On your WordPress account, can you use the Feedback Form 7 plugin? Are you curious how your site could be damaged by the known weakness in the plugin? There are legitimate excuses for being afraid to tell you the truth. While the Communication Type 7 weakness was discovered in 2018, hundreds of sites have been impacted to date.
We have analysed the flaw and have described it as an escalation in privilege. If a hacker learns how to use it, they will take ownership of the website. Such an assault on your site may have a detrimental effect because it helps hackers to exploit your website and misuse it to conduct malicious activities.
Hackers get the site’s admin rights and can shut you out. Among a list of other hacker practises, they deface your site, redirect your clients to malicious pages, steal sensitive data.
If Google discovers a hack on your site, the consequences will escalate. To protect the customers, they blacklist your website. Next, the web server will delete your account and disable your website.
The time and resources spent on resolving all these consequences will be significantly improved by this.
Luckily, if you move quickly and take the right action, you can repair the weakness. We’ll teach you how to patch the flaw in this step-by – step guide and also stop WordPress privilege escalation hacks on your blog.
Install our Fixhackedwebsite protection plugin if you think your website has been compromised. Your WordPress account will be scanned and the hack found. You will quickly clean your site and even secure your site from potential threats.
Contact Form 7 is one of WordPress’ most popular plugins and has over 5 million active installations. So, in this plugin, any vulnerability puts millions of sites at risk of being hacked. Let ‘s understand this flaw before we teach you how to patch it, and see how hackers can exploit it.
What Is a WordPress Privilege Escalation Vulnerability?
Having collaborated on WordPress websites for over a decade, there are many people working on it on several websites.
We all know that users-subscribers, contributors, authors, administrators, administrators, and super admins-can have various responsibilities.
There is total control of the WordPress website by the admin and the superadmin. Others have excluded privileges.
Allocating proper user positions guarantees that the website is not abused. You will have to grant persons you don’t trust access to the user, but you don’t have to make them administrators.
Subscribers have the fewest permissions in WordPress account positions, while super administrators can make improvements to almost everything on the platform.
Hackers gain access to lower positions, like a WordPress subscriber, in a privilege escalation assault. But they can’t do anything else in this role, except view the dashboard and make adjustments to their own profile.
However, if a privilege escalation flaw is discovered in one of the plugins, they will use it to access further subscriber function permissions. The weakness enables them to override limited rights. Like this, they achieve the rank of admin or a place where they can do substantial harm.
Today, in Communication Type 7, the WordPress privilege escalation vulnerability is subtly distinct. Let ‘s take a glimpse.
Technical Details Of WordPress Privilege Escalation Vulnerability In Contact Form 7
This segment is a little technical, so it’s nice to be aware of what’s happening if you are using the Communication Form 7 plugin on the WordPress account.
In this plugin, two vulnerability points could allow hackers to change content and upload their own file attachments to your web. Let’s both take a look:
Content alteration and responsive file access
You need to take care of a few things first to grasp how this WordPress weakness is affected:
- The content of this form is saved on your WordPress website in a folder called wp-content. Typically , it includes all the data relating to your content, but it does not include files containing your site’s confidential data.
- There are files outside this folder, such as your wp-config file and .htaccess file, containing your website’s database credentials and settings.
- They will hijack the website and take possession of it if a hacker gets their hands on these files put outside. If a hacker gets access to your wp-content folder, but you face minimal harm, we will tell you it’s a bad situation.
- Although if they are able to manipulate files outside of this folder, very serious attacks may be carried out.
You can create different kinds of forms on your website using the Contact Form 7 plugin. In order to build and update the content of these formats, preferably, only administrators and editors should have access.
User permissions are specified by a parameter called capability type and are used to read, edit and delete the capabilities of various users. But because of a weakness in this function, it allows modifications to be made to every user position.
It makes an absolute path file in technical words , i.e. /host / home / examplefile.pdf. This is risky because it helps the hacker to change the form and gain himself access to files outside of wp-content.
Upload Files To Your Website
Some forms accept documentation like a description or ID evidence. Standard formats such as PDF, JPEG , PNG, and GIF are suitable and the site does not cause any trouble.
The Communication Form 7 plugin vulnerability, however, may cause a user to modify the approved file types. This means that your website could start accepting PHP and ASP files. These files execute the site ‘s commands and functions. This implies that, via the contact form, a hacker can upload a PHP file with a malicious order.
A number of items may be achieved by this instruction, such as:
- On your website, build a loophole that will allow a hacker to access it when he needs.
- Build rogue admin users from your login page that will give them access.
- Modify the material to market or endorse illicit products / drugs on your web.
- Redirect your users to adult or malicious websites.
The hacker operation list is a long one! It’s in the best interest to stop these breaches by immediately addressing security bugs like this.
How To Fix The Contact Form 7 Vulnerability
There are three crucial moves that you urgently need to take:
Update Contact Form 7
The Interaction Type 7 developers immediately fixed the vulnerability and launched the latest version 5.0.4.
IMPORTANT-Update the plugin for Communication Form 7 to the latest available version. They resolve the problem and release a new version that includes security patches as developers find security holes in their applications. This solves a flaw on your WordPress site as you upgrade your plugin to the latest edition.
Delete Rogue Users
On your WordPress dashboard, search the users who have access to your site. Remove those that are not remembered by you. We also suggest that the permissions issued to current users be reviewed.
Scan Your Site
You need to immediately search the site for viruses if you are using the Communication Type 7 plugin. With the help of a website protection addon, you can do this. There are many out on the market, but not all of them do a comprehensive job.
Since it will run a deep search of the whole website, we suggest using our Fixhackedwebsite Protection Feature. Even if it’s concealed or masked, it is programmed to detect some form of malware. If your site is compromised, it will warn you.
How To Prevent Contact Form 7 Attacks?
To secure your website from attacks that arise due to vulnerability bugs such as the one we just mentioned, there are a few precautions you can take.
- Install our Fixhackedwebsite protection plugin for WordPress on your blog. Every day, it will absolutely search the web and warn you if it detects anything unusual. The plugin will remain ahead of hackers attempting to break into your website and block their attempts.
- From time to time, bugs appear in themes and plugins. Make sure that you are upgrading the plugins and themes for WordPress when and when new releases are available. We also suggest that you uninstall any themes and plugins that are disabled or that you no longer need.
- WordPress.org advises such hardening steps for websites. Implementing these measures on your platform would seal quick entry points and make it very difficult to access WordPress pages.
With that, the WordPress website is protected from attacks by privilege escalation and SQL Injection.
From time to time, WordPress themes and plugins create vulnerabilities. Hearing of even the more successful plugins reporting security updates to their applications is not unusual.
This makes it all the more important to periodically update your plugins and themes to make sure you’re using the new available edition. This will shield the website from bugs of this nature.
Plugins and themes, though, are not the only things that you need to think about. All kinds of ways to get into the web are discovered by hackers. To guess your username and password, they can use brute force attacks or they can take your browser cookies to gain access to your site. To target the site, they also use Cross site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.
We recommend using Fixhackedwebsite to fully and absolutely secure your website from security breaches and assaults. Its firewall will thwart hack attempts proactively and the website will be tested every day by its scanner. If an intruder somehow sneaks by, it will warn you and the hack can be cleaned up automatically. That your website is in safe hands, you should have peace of mind.