Total Donations WordPress Plugin Leaves Sites Open to Zero-Day Attack

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WordPress has been subject to a few security alerts via its plugins in recent weeks. This latest threat comes from the Total Donations plugin. Any customers using this plugin are advised to delete it from their servers to prevent attacks. An unpatched vulnerability in the plugin’s code can allow hackers to take over affected sites.

Zero-Day

Security experts at Defiant who make the Wordfence firewall plugin, have observed these attacks in recent weeks. All Total Donations versions are affected by zero-day. The plugin, from CodeCanyon, is used by many site owners to manage donations from userbases.

Vulnerability

Defiant researcher Mikey Veenstra states the plugin has several design flaws. These flaws expose the plugin and the website as a whole to external attack. Even unauthenticated users could get access to the site and manipulate it.

Veenstra mentioned in a security alert on Friday that the plugin contains an AJAX endpoint. The endpoint can be queried by any unauthenticated hacker remotely.

AJAX Threat

The security alert urges customers of the plugin to remove it from their site. Because the AJAX endpoint resides in the plugin’s files, simply deactivating it won’t stop attacks.

The AJAX endpoint allows a hacker to change the WordPress site’s core settings. Hackers can obtain mailing lists through MailChimp support, and modify the destination account of donations.

No Contact with Developer

Defiant has made several attempts to contact the plugin developer with no success. It appears the developer’s site has also now become inactive.

Users have reported no updates to the plugin from around May 2018, even after reporting several bugs. Customers have also noted that CodeCanyon product listing has been deactivated, which raises further concerns.

Researchers at Defiant say they will continue to monitor activity from the Total Donations Plugin. Because the plugin is commercial, it isn’t expected to have a large user base. However, those that do use it are likely to have many customers and be a high-value target for hackers.

 

 

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