Thousands of WordPress websites could be put at risk by this serious security bug

Security Bug
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A recently disclosed vulnerability affecting the ‘Backup Migration’ WordPress plugin has been assigned a severity score of 9.8 out of 10, but things may not be as bad as it seems because there’s a patch available now.

The security bug, tracked as CVE-2023-6553, affects all versions up to (and including) 1.3.7 of the plugin.

Successful attackers can gain remote code execution allowing them to fully compromise vulnerable WordPress websites through PHP code injection.

Important WordPress plugin update available now

WordPress security plugin Wordfence posted about the vulnerability, and claims to have blocked 39 attacks within the 24-hour period prior to this article being written.

In the plugin’s changelog, version 1.3.8 addresses the bug: “Patched reported CVE – please upgrade.” The version also adds tested support for WordPress 6.4.2, which was released on December 6.

It’s unclear how many users are running vulnerable versions of the plugin, however the developers claim to have more than 90,000 downloads and boast a 94% five-star rate, across more than 900 reviews.

Researchers from Nex Team are credited with first finding the bug as part of Wordfence’s bug bounty program, which is currently running an incentive until December 20 that will see successful reporters earn 6.25x the usual reward. Nex Team was awarded $2,751 for alerting Wordfence to the vulnerability.

Upon notification, Wordfence issued a firewall rule to protect Wordfence Premium ($119/year), Wordfence Care ($490/year), and Wordfence Response ($950/year) customers. Wordfence will also extend the firewall rule to non-paying customers after a 30-day period, which means free customers will be eligible from January 5, 2024.

However, Wordfence also notified Backup Migration’s developers, BackupBliss, about the vulnerability, who subsequently issued a patch within hours. The blog post reads: “Kudos to the BackupBliss team for an incredibly swift response and patch.”

While both a patch and a firewall have now been made available, WordPress users are still being urged to apply updates to all plugins as soon as possible in order to maintain optimal protection over their sites.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!