Bugs in widely used WordPress plug-in leave sites vulnerable to hijacking

Security researchers have discovered vulnerabilities in a widely used WordPress extension that leaves sites susceptible to remote hijacking.

WordPress-powered sites that use the All in One SEO Pack should promptly install an update that fixes the privilege escalation vulnerabilities, Marc-Alexandre Montpas, a researcher with security firm Sucuri wrote in a blog post published Saturday. Administrators can upgrade by logging in to the admin panel, selecting plug-ins, and choosing the All in One title. The just-released version that fixes the vulnerabilities is 2.1.6.

The worst of the attacks made possible by the bugs can allow attackers to inject malicious code into the admin control panel, Montpas warned. Malicious hackers could then change an admin's password or insert backdoor code into the underlying websites. People could also remotely tamper with a site's search engine optimization settings. To exploit the bugs, attackers need only an unprivileged account on the site, such as one for posting reader comments. In some cases, the privilege escalation and cross-site scripting bugs in All in One SEO are combined with another vulnerability that Montpas didn't elaborate on.

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