely configured network.” – Cisco.

Still, the firm recommends applying mitigation measures like using policy enforcement mechanisms through a system like Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE), which can restrict network access by implementing Cisco TrustSec or Software Defined Access (SDA) technologies.

“Cisco also recommends implementing transport layer security to encrypt data in transit whenever possible because it would render the acquired data unusable by the attacker,” reads the Cisco security advisory.

Currently, there are no known cases of malicious use of the flaw discovered by the researchers.


PSA: Update Now! Critical Authentication Bypass in WooCommerce Payments Allows Site Takeover

The Wordfence Threat Intelligence team regularly monitors plugin updates and reviews any indicating that a potential security issue may have been addressed. Today, March 23, 2023, we noticed that the “WooCommerce Payments – Fully Integrated Solution Built and Supported by Woo” plugin had been updated to version 5.6.2 with a changelog entry marked simply “Security update.”

After reviewing the update we determined that it removed vulnerable code that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to impersonate an administrator and completely take over a website without any user interaction or social engineering required.

We developed a Proof of Concept and began writing and testing a firewall rule immediately.

Regardless of the version of Wordfence you are using, we urge you to update to the latest version of the WooCommerce Payments plugin, which is 5.6.2 as of this writing, immediately. WooCommerce Payments is installed on over 500,000 sites, and this is a critical-severity vulnerability.

[ed note: All clients of have already been updated]

Source and more details:

See also:

Multiple Reflected Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerabilities in Three WordPress Plugins Patched

The Wordfence Threat Intelligence Team recently disclosed several Reflected Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities that we discovered in three different plugins – Watu Quiz (installed on 5,000 sites), GN-Publisher (installed on 40,000 sites), and Japanized For WooCommerce (installed on 10,000 sites). As with all Reflected Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities, these could be leveraged for a complete site takeover as long as an unauthenticated attacker could successfully trick a site administrator into performing an action, such as clicking on a link or visiting a website under the attacker’s control.

All Wordfence customers, including those using the free version of our plugin, are protected against any exploits targeting these vulnerabilities by the Wordfence firewall’s built-in Cross-Site Scripting protection.

Source and more details:

Vulnerability Patched in Cozmolabs Profile Builder Plugin – Information Disclosure Leads to Account Takeover

Hundreds, if not thousands of WordPress plugins are conceived with the idea of making site building and maintenance easier for site owners. They add features not available in WordPress Core that would otherwise require site owners to write their own code to extend functionality. However, these well-intentioned plugins may sometimes contain seemingly innocuous bugs that can lead to catastrophic consequences.

On Tuesday, February 7th, 2023, prominent WordPress vulnerability researcher István Márton, also known as Lana Codes, reached out to the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team to responsibly disclose an information disclosure vulnerability in Cozmolabs Profile Builder, a WordPress plugin designed to enhance the user profile and registration experience with a reported 60,000+ active installations. If exploited, this vulnerability allows threat actors to gain elevated privileges by taking over arbitrary accounts.

Wordfence researchers quickly assessed the vulnerability and deployed a firewall rule to protect customers from exploitation. Premium WordFence customers received that protection on February 13, 2023 as well as an additional firewall rule for extended protection on February 14, 2023. Sites still running the free version of Wordfence will receive the same protection 30 days later on March 14 and March 15, 2023, respectively.

In coordination with Márton, Cozmolabs quickly released a fix in Profile Builder version 3.9.1 on February 13, 2023, only 6 days after the vulnerability’s discovery.

Source and more details:

Yoast SEO <= 20.2 – Authenticated (Contributor+) DOM-Based Cross-Site Scripting

Please note: The Wordfence team is still assessing this vulnerability, and will add more details as it becomes available. The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to DOM-based Cross-Site Scripting via individual post SEO details in versions up to, and including, 20.2 due to insufficient input sanitization and output escaping. This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with contributor-level requirements and above, to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.

PYWP clients have already been updated to the latest (patched) version.

Source and more details:

The LastPass hack saga just keeps getting worse

Already smarting from a breach that stole customer vaults, LastPass has more bad news.

Already smarting from a breach that put partially encrypted login data into a threat actor’s hands, LastPass on Monday said that the same attacker hacked an employee’s home computer and obtained a decrypted vault available to only a handful of company developers.

Although an initial intrusion into LastPass ended on August 12, officials with the leading password manager said the threat actor “was actively engaged in a new series of reconnaissance, enumeration, and exfiltration activity” from August 12 to August 26. In the process, the unknown threat actor was able to steal valid credentials from a senior DevOps engineer and access the contents of a LastPass data vault. Among other things, the vault gave access to a shared cloud-storage environment that contained the encryption keys for customer vault backups stored in Amazon S3 buckets.

“This was accomplished by targeting the DevOps engineer’s home computer and exploiting a vulnerable third-party media software package, which enabled remote code execution capability and allowed the threat actor to implant keylogger malware,” LastPass officials wrote. “The threat actor was able to capture the employee’s master password as it was entered, after the employee authenticated with MFA, and gain access to the DevOps engineer’s LastPass corporate vault.”

