Backdoor found in The School Management Pro plugin for WordPress

Versions before 9.9.7 of the WordPress plugin “The School Management Pro” from Weblizar contain a backdoor allowing an unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary PHP code on sites with the plugin installed. If you have an earlier version installed on your site, we recommend upgrading to version 9.9.7 or later immediately. This is a critical security issue.

Read on for the full details.

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Severe Vulnerability Fixed In UpdraftPlus 1.22.3

During an internal audit of the UpdraftPlus plugin, we uncovered an arbitrary backup download vulnerability that could allow low-privileged users like subscribers to download a site’s latest backups.

If exploited, the vulnerability could grant attackers access to privileged information from the affected site’s database (e.g., usernames and hashed passwords).

We reported the vulnerability to the plugin’s authors, and they recently released version 1.22.3 to address it. Forced auto-updates have also been pushed due to the severity of this issue. If your site hasn’t already, we strongly recommend that you update to the latest version (1.22.3) and have an established security solution on your site, such as Jetpack Security.

You can find UpdraftPlus’ own advisory here.

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Why You Should Avoid Using Nulled Plugins and Themes

It’s a general rule that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That’s especially true when it comes to nulled themes and plugins for WordPress sites. What can seem like a great deal on software can damage your website and result in more problems and costs than any potential savings. For safety and security, it’s important to be able to identify and avoid nulled software.

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Security Issues Patched in Smash Balloon Social Post Feed Plugin

During an internal audit of the Smash Balloon Social Post Feed plugin (also known as Custom Facebook Feed), we discovered several sensitive AJAX endpoints were accessible to any users with an account on the vulnerable site, like subscribers. Some of these endpoints could enable Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks to occur. 

A successful Stored XSS attack could enable bad actors to store malicious scripts on every post and page of the affected site. If a logged-in administrator visits one of the affected URLs, the script may run on their browser and execute administrative actions on their behalf, like creating new administrators and installing rogue plugins.

We reported the vulnerabilities to this plugin’s author via email, and they recently released version 4.0.1 to address them. We strongly recommend that you update to the latest version of the Smash Balloon Social Post Feed plugin and have an established security solution on your site, such as Jetpack Security.

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Multiple vulnerabilities in WP Fastest Cache plugin

During an internal audit of the WP Fastest Cache plugin, we uncovered an Authenticated SQL Injection vulnerability and a Stored XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) via Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) issue.

If exploited, the SQL Injection bug could grant attackers access to privileged information from the affected site’s database (e.g., usernames and hashed passwords). It can only be exploited if the classic-editor plugin is also installed and activated on the site. 

Successfully exploiting the CSRF & Stored XSS vulnerability could enable bad actors to perform any action the logged-in administrator they targeted is allowed to do on the targeted site.

We reported the vulnerabilities to this plugin’s author via email, and they recently released version 0.9.5 to address them. We strongly recommend that you update to the latest version of the plugin and have an established security solution on your site, such as Jetpack Security.

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CSRF Vulnerability Found in Software License Manager Plugin

Versions before 4.5.1 of the Software License Manager plugin for WordPress have an exploitable Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability. Any user logged in to a site with the vulnerable extension can, by clicking a link, be tricked to delete an entry in the plugin’s registered domain database table. The link can be distributed in an email, or on a website the victim user is likely to visit.

The good news is, there’s not much else that can be done by exploiting this weakness. And the attacker needs to know the id of the domain they wish to delete from the database beforehand. 

Still, we recommend anybody running version 4.5.0 or earlier of the plugin to upgrade as soon as possible.

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Multiple vulnerabilities in Workreap theme by Amentotech

Recently the Jetpack team found some infected files in one of our hosted customers’ sites, and quickly traced the source of infection back to the Workreap theme by Amentotech. We started an investigation and uncovered a number of vulnerable AJAX endpoints in the theme; the most severe of these was an unauthenticated unvalidated upload vulnerability potentially leading to remote code execution and a full site takeover.

We reported the vulnerabilities to the Amentotech team via the Envato Helpful Hacker program, and the issues were addressed promptly by them. Version 2.2.2 of the theme was released on June 29, 2021 that fixes the found vulnerabilities.

TL;DR

Due to the seriousness of the vulnerabilities, we highly recommend all users of the Workreap theme to upgrade to version 2.2.2 or later as soon as possible. 

Download the upgrade from the theme website and install it manually, or upgrade automatically via the Envato market plugin.

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Jetpack New Release

Jetpack 9.8: Engage your audience with WordPress Stories

At Jetpack, we are continuously working to develop a better product for you and your website. This month, we bring the popular Story Block to the web editor, a feature previously exclusive to mobile. This release also includes a fix for a security vulnerability for the Carousel feature.

We consequently encourage you to update all sites that you administer as soon as possible.

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Jetpack plugin features

What Does the Jetpack Plugin Do?

One of the greatest benefits of WordPress is its extendability — there’s a plugin for nearly any task you could imagine so you can build a website that accomplishes anything that you want. 

Does this mean you should load up on plugins? No. The more plugins you have, the slower your site loads, which negatively impacts your visitors’ experience. And some plugins can conflict with one another or with your theme, leading to errors or downtime.

That’s why Jetpack is a great option for WordPress sites: with dozens of tools in a single plugin, it provides a ton of functionality without weighing down your site.

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How WordPress Agency FreshySites Uses Jetpack to Scale

If you own a WordPress agency and could automate critical service tasks for your clients, you’d be better positioned for expansion and growth. Sounds great, right? But it’s a lot easier said than done.

Web design company FreshySites is doing exactly this with the help of Jetpack. They’ve built over 1,900 websites and actively manage about 1,200. Yet they’ve found a way to reduce the person-power required to deliver more services for an increasing number of clients. 

With a small team, they’re completing more tasks for more clients. Let’s see how they do it. 

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