WordPress 5.7.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Today, April 15th, 2021, WordPress released version 5.7.1, a security and maintenance release that reportedly patches two security vulnerabilities.

The WordPress release announcement lists the following two security vulnerabilities as being patched in version 5.7.1:

Thank you SonarSource for reporting an XXE vulnerability within the media library affecting PHP 8. Thanks Mikael Korpela for reporting a data exposure vulnerability within the REST API.

Let’s take a closer look at these vulnerabilities and see what other information we can find out about them.

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Zerodium Offers $300,000 for WordPress Exploits

Zerodium, a company that buys security exploits to then resell to government entities, tripled its price for WordPress Remote Command Execution (RCE) exploits.

In a tweet sent out on Friday, April 9th, Zerodium announced that they had temporarily tripled the price they pay out to security researchers for WordPress RCE exploits. Increasing the payout from $100,000 to $300,000.

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WooCommerce Customers Manager WordPress Plugin – Multiple Security Vulnerabilities

A member of the WPScan research team discovered two security vulnerabilities within the premium WooCommerce Customers Manager WordPress plugin, versions less than 26.6.

The following two vulnerabilities were identified and added to our WordPress vulnerability database:

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WordPress Configuration File Backups

What are Configuration File Backups?

WordPress has a special file named wp-config.php that stores sensitive configuration information for your website.

By default, the wp-config.php file stores the following information:

  • MySQL settings
  • Secret keys
  • Database table prefix
  • ABSPATH

Developers can also store other sensitive information in the file.

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WordPress Version Control Files

What are version control files?

When developers write code they often use version control software, such as SVN or Git, to help manage their work.

When version control software is used, it often uses a hidden folder to store data about the source code being written. As this folder is hidden, it often can’t be viewed and therefore inadvertently ends up on your website.

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WordPress SSL/TLS HTTPS Encryption

What is SSL/TLS HTTPS Encryption?

Not so long ago the web’s communications were mostly un-encrypted, allowing anyone who could eavesdrop on the traffic to read them. In recent years, the web has seen a dramatic change from mostly being un-encrypted to encrypted.

When your website has HTTPS enabled all communication traffic from your user’s computers to your website are encrypted. This prevents any attackers, whether they be in a coffee shop trying to steal payment details, or nation state governments, from reading your user’s communications.

Not only does HTTPS offer your users more security, search engines like Google also rank websites that use HTTPS higher than those that don’t, resulting in more traffic from Google and others.

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WordPress Secret Keys

What are WordPress Secret Keys?

WordPress secret keys are random long bits of text that are stored in the wp-config.php file. They help with encrypting and hashing important data within WordPress. They are used to help secure your authentication cookies and to create secure numbers to protect against attacks.

WordPress have their own WordPress Secret Key Generator that will output random secret keys for you, like the ones below:

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WordPress Debug Log Files

What are debug log files?

When WordPress developers are working on coding a theme or plugin, it is often useful for them to log important data to a file, such as error messages, so that they can view and fix any problems. In WordPress, the debug log file is created with a known file name, debug.log, and usually stored in the publicly accessible /wp-content/ directory.

To enable debug logging in WordPress, the developer has to set the following constants in the wp-config.php file:

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Vulnerability in Zebra_Form PHP Library Affects Multiple WordPress Plugins

The WPScan security research team identified an Unauthenticated Reflected Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability within the Zebra_Form PHP library, which is used by multiple WordPress plugins.

While investigating a dubious advisory related to a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the wp-ticket plugin, the Zebra_Form library was found to be responsible for the issue. At the time of writing, despite contacting the vendor multiple times, the latest version of Zebra_Form, version 2.9.8, is still affected.

Fortunately, the affected WordPress plugins were no longer maintained, or had a small number of active installations. Nevertheless, we wanted to make the public aware of the vulnerability affecting Zebra_Form in case it is used elsewhere.

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