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Mark Maunder co-founded Wordfence in 2011 after his WordPress site was hacked and he learned how hard it was to clean and secure. Today the team has grown to over 35 members world-wide and Wordfence protects over 3 million WordPress sites. On the Think Like a Hacker podcast, we cover interesting topics related to WordPress, security and innovation. Episodes alternate between security news and interviews with innovators from WordPress and information security communities.
 
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Vulnerabilities were recently patched in the Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin installed on over 40,000 WordPress sites. Developers from OWASP Core Rule Set said ModSecurity v3 is exposed to denial of service exploits, though the maintainers of ModSecurity reject that claim. A severe vulnerability called Zerologon in Windows Netlogon was patche…
 
Millions of attacks have been targeting the recent File Manager plugin zero-day vulnerability discovered last week. Two attackers are vying for control over sites compromised through the vulnerability. A security researcher has revealed that specially crafted Windows 10 themes can be used to perform Pass-the-Hash attacks. A database belonging to th…
 
Over 700,000 WordPress users were affected by a zero-day vulnerability in the File Manager plugin, and the WordPress 5.5.1 release fixed millions of sites affected by deprecation of jQuery Migrate. SendGrid is under siege from spammers using hacked accounts, and Apple approves a notorious malware variant to run on Macs.…
 
The Google Chrome web browser has a high-severity vulnerability that could be used to execute arbitrary code, which has been fixed in Chrome version 85. Google also announced that Chrome 86 will alert users if a form submission is using the insecure HTTP protocol, making it a good time to audit older sites that may have migrated to HTTPS, but still…
 
The Wordfence Threat Intelligence team discovered vulnerabilities in the Advanced Access Manager plugin installed on over 100,000 WordPress sites. A high severity authorization bypass could lead to privilege escalation and site takeover. Critical vulnerabilities found in the Quiz and Survey Master plugin could also lead to site takeover on the 30,0…
 
WordPress 5.5 was released on August 11 with a number of important updates, including a new feature allowing auto-updates of themes and plugins as well as changes to the block editor. The popular Astra theme was suspended from the repository for having affiliate links in the code. A vulnerability found in Google Chromium browsers could allow attack…
 
Our Threat Intelligence team disclosed numerous vulnerabilities this week, including a critical vulnerability in the Divi and Extra themes as well as the Divi Builder plugin. In total, this vulnerability affected over 700,000 sites. A vulnerability found in The Official Facebook Chat Plugin created a vector for social engineering attacks as it allo…
 
Our threat intelligence team discovered a vulnerability in the wpDiscuz plugin, affecting over 80,000 sites. A blind SQL injection attack affected analytics service WayDev, exposing OAuth tokens for GitHub repositories for software companies, leading to further breaches. A debate about problematic admin notices on the WordPress admin dashboard has …
 
A number of high profile Twitter accounts including those of Elon Musk, Apple, Uber, Bill Gates, Joe Biden and others were compromised as a part of a coordinated bitcoin scam attack. The attack lasted a few hours and netted the attackers about $100,000 worth of bitcoin. We talk about how this attack could have possibly happened and lessons for busi…
 
This week, we look at some targeted phishing attacks that are bypassing Microsoft Outlook’s protective filters, and phishing campaigns using calendar invitations to target unsuspecting recipients. We also look at some successful bitcoin scams and a new record for a massive DDoS attack that targeted an AWS customer. Drupal pushes out some security f…
 
This week, we look at the WP 5.4.2 release and a ransomware bitcoin scam targeting site owners with a “You’ve Been Hacked” email. We also look at an FBI warning about online banking app malware, the Verizon data breach report and what is says about WordPress, and how some white hat hackers are becoming millionaires by responsibly disclosing vulnera…
 
On this week's Think Like a Hacker podcast, we cover an active attack campaign targeting WordPress sites and numerous plugin vulnerabilities. This active attack campaign has been ongoing and has outpaced all other attacks on WordPress vulnerabilities. Our threat intelligence team has been tracking this attacker for months now, and we’re seeing thes…
 
The Wordfence Threat Intelligence team unpacked the security updates in WordPress 5.4.1, and they published quite a few blog posts about vulnerabilities in popular plugins like Ninja Forms, LearnPress, and the Real-Time Find and Replace plugin. These plugin vulnerabilities affected over 1 million WordPress sites. As a few of these were Cross Site R…
 
Stories this week about targeted attacks using 0days in iPhone and iPad devices and a sophisticated phone scam targeting a security professional that ended with a $9,800 wire transfer underscore what we all know: malicious attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated. We also cover a recent plugin vulnerability in the MapPress Maps plugin affect…
 
The FTC is reporting numerous scams targeting fears and uncertainty, with over $12 million lost to Coronavirus-related scams. We also cover BBB warnings against oversharing on social media, over 500,000 Zoom credentials found on the dark web, Google's removal of malicious Chrome extensions, as well as recent plugin and theme vulnerabilities. We cha…
 
This week, we look at what’s new in WordPress 5.4, including that distraction free editing is now on by default. We also look at new plugin vulnerabilities, including Rank Math and a Contact From 7 helper plugin. We review the new updates to Fast or Slow, the free global website speed profiler. We also talk about Zoom’s recent security and privacy …
 
