WooCommerce Payments Plugin Patches Critical Vulnerability 

By   Adeola Adegunwa
Writer , Informationsecuritybuzz | Mar 24, 2023 05:08 am PST

Developers of the popular WooCommerce payments plugin recently identified a critical security flaw that could have affected over 500,000 WordPress sites. The plugin, developed by Automattic, offers a fully integrated payment solution for WooCommerce, making it a highly attractive target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit its vulnerabilities.

“We investigated the reported vulnerability to check for any data compromise or exploitation, and found no evidence of misuse beyond our internal security testing. We created a solution and worked with the WordPress.org Plugins Team to update WooCommerce Payments versions 4.8.0 through 5.6.1 automatically to the patched versions.” Says the platform

Michael Mazzolini of GoldNetwork, who was performing white-hat testing for WooCommerce through their HackerOne program, found the issue. The platform’s security team acted swiftly in response to the report, commencing an investigation to determine whether any data had been exposed or exploited.

What Was The Vulnerability And Its Potential Impact?

The security vulnerability in WooCommerce Payments could have had severe consequences for affected websites. If the vulnerability is exploited, it could allow attackers to inject malicious code into the plugin’s settings page. This code could then be used to execute arbitrary commands on the affected site, potentially giving attackers full access to the site’s database and files.

According to Wordfence, a WordPress security firm, an unauthenticated attacker can effectively hijack a website by posing as an administrator, all without any user interaction or social engineering tactics.”

The impact of such a vulnerability is severe, as it could lead to access to sensitive information such as customer data, payment information, and other confidential data. This could lead to data breaches and financial losses for businesses and their customers.

Additionally, hackers could use the vulnerability to execute malicious code on the website, leading to further security issues and potential damage to the website’s reputation. Therefore, it was imperative for developers to take swift action and issue a patch to address the vulnerability.

However, it is worth noting that the prompt response by the WooCommerce security team in addressing the vulnerability and collaborating with WordPress.org to push out a forced update should minimize the impact of the vulnerability on affected websites.

What Are They Doing Regarding The Flaw? 

In response to the security flaw discovered in WooCommerce Payments, the platform collaborated with WordPress.org to implement a mandatory update for websites running versions 4.8.0 through 5.6.1 of the plugin. It is worth noting that some store owners have automatic updates disabled to ensure adequate testing before updating.

However, with the vulnerability now public knowledge, it is crucial that all websites running version 4.8.0 or higher of the plugin