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Potential Security Risk Poses Threat to Millions of WordPress Sites via Advanced Custom Fields Plugin

Using the Advanced Custom Fields Plugin?

A potential security risk in the Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) plugin for WordPress has been detected, endangering millions of websites. WordPress users employing the ACF plugin are urged to update their software to avert possible cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks caused by this vulnerability.

Patchstack, a renowned cyber-security firm, issued a warning regarding the software glitch. The company reports that there are over two million active installations of both the ACF and ACF Pro plugins. These plugins provide enhanced user control over website content and data.

A month after Delicious Brains released a patched version of the plugins, Patchstack made public the details about the flaw on May 5, 2023. To secure their sites, users are advised to upgrade their plugin to version 6.1.6 or any newer version.

Inside the ACF Plugin Vulnerability

Designated as CVE-2023-30777 and having a CVSS severity score of 6.1 out of 10, this vulnerability leaves websites prone to reflected XSS attacks. These attacks are carried out when threat actors inject harmful code into websites, which is then “reflected” back and run within a visitor’s browser.

Essentially, this vulnerability allows an attacker to execute JavaScript within a user’s webpage view, potentially leading to the theft of information or the execution of actions on behalf of the user. If the user affected is a logged-in administrator, their account could be at risk of being hijacked, potentially leading to a full website compromise.

Patchstack’s report elucidates, “This flaw allows any unauthenticated user to pilfer sensitive data, which can lead to privilege escalation on the WordPress site by deceiving the privileged user into visiting a manipulated URL path.”

Further, Patchstack emphasized that “this flaw could be triggered even with a default installation or configuration of the ACF plugin. The XSS attack could be initiated solely by users who have access to the ACF plugin.”

Use the WPCS Versioning System to update ACF safely

At a time like this, the importance of utilizing the WPCS Versioning System for updating plugins safely can’t be overstated, especially when managing a Website as a Service (WaaS) with multiple clients.

The WPCS platform introduces a streamlined approach to deploying changes, minimizing risk, and enhancing security. It enables you to create a separate environment for your changes, allowing thorough testing before implementation.

The versioning system is akin to creating safety nets for your updates. Instead of applying changes to all websites simultaneously, it allows you to test these changes on a subset of your customers. By creating a new version and deploying the changes in stages, you can ensure that the modifications won’t disrupt the operation of the websites.

Also, WPCS Versioning System provides a unique opportunity to tailor changes to specific clients based on their unique setups or integrations, maintaining the integrity of their individual configurations.

The secure, robust, and systematic approach to updates offered by the WPCS Versioning System is invaluable to the efficient management of WaaS. To learn more about how the WPCS Versioning System can revolutionize your update process, visit https://wpcs.io/knowledge-base/continuously-improve-your-waas/

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