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These 8 WordPress plugins are most vulnerable to hackers in 2020

These 8 WordPress plugins are most vulnerable to hackers in 2020 Blog Feature

Marc Amigone

Digital Sales & Marketing Advisor, HubSpot Alumni, 8+ Years of Marketing & Business Development Experience

March 9th, 2020 min read

According to a report from ZDNet, February 2020 saw a noticeable increase in hacking attempts on WordPress websites.

Given WordPress’ ubiquitous presence across the internet (36% of all websites are built on WordPress according to W3Techs), hackers have lots of opportunities to exploit weaknesses and extract valuable information.

Being an open-source system, WordPress always has and always will be vulnerable to these types of incidents. It’s the ultimate trade-off of a system designed to open itself to developers and users all over the world with a very low barrier of entry. 

Individuals and businesses can build a robust website on the WordPress platform and utilize plugins developed for a wide variety of purposes, but maintaining those websites and especially the plugins is a labor-intensive, yet critically important, task.

So how do you know if your website is vulnerable to attack based off this information? It’s never a bad time to go into your WordPress setup and make sure all of your plugins are up to date — and if you’re not using a secure hosting platform like WP Engine, it’s also not a bad time to look into it. 

WordPress plugins most at risk

ZDNet focused its report on eight popular plugins that are providing hackers the most opportunities; so if any of these are installed on your website, stop what you’re doing and go update them:

Duplicator (1 million+ installs)

Duplicator successfully gives WordPress users the ability to migrate, copy, move, or clone a site from one location to another, and also serves as a simple backup utility.

Duplicator handles serialized and base64 serialized replacements. Standard WordPress migration and WordPress backups are easily handled by this plugin as are zero downtime migrations.

ThemeGrill Demo Importer (200,000 installs)

ThemeGrill Demo Importer allows users to import ThemeGrill official themes demo content, widgets, and theme settings with just one click.

Profile Builder Plugin (65,000 installs)

A plugin that generates shortcodes for creating front-end login, user registration, and edits profile forms making the process simpler and easier for end-users.

Flexible Checkout Fields for WooCommerce (20,000 installs)

With this plugin, you can edit the default WooCommerce checkout fields (change labels, hide, and delete) or add your own.

ThemeREX Add-ons

If you’re using a ThemeREX theme, check out any add-ons or plugins you’ve installed to make sure they’re up to date.

Async JavaScript (100K installs)

This plugin allows you to control when JavaScript loads or doesn’t load on your pages to protect load times and increase site performance.

10Web Map Builder for Google Maps (20k installs)

10Web Map Builder for Google Maps allows users to add unlimited maps to their website.

Modern Events Calendar Lite (40k installs)

Modern Events Calendar is an events management plugin used for displaying events calendars on websites.

WordPress site security

At IMPACT, we often recommend the HubSpot CMS to our clients to avoid vulnerabilities created by WordPress plugins. That being said, HubSpot isn’t a viable option for every business’ CMS, so we develop dozens of websites on WordPress each year as well.

For any website we build on WordPress, we stipulate that our clients have to use WP Engine as their hosting platform to protect against attacks.

WP Engine offers security features such as monitoring plugins, ensuring any that are out of date are updated and notifying their customers of vulnerabilities as they emerge.

It’s never a bad time to do an analysis of your website’s security, whether you use WordPress or not. The internet can be a dangerous place, so following best practices to protect your business’ data is never a bad idea.

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