Hackers Exploiting WordPress Elementor Pro Vulnerability: Millions of Sites at Risk!

Unknown threat actors are actively exploiting a recently patched security vulnerability in the Elementor Pro website builder plugin for WordPress.

The flaw, described as a case of broken access control, impacts versions 3.11.6 and earlier. It was addressed by the plugin maintainers in version 3.11.7 released on March 22.

“Improved code security enforcement in WooCommerce components,” the Tel Aviv-based company said in its release notes. The premium plugin is estimated to be used on over 12 million sites.

Successful exploitation of the high-severity flaw allows an authenticated attacker to complete a takeover of a WordPress site that has WooCommerce enabled.

“This makes it possible for a malicious user to turn on the registration page (if disabled) and set the default user role to administrator so they can create an account that instantly has the administrator privileges,” Patchstack said in an alert of March 30, 2023.

“After this, they are likely to either redirect the site to another malicious domain or upload a malicious plugin or backdoor to further exploit the site.”

Credited with discovering and reporting the vulnerability on March 18, 2023, is NinTechNet security researcher Jerome Bruandet.

Patchstack further noted that the flaw is currently being abused in the wild from several IP addresses intending to upload arbitrary PHP and ZIP archive files.

Users of the Elementor Pro plugin are recommended to update to 3.11.7 or 3.12.0, which is the latest version, as soon as possible to mitigate potential threats.

The advisory comes over a year after the Essential Addons for Elementor plugin was found to contain a critical vulnerability that could result in the execution of arbitrary code on compromised websites.

Last week, WordPress issued auto-updates to remediate another critical bug in the WooCommerce Payments plugin that allowed unauthenticated attackers to gain administrator access to vulnerable sites.

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