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XSS Vulnerability Affecting Multiple WordPress Plugins

Multiple WordPress Plugins are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS) due to the misuse of the add_query_arg() and remove_query_arg() functions. These are popular functions used by developers to modify and add query strings to URLs within WordPress.

The official WordPress Official Documentation (Codex) for these functions was not very clear and misled many plugin developers to use them in an insecure way. The developers assumed that these functions would escape the user input for them, when it does not. This simple detail, caused many of the most popular plugins to be vulnerable to XSS.

To date, this is the list of affected plugins:

There are probably a few more that we have not listed. If you use WordPress, we highly recommend that you go to your wp-admin dashboard and update any out of date plugins now.

Coordinated Disclosure

This vulnerability was initially discovered last week, due to the varying degrees of severity and more importantly, the large volume of plugins affected, a joint security release with all developers involved and the WordPress core security team was coordinated.

If you use WordPress, now it is your turn to update your plugins!

If you have automatic updates enabled, your site should already be patched, especially in the most severe cases.

There are more plugins vulnerable

Only the top 300-400 plugins have been analyzed  thus far so there are likely a number of plugins still vulnerable. If you’re a developer, check your code to see how you are use these two functions:

add_query_arg
remove_query_arg

Make sure you are escaping them before use. We recommend using the esc_url() (or esc_url_raw())functions with them. You should not assume that add_query_arg and remove_query_arg will escape user input. The WordPress team is providing more guidelines on how to use them here.

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