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Alert! Hackers Exploiting WordPress Plugins

Written by Laura Lane

I'm an experienced web designer and social media manager with a track record of delivering beautiful, user-friendly websites and effective social media strategies for clients of all sizes and industries.

July 1, 2024

Alert! Hackers Exploiting WordPress Plugins

Cybersecurity researchers recently warned that hackers are actively exploiting high-severity security vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins. They are attempting to create rogue administrator accounts, which give them access to your organization’s systems, networks, and sensitive data. Their primary purpose is to infiltrate and wreak as much havoc as possible before security controls detect or block them. The methods they employ make it easy for these hackers to avoid detection, and it can be extremely challenging for you to secure your compromised systems.

The Vulnerability

This vulnerability affects various WordPress plugins. It allows hackers to inject malicious scripts into your website without requiring authentication or login. Here is a list of some problems these scripts have caused:

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): The hacker injects malicious scripts into your website, which are then unwittingly executed by the victim’s browser. This action can lead to data theft, account hijacking, and other nefarious actions.

Unauthenticated: An “unauthenticated” vulnerability can be triggered and exploited without your stolen password or login. This means that anyone with minimal hacking skills can get into your website and exploit the flaw. 

Stored XSS: Malicious scripts are injected into the database or server and passed on to others who visit your website.

Inadequate Input Sanitization:

Input sanitization works by removing or encoding harmful characters or strings before it is stored by a system, which prevents code injection attacks (like SQL injection), cross-site scripting (XSS), and remote file inclusion (RFI). It uses methods the following methods:

Whitelisting: Allows pre-approved characters or data types to pass through, blocking everything else. 

Blacklisting: Detects and removes malicious characters or code snippets. HTML sanitizers use blacklisting to remove script tags for XSS attacks.

Encoding: Special characters are converted to encoded equivalents, so they are treated only as characters and not executable code. Inadequate input sanitization invalidates these security features, allowing hackers to inject malicious code.

Output Escaping: User-supplied data, such as submitted forms, search queries, and comments are always sanitized and encoded before being displayed on the website. This practice prevents XSS attacks, where malicious code placed by a hacker is executed by the victim’s browser. The current vulnerable WordPress plugins do not encode or sanitize user input, allowing the hacker to inject malicious scripts or code.

The Skinny

Reading past the technical jargon, these vulnerabilities allow hackers to inject malicious scripts into your website by exploiting input fields or forms. When visitors visit your website, their browsers unwittingly execute these malicious scripts, which could lead to data theft or other sinister actions.

Redflippers has always taken a proactive approach to protecting our clients’ websites from security breaches. One of our key security features is the Site Sentry security application. It is installed on every website we manage and provides continuous security monitoring and proactive protection. Site Sentry employs advanced techniques to detect and mitigate various types of attacks, like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other common vulnerabilities.

Additionally, Redflippers ensures that all hosted websites are regularly updated with the latest security patches and software versions. Hackers often target Outdated software and plugins, making timely updates crucial for maintaining a secure environment. Our proactive maintenance approach keeps websites up-to-date and minimizes the risk of exploitation.

We offer top-grade security solutions, including SSL/TLS encryption, web application firewalls (WAFS), and malware scanning. These measures help protect websites from unauthorized access, data breaches, and malicious code injection attempts. We also provide the best-in-class management and support services, ensuring that any security incidents are promptly addressed and resolved. Our team of experts closely monitors the hosting environment and takes necessary and proactive steps to protect clients’ websites from potential threats.


Redflippers simplifies website security by offering comprehensive solutions that eliminate the need for coding expertise to address vulnerabilities. Our team of experts proactively identifies and resolves security flaws, ensuring your website remains protected without requiring you to learn complex programming languages or technical skills. You handle your business. We’ll handle this end of it so you can sleep easy.

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