With many of us under either lockdown or shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19/Corona virus, fear and stress are rampant. This additional stress lowers our critical thinking capabilities and increases our vulnerability. Hackers targeting these human vulnerabilities are using the global pandemic to attempt exploitation through numerous scams a…
 
We chat with Jon Bius, a web developer at Biz Tools One, an agency in Fayetteville, NC, about how they use customer education to build relationships and differentiate their business. We also cover two plugins with vulnerabilities, more cancelled WordCamps, some hackers taking advantage of the fear surrounding COVID-19, the rise of remote work, and …
 
On February 26, WordPress page building platform Elementor announced that they had received $15 million in venture funding. After topping 4 million installations of their plugin in January, it appears that Elementor is on a path to do some big things with WordPress. This week, we chat with Elementor CRO Kfir Bitton from his office in Tel Aviv, Isra…
 
This week, we review numerous plugin vulnerabilities in popular WordPress plugins and the attacks that are targeting them. We also review the Duplicator vulnerability affecting over 1 million sites, and Chloe Chamberland's discovery of multiple vulnerabilities in the Pricing Table by Supsystic plugin. Some WordPress-focused companies, Elementor and…
 
Almost every week, a new vulnerability is discovered in a popular WordPress plugin or theme, leaving developers scrambling to fix it before it’s widely exploited. Surprisingly, almost all critical vulnerabilities boil down to a few common mistakes. In this talk from WordCamp Phoenix, Ramuel Gall reviews these common errors and provides advice on cr…
 
It has been a busy week in WordPress security with active attacks on a number of plugins including ThemeRex Addons and Theme Grill Demo Importer plugins. In this week’s Think Like a Hacker, we look at what’s happening, review what a zero-day vulnerability is, and give you some advice on keeping WordPress installations clean and safe. We also look a…
 
WordCamp Asia was cancelled this week due to concerns of COVID-19/coronavirus in the region. This week, Wordfence CEO Mark Maunder talks about the decision to offer the WordCamp Asia Cancellation Fee Assistance Package to attendees, volunteers, organizers, and speakers that had planned to travel to this inaugural regional WordCamp. We also cover a …
 
We take a look at the annual hacked site report from GoDaddy's Sucuri Security and the types of malware they found in various CMS and shopping cart applications. Microsoft reports they're finding 77,000 webshells daily, and WP Scan's roundup lists a number of popular plugins and themes with recent vulnerabilities. A report from students at Harvard …
 
Chloe Chamberland never wanted to get into security, and yet in the last three years, she has emerged as one of our most effective and prolific threat researchers. Not only does she find vulnerabilities in numerous popular plugins, she also travels the world while doing so. Chloe talked to me from a cabin in a remote area of Alaska, where she saw a…
 
Welcome to 2020! We're making some changes to Think Like a Hacker and wanted to let you know. We're moving to an audio-only version of the podcast, publishing twice per month. We also wanted to let you know about 3 major vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins potentially affecting over 400,000 WordPress installations. Details are on the Wordfence blo…
 
We've had quite a year with Think Like a Hacker, the podcast about WordPress, security and innovation. For the end of year episode, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at a few of our favorite interviews and news stories. For episode 62, we review conversations with Josepha Haden, Brandy Lawson, Jennifer Bourn, Matt Cromwell, and we look…
 
With Google Chrome experimenting with a badge of shame for websites that load slowly in Chrome, there is a new urgency for high performance interfaces for web users. Gatsby, Gridsome and other static site interfaces are hot in the development community right now, especially when talking about headless WordPress. At WordCamp US, Mark chats with Dave…
 
A small furor erupted over a top influencers in WordPress list that neglected to show the diverse nature of the WordPress community. We talk about the impossibility of making an accurate list that reflects the true nature of WordPress influence or contribution, and the diversity we saw during our work on Open, our film project about the WordPress c…
 
Kim Gjerstad, one of the founders of Mailpoet, visited with Mark at the Wordfence booth at WordCamp US. Kim and Mark talked about the origins of Mailpoet, the plugin that gives users a full email management system within the WordPress administrative dashboard. They talk about email deliverability as well as the challenges of fighting email abuse, a…
 
Yoast, the SEO plugin installed on 9 million WordPress sites, ran a Black Friday sale, experimenting with an ad in the WordPress admin dashboard. The internet furor was dramatic, and Yoast's CEO Marieke van de Rakt took ownership, showing exceptional leadership. We discuss the ad and the response from both users and competitors and the challenges o…
 
Maddy Osman is a SEO content strategist that has worked with a number of familiar brands in both the WordPress and SaaS spaces. She spoke at WordCamp US and took some time to chat with us at the Wordfence sponsor booth. Maddy talks about how she got started in SEO content strategy after doing web design and development, and also what the entreprene…
 
In Episode 56, we review the premiere of Open, The Community Code, a film about the WordPress community that world premiered at Matt Mullenweg's State of the Word Keynote at WordCamp US. Mark and Kathy talk about what it was like watching friends in the community see the film for the first time. We also discuss recent updates to WordPress in versio…
 