The hacked DevOps engineer was one of only four LastPass employees with access to the corporate vault. Once in possession of the decrypted vault, the threat actor exported the entries, including the “decryption keys needed to access the AWS S3 LastPass production backups, other cloud-based storage resources, and some related critical database backups.”

Monday’s update comes two months after LastPass issued a previous bombshell update that for the first time said that, contrary to previous assertions, the attackers had obtained customer vault data containing both encrypted and plaintext data. LastPass said then that the threat actor had also obtained a cloud storage access key and dual storage container decryption keys, allowing for the copying of customer vault backup data from the encrypted storage container.

The backup data contained both unencrypted data, such as website URLs, as well as website usernames and passwords, secure notes, and form-filled data, which had an additional layer of encryption using 256-bit AES. The new details explain how the threat actor obtained the S3 encryption keys.

Monday’s update said that the tactics, techniques, and procedures used in the first incident were different from those used in the second one and that, as a result, it wasn’t initially clear to investigators that the two were directly related. During the second incident, the threat actor used information obtained during the first one to enumerate and exfiltrate the data stored in the S3 buckets.

“Alerting and logging was enabled during these events, but did not immediately indicate the anomalous behavior that became clearer in retrospect during the investigation,” LastPass officials wrote. “Specifically, the threat actor was able to leverage valid credentials stolen from a senior DevOps engineer to access a shared cloud-storage environment, which initially made it difficult for investigators to differentiate between threat actor activity and ongoing legitimate activity.”

LastPass learned of the second incident from Amazon’s warnings of anomalous behavior when the threat actor tried to use Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles to perform unauthorized activity.

According to a person briefed on a private report from LastPass who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the media software package that was exploited on the employee’s home computer was Plex. Interestingly, Plex reported its own network intrusion on August 24, just 12 days after the second incident commenced. The breach allowed the threat actor to access a proprietary database and make off with password data, usernames, and emails belonging to some of its 30 million customers. Plex is a major provider of media streaming services that allow users to stream movies and audio, play games, and access their own content hosted on home or on-premises media servers.

It’s not clear if the Plex breach has any connection to the LastPass intrusions. Representatives of LastPass and Plex didn’t respond to emails seeking comment for this story.

The threat actor behind the LastPass breach has proven especially resourceful, and the revelation that it successfully exploited a software vulnerability on the home computer of an employee further reinforces that view. As Ars advised in December, all LastPass users should change their master passwords and all passwords stored in their vaults. While it’s not clear whether the threat actor has access to either, the precautions are warranted.


All In One SEO WordPress Plugin Vulnerability Affects Up To 3+ Million

All In One SEO WordPress plugin versions up to and including 4.2.9 are vulnerable to stored cross-site scripting attacks

The United States National Vulnerability Database published an advisory about two vulnerabilities discovered in the All In One SEO WordPress plugin.

All In One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin, which has over three million active installations, is vulnerable to two Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

The vulnerabilities affect all versions of AIOSEO up to and including version 4.2.9.

Stored Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are a form of injection exploit that involves malicious scripts executing in a user’s browser which then can lead to access to cookies, user sessions and even a site takeover.

The two most common forms of Cross-Site Scripting attacks are:

  • Reflected Cross-Site Scripting
  • Stored Cross-Site Scripting

A Reflected XSS relies on sending a script to a user who clicks on it, which goes to the vulnerable site which then “reflects” the attack back at the user.

A Stored XSS is when the malicious script is on the vulnerable site itself.

Hackers take advantage of any form of input to the website like a contact form, image upload form, any area where someone can upload or make a submission.

The vulnerability arises when there are insufficient security checks to block unwanted inputs.

The two issues affecting the AIOSEO plugin are both Stored Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities.


Vulnerabilities are assigned numbers to keep track of them. The first one was assigned, CVE-2023-0585.

This vulnerability arises from a failure to sanitize inputs. This means that insufficient filtering is done to prevent a hacker from uploading a malicious script.

The National Vulnerability Database (NVD) notice describes it like this:

“The All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Stored Cross-Site Scripting via multiple parameters in versions up to, and including, 4.2.9 due to insufficient input sanitization and output escaping.

This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with Administrator role or above to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.”

The vulnerability was assigned a threat level of 4.4 (out of ten), which is a medium level.

An attacker must first acquire administrator privileges or higher to perpetrate this attack.


This attack is similar to the first one. The main difference is that an attacker needs to assume at least a contributor level of website access privilege.

A contributor level role has the ability to create content but not to publish it.

The vulnerability is also a medium level threat but it is assigned a higher vulnerability score of 6.4.

This is the description:

“The All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Stored Cross-Site Scripting via multiple parameters in versions up to, and including, 4.2.9 due to insufficient input sanitization and output escaping.

This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with Contributor+ role to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.”

Recommended Action

The first vulnerability requires administrator level privileges and is assigned a relatively low medium threat level score of 4.4.

But the second vulnerability only requires a lower level of privilege and is rated higher at 6.4.

It’s generally a good policy to update all vulnerable plugins. AIOSEO plugin version 4.3.0 is the one containing the security fix, referred to in the official AIOSEO changelog as additional “security hardening.”

Read details of the two vulnerabilities: