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WordPress Versions 3.7 – 5.7.1 Make Users Vulnerable to Attack
WordPress announced a new version of their software after a vulnerability was found in versions 3.7 – 5.7.1. Those who have not already done so are strongly urged to update their sites immediately.
April Update Is Not Safe From New Vulnerabilities
The US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) urged WordPress users to update their sites in April to address two security bugs involving data exposure vulnerability and the ability to load external entities. They released WordPress 5.7.1 as a temporary measure to deal with the bugs before version 5.8 could be released. Since then, another security concern has been discovered and the CISA is warning WordPress users to update once again, as this vulnerability can be used by attackers to take control of an affected system.
Issues involve object injection:
- PHPMailber prior to version 5.2.27 and 6.x before version 6.0.6 is now vulnerable to an object injection attack
- A similar bug arose as a side effect to a fix (6.1.8) for the issue listed above. The fix eliminated the code that blocked the exploitation of addAttachment.
What is Included in WordPress 5.7.2 and How Do I Update?
Released on May 12, this month’s WordPress update is a short-cycle release, acting as placeholder until version 5.8 is ready to be released. All versions since 3.7 have been updated to fix object injection in PHPMailer as well as the two issues listed above. You can update using one-click update, however if you need to update across multiple versions, you will need to update manually.
To back up manually:
- Backup your database
- Back up all of your WordPress files in your directory
- Verify the backups you created still exist and are usable
- Deactivate all of your plugins
- Download and extract the WordPress package from the website
- Delete the old WordPress files on your site, but for the exceptions listed at the end of this list
- Upload the new files from your computer’s hard drive to their corresponding WordPress folders
- Run the WordPress upgrade program, the instructions will be on the screen
- Update permalinks and .htaccess
- Install updated plugins and themes
- Reactive your plugins
- Review what has changed in WordPress
Exceptions to Step 6:
wp-contentfolder; Special Exception: the
wp-content/plugins/widgetsfolders should be deleted.
.htaccessfile–if you have added custom rules to your
.htaccess, do not delete it;
robots.txtfile–if your blog lives in the root of your site (ie. the blog is the site) and you have created such a file, do not delete it.