Vulnerability in WordPress Google Analytics Plugin Hits +3 Million Websites


The Nationwide Vulnerability Database introduced {that a} in style Google Analytics WordPress plugin put in in over 3 million was found to comprise a Saved Cross-Web site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability.

Saved XSS

A Cross-Web site Scripting (XSS) assault usually happens when part of the web site that accepts person enter is insecure and permits unanticipated enter, like scripts or hyperlinks.

The XSS vulnerability could be leveraged to acquire unauthorized entry to a web site and might result in person knowledge theft or a full web site takeover.

The non-profit Open Worldwide Software Safety Venture (OWASP) describes how the XSS vulnerability works:

“An attacker can use XSS to ship a malicious script to an unsuspecting person. The top person’s browser has no approach to know that the script shouldn’t be trusted, and can execute the script.

As a result of it thinks the script got here from a trusted supply, the malicious script can entry any cookies, session tokens, or different delicate data retained by the browser and used with that web site.”

A saved XSS, which is arguably worse, is one by which the malicious script is saved on the web site servers itself.

The plugin, MonsterInsights – Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress, was found to have the saved XSS model of the vulnerability.

MonsterInsights – Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress Vulnerability

The MonsterInsights Google Analytics plugin is put in in over three million web sites, which makes this vulnerability extra regarding.

WordPress Safety firm, Patchstack, which found the vulnerability, revealed particulars:

“Rafie Muhammad (Patchstack) found and reported this Cross Web site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in WordPress Google Analytics by MonsterInsights Plugin.

This might permit a malicious actor to inject malicious scripts, resembling redirects, commercials, and different HTML payloads into your web site which can be executed when visitors go to your web site.

This vulnerability has been mounted in model 8.14.1.”

The MonsterInsights plugin changelog on the WordPress plugin repository provided a considerably obscure rationalization of the safety patch:

“Mounted: We mounted a PHP warning error and added extra safety hardening.”

A “safety hardening” is a time period that may be utilized to many duties associated to lowering assault vectors, resembling eradicating model quantity.

WordPress has revealed a whole web page about safety hardening that recommends safety hardening duties resembling common database backups, acquiring themes and plugins from trusted sources, and utilizing sturdy passwords.

All of these actions are safety hardening.

That’s why utilizing the phrase, “safety hardening” is a common and generic time period to make use of for one thing that’s as particular (and vital) as patching an XSS safety vulnerability, which could lead on a person to skip updating their plugin.

Beneficial Motion

Patchstack recommends that every one customers of the MonsterInsights Analytics Plugin replace their WordPress plugin instantly to the most recent model or a minimum of model 8.14.1.

Learn the U.S. Nationwide Vulnerability Database announcement:

CVE-2023-23999 Element

Learn Patchstack’s announcement:

WordPress Google Analytics by MonsterInsights Plugin <= 8.14.0 is weak to Cross Web site Scripting (XSS)




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