At WordCamp US in Saint Louis, Mark sat down with Yoast CEO Marieke van de Rakt and COO Michiel Heijmans in the Wordfence booth to talk about not only how Yoast began, but also how they've grown to over 9 million active installations and the challenges of managing such a large user base. Marieke and Michiel also talk about the big changes coming in…
 
Kathy Zant gave a presentation about The Hacker Mindset at WordCamp US 2019 in St. Louis. Learning to think like a hacker in the security realm is a big part of keeping your assets safe, and there are additional benefits. Kathy illustrates how the hacker mindset is much more than protecting your site. Thinking like a hacker can also help you break …
 
Mark and Kathy connect in person on Halloween in St. Louis to talk about what's happening at WordCamp US. We review what's new at WCUS, some of the more interesting sessions, and all of the fun activities Wordfence is bringing to North America's largest WordCamp. Kathy and Mark also tear down the 4th wall to talk to award-winning Director Sean Korb…
 
Andrea Zoellner has been an active organizer of WordCamp Montreal and is the Chief Content Creator at hosting provider, SiteGround. Andrea focuses on supporting SiteGround customers in the North American and English-speaking market. With a background in journalism, Andrea found WordPress as the easiest way to get online and integrate with different…
 
This week, we cover WeWork's failed IPO and financial woes and how this likely led to Meetup's introduction of an RSVP fee. We discuss why this decision doesn't bode well for WeWork's future. We also look at the WordPress 5.2.4 security release and what fixes are included. We discuss the planned release of PHP 7.4 on November 28 and how WordPress c…
 
Jennifer Bourn has been a leader in the WordPress community for years, helping WordPress users of all experience levels get the most out of the platform. She has also created beautiful websites for recognizable brands through her design company, Bourn Creative. At WordCamp Sacramento, we talked about how the WordPress community has opened new exper…
 
At WordCamp Minneapolis, our Lead Customer Service Engineer Tim Cantrell chats with Lindsey Miller about her work as Partner Marketing Manager at LiquidWeb. Tim and Lindsey also talk about the challenges of being a remote worker, and how the connections in the WordPress community can help individuals make connections that grow a business. Lindsey a…
 
Salesforce Ventures invested $300 million into Automattic at a $3 billion valuation. We discuss what this might mean for Automattic, the WordPress community, and the WordPress ecosystem by analyzing the roots of Salesforce and the opportunities it brings to WordPress. We also talk about features and fixes coming in November to WordPress 5.3 especia…
 
At WordCamp Sacramento, Matt Cromwell from GiveWP talked to us about how Give began, their mission of democratizing generosity, and how they handled the vulnerability disclosure from the Wordfence team. When our security researchers reached out to provide a proof of concept, the Give and Wordfence teams worked together to ensure that the vulnerabil…
 
We chat with Mikey Veenstra to talk about the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team's work tracking a series of active attacks on an unpatched vulnerability in the Rich Reviews plugin for WordPress. With an estimated 16,000 installations, attackers are targeting unauthenticated plugin option updates, which can be used to deliver stored cross-site scri…
 
This week, our lead customer service engineer Tim Cantrell interviews Zach Stepek, CEO of MindSize, a digital agency focused on helping customers scale and succeed with eCommerce. Zach talks about how he got started with WordPress and WooCommerce, new features in JetPack that add functionality to WooCommerce, and how critical security is to site ow…
 
WordPress core version 5.2.3 was released on September 4. This was a security release patching eight key vulnerabilities in WordPress core, most of which were cross site scripting vulnerabilities. In this episode of Think Like a Hacker, we walk through each of the patched elements of WordPress core and how these vulnerabilities could have been expl…
 
This week, we chat about the plan for WordPress 5.3 and some of the new features we will see added to WordPress in November, including many improvements to the editor. We will also see a switch from robots.txt files to meta tags for better control over search engine indexing. We also cover the latest developments with our threat intelligence team's…
 
Bill Rice is the CEO of Kaleidico, a digital agency in Michigan. We chatted at WordCamp Minneapolis about WordPress and the community, and his work creating websites that convert. Bill spoke at WordCamp Minneapolis about trends in WordPress website design that allow businesses to deeply engage with site visitors. Mobile browsing has changed the way…
 
As of WordCamp Boston 2019, Sandy Edwards has organized 26 KidsCamps across the US. We talk about what kids do at a WordPress KidsCamp, the success these kids have had publishing with WordPress, and how Sandy teaches basic internet safety and security to the next generation of WordPress users. Sandy is an organizer at WordCamp Orlando as well as a …
 
A recent discussion among WordPress core developers about removing support for code signing in core caught our attention. Code signing support was included with the WordPress 5.2 release. The discussion centers around removing code signing and implementing SSL verification and hashes to verify code integrity. In this week's episode we chat about th…
 
Topher DeRosia is the developer evangelist for BigCommerce and a frequent WordCamp speaker. He's worked with WordPress for a long time and is the man behind HeroPress, telling the stories of people whose lives have been transformed by WordPress. HeroPress is now syndicated on WordPress.org/news, bringing these inspirational stories to an even wider…
 
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