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BREAKING WORDPRESS PLUGIN ALERT: Over 280,000 Sites Attacked Using WPGateway Plugin Zero-Day Vulnerability

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#AceBreakingNews – A zero-day flaw in the latest version of a WordPress premium plugin known as WPGateway is being actively exploited in the wild, potentially allowing malicious actors to completely take over affected sites according to Hackers News report

WordPress Sites

Tracked as CVE-2022-3180 (CVSS score: 9.8), the issue is being weaponized to add a malicious administrator user to sites running the WPGateway plugin, WordPress security company Wordfence noted.

“Part of the plugin functionality exposes a vulnerability that allows unauthenticated attackers to insert a malicious administrator,” Wordfence researcher Ram Gall said in an advisory.

WPGateway is billed as a means for site administrators to install, backup, and clone WordPress plugins and themes from a unified dashboard.

The most common indicator that a website running the plugin has been compromised is the presence of an administrator with the username “rangex.”

Additionally, the appearance of requests to “//wp-content/plugins/wpgateway/wpgateway-webservice-new.php?wp_new_credentials=1” in the access logs is a sign that the WordPress site has been targeted using the flaw, although it doesn’t necessarily imply a successful breach.

Wordfence said it blocked over 4.6 million attacks attempting to take advantage of the vulnerability against more than 280,000 sites in the past 30 days.

Further details about the vulnerability have been withheld owing to active exploitation and to prevent other actors from taking advantage of the shortcoming. In the absence of a patch, users are recommended to remove the plugin from their WordPress installations until a fix is available.

Over 280,000 WordPress sites may have been hijacked by zero-day hiding in popular plugin

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A zero-day vulnerability found in a premium WordPress plugin is being actively exploited in the wild, researchers are saying, urging users to remove it from their websites until a patch is released.

WordPress security plugin makers WordFence uncovered a flaw in WPGateway, a premium plugin helping admins manage other WordPress plugins and themes from a single dashboard.

According to the researchers, the flaw is tracked as CVE-2022-3180, and carries a severity score of 9.8. It allows threat actors to create an admin user on the platform, meaning they’d have the ability to take over the entire website if they so pleased. 

Millions of attacks

“Part of the plugin functionality exposes a vulnerability that allows unauthenticated attackers to insert a malicious administrator,” said Ram Gall, Wordfence researcher.

Wordfence added it successfully blocked more than 4.6 million attacks, against more than 280,000 sites, in the last month, alone. That also means that the number of attacked (and possibly compromised) websites is probably much, much larger. 

A patch for the flaw is not yet available, the researchers said, and there is no workaround. The only way to stay safe, for the time being, is to remove the plugin from the website altogether, and wait for the patch to arrive, researchers stressed. 

Webmasters looking for indicators of compromise should check their sites for admin accounts named “rangex”. Furthermore, they should look for requests to “//wp-content/plugins/wpgateway/wpgateway-webservice-new.php?wp_new_credentials=1” in the access logs, as that is a sign of an attempted breach. This sign, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it was successful.

Other details are scarce for the moment, given the fact that the flaw is being actively exploited, and that the fix is not yet available. 

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder, and as such, is under constant attack by cybercriminals. While the platform itself is generally considered safe, its plugins, of which there are hundreds of thousands, are often the weak link that leads to compromise.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.

The development comes days after Wordfence warned of in-the-wild abuse of another zero-day flaw in a WordPress plugin called BackupBuddy.

The disclosure also arrives as Sansec revealed that threat actors broke into the extension license system of FishPig, a vendor of popular Magento-WordPress integrations, to inject malicious code that’s designed to install a remote access trojan called Rekoobe.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Sept.16: 2022:

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