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

  • 119
  • 1

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.


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.


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.




Unallocated Author

Please note that the article you are reading has an unallocated author as the original author is no longer employed at, this has been put in place to adhere with general data protection regulations (GDPR). If you have any further queries, please contact: [email protected]

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Privacy Preference Center


The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]


DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.



The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid