Social media plugin puts 100,000 WordPress sites at risk

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(Image credit: WordPress)

In yet another vulnerability that could have serious repercussions, cybersecurity researchers have discovered a cross-site scripting(XSS) bug in the NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster plugin for WordPress.

The plugin is used to automatically publish posts from websites to any of the configured social media accounts in a fully automated manner.

Discovered by Wordfence’s Ramuel Gall, the vulnerability in the popular WordPress plugin with over 100,000 installations, made it possible to perform a reflected cross-site scripting attack.

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“As with all XSS attacks, malicious JavaScript running in an administrator’s session could be used to add malicious administrative users or insert backdoors into a site, and thus be used for site takeover,” observes Gall.

Superglobal quirk

While explaining the bug, Gall notes that the XSS vulnerability reared its head because of a relatively obscure peculiarity of how PHP handles superglobal variables.

“This meant that it was possible to execute JavaScript in the browser of a logged-in administrator by tricking them into visiting a self-submitting form that sent a POST request to their site,” says Gall. 

The vulnerability was disclosed to the plugin’s developer in August, and a patched update of the plugin was released in early October.

Wordfence suggests all users of the plugin update to its latest version to prevent abuse of their WordPress websites.

You can use these WordPress website builders to build your website in no time, but remember to secure them using these WordPress security plugins.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.