On November 17, 2020, our Threat Intelligence team noticed a large-scale wave of attacks against recently reported Function Injection vulnerabilities in themes using the Epsilon Framework, which we estimate are installed on over 150,000 sites. So far today, we have seen a surge of more than 7.5 million attacks against more than 1.5 million sites targeting these vulnerabilities, coming from over 18,000 IP addresses. While we occasionally see attacks targeting a large number of sites, most of them target older vulnerabilities.
This wave of attacks is targeting vulnerabilities that have only been patched in the last few months. All Wordfence users are protected against these attacks, including Wordfence Premium customers and sites still running the free version of Wordfence.
The following versions of the following themes are vulnerable to these attacks:
Newspaper X <=1.3.1
Pixova Lite <=2.0.5
MedZone Lite <=1.2.4
Regina Lite <=2.0.4
NatureMag Lite <=1.0.5
Probing attacks – For now
For the time being, the vast majority of these attacks appear to be probing attacks, designed to determine whether a site has a vulnerable theme installed rather than to perform an exploit chain, though full Remote Code Execution(RCE) leading to site takeover is possible with these vulnerabilities. Even though all Wordfence users are protected, we strongly recommend updating as soon as possible. We are not providing additional detail on the attacks at this time, as the exploit does not yet appear to be in a mature state and a large number of IP addresses are in use. These attacks use
POST requests to
admin-ajax.php and as such do not leave distinct log entries, though they will be visible in Wordfence Live Traffic.
What should I do?
If your website is running one of these themes, it is critical to update to a patched version if one is available. If no patched version is available you will want to temporarily switch to another theme or use a firewall like Wordfence, either Premium or free, that blocks these attacks. If you have made customizations to these themes without the use of a child theme, you will want to download a backup copy of the current version before updating. If anyone you know is running any of these themes, please share this article to ensure they update their site as well.