Call Us: +1-888-227-1645

Massive Attack Against 1.6 Million WordPress Websites

Cara Zebrowski

2 min read

Wordfence reported a series of attacks that occurred the week of December 5th, resulting in 1.6 million WordPress websites being affected. The reported attacks came from over 16,000 IP’s over a total of 36 hours. Wordfence reported blocking more than 13.7 million attacks.

Targeted Plugins and Themes

Four WordPress plugins were targeted, and 15 Epsilon Framework themes were included in these targeted attacks. The four affected plugins include the following:

PublishPress Capabilities Kiwi Social Plugin Pinterest Automatic WordPress Automatic The 15 affected Epsilon Framework themes include the following:

Shapely NewsMag Activello Illdy Allegiant Newspaper X Pixova Lite Brilliance MedZone Lite Regina Lite Transcend Affluent Bonkers Antreas NatureMag Lite The targeted plugins have patches dating back to 2018, with some vulnerabilities addressed just last week. Kiwi Social Share has been patched since November 2018, WordPress Automatic and Pinterest Automatic since August 2021, and PublishPress capabilities in early December of this year. Out of the affected Framework themes, NatureMag Lite does not have an available patch. Wordfence recommends users update their plugins and themes as soon as possible and immediately uninstall NatureMag Lite.

What to do

The first step towards protecting your websites from this attack is to first review your user accounts to see if there are any unauthorized user accounts. Attackers were updating the users_can_register option to enabled, and setting the default_role option to “administrator.” That made it possible to register on any selected site as an administrator and wreak some major havoc. If you see any unknown user accounts, remove them immediately. They can’t sit here.

Next, review your site settings and revert your settings back to their original state. In addition, Wordfence recommends not using “Administrator” as the default role. Attackers were registering on vulnerable sites as administrators, which is how these problems started in the first place.

How We Can Help

All of this can be pretty overwhelming, and time consuming. But maintaining and protecting your site doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With one of Curious Minds’ WordPress maintenance plans, our team of developers are closely monitoring your site, so vulnerabilities and attacks, like this one, are detected early and stopped. Contact us today to keep your website protected, and supported.

Let's build something amazing together

Give us a ring and let us know how we can help you reach your goals. Or if you'd like, start a chat. We're usually available 9-5 EST. We try to respond to every inquiry within one business day.

Phone number

Technologies and services we work with:

Laravel Laravel
WordPress WordPress
React ReactJS
EmberJS EmberJS
woocommerce WooCommerce
next.js NextJS
gatsby Gatsby
Shopify Shopify
VueJs VueJS
contentful Contentful
next.js JAMStack
gatsby Laravel Jigsaw
WPEngine WP Engine
Laravel Livewire Laravel Livewire
Netlify Netlify