Plugin Name: Ocean Extra
- Software Type: Plugin
- Software Slug: ocean-extra
- Software Status: Active
- Software Author: oceanwp
- Software Downloads: 19,047,434
- Active Installs: 700,000
- Last Updated: November 28, 2023
- Patched Versions: 2.2.3
- Affected Versions: <= 2.2.2
- Name: Ocean Extra <= 2.2.2 - Cross-Site Request Forgery to Arbitrary Plugin Activation
- Title: Cross-Site Request Forgery to Arbitrary Plugin Activation
- Type: Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
- CVSS Score: 4.3 (Medium)
- Publicly Published: November 28, 2023
- Description: The Ocean Extra plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Cross-Site Request Forgery in all versions up to, and including, 2.2.2. This is due to missing or incorrect nonce validation on the ajax_required_plugins_activate() function. This makes it possible for unauthenticated attackers to activate arbitrary plugins via a forged request granted they can trick a site administrator into performing an action such as clicking on a link.
The Ocean Extra plugin for WordPress has a vulnerability in versions up to and including 2.2.2 that allows unauthenticated attackers to activate arbitrary plugins via a forged request. This vulnerability has been patched in version 2.2.3.
This is a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability where the ajax_required_plugins_activate() function does not properly validate nonces. By forging requests, an attacker could trick an administrator into clicking a link that activates unwanted plugins. This could lead to further exploitation if malicious plugins are activated.
Advice for Users:
- Immediate Action: Update to version 2.2.3 or higher to patch this vulnerability.
- Check for Signs of Vulnerability: Review your active plugins and check for anything suspicious that may have been activated without your consent.
- Alternate Plugins: Consider alternate plugins that provide similar functionality if you have concerns about this plugin.
- Stay Updated: Always keep your WordPress plugins updated to avoid vulnerabilities.
The prompt response from the developers to patch this CSRF vulnerability is appreciated. Users should update as soon as possible to Ocean Extra version 2.2.3 or higher. Staying updated on plugins is key to securing WordPress sites.
Keeping your WordPress website up-to-date is critical for security. Unfortunately, the popular Ocean Extra plugin has a concerning vulnerability that puts over 700,000 websites at risk. In this post, we’ll provide the details around this vulnerability, steps you can take, and our assistance for any security concerns about your site.
About the Ocean Extra Plugin
The Ocean Extra plugin powers useful features like header and footer builders and custom post types. It's actively maintained and has over 19 million downloads and 700,000 active installs.
The Vulnerability Explained
In any Ocean Extra version up to and including 2.2.2, there is a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability. In non-technical terms, this means an attacker could potentially activate unwanted plugins without permission.
This is extremely troubling. If malicious plugins were activated, they could steal data, modify content or cause other types of harm. Even if you have no enemies, attacks happen automatically so sites can be unwittingly weaponized.
Risks and Potential Impacts
A successful CSRF attack leading to unauthorized plugin activation opens the door for all kinds of exploitation. Sensitive data could be stolen, content altered or deleted, spam injected, and more.
Even if no visible changes occur right away, your site could be used as an attack platform against others. Cleaning up these vulnerabilities requires IT expertise many small business owners lack.
How to Remediate
Updating Ocean Extra by installing version 2.2.3 prevents this attack vector. But more broadly, staying on top of all plugin and WordPress core updates improves security and prevents vulnerabilities from being exploited before patches are available.
This is far from the first vulnerability found in Ocean Extra. There have been 9 previous publicly disclosed vulnerabilities since July 2019. This reinforces the need to stay updated or consider alternate plugins.
Importance of Staying Updated
Staying on top of updates for plugins like Ocean Extra is tedious but critical for security. If you don't have the capacity as a small business owner, work with a managed IT services provider to handle this vital task for you.
If you use Ocean Extra and are concerned about this vulnerability or just want a second opinion on the security of your site, please reach out. We offer complimentary website audits and can advise on additional ways to lock down your site. The web can be a dangerous place but with the right preparation, your site and visitors remain protected.
Don't tackle WordPress security alone - the consequences of a breach are too great. At Your WP Guy, our managed WordPress maintenance services include layers of protection like auto-updates, malware scanning, firewalls and 24/7 monitoring by WordPress experts. We become your outsourced IT team.
Let's chat about migrating your site to our managed hosting so you can finally stop worrying about security issues. We'll fully audit and lock down your site as part of onboarding. Call us at 678-995-5169 to keep your business safe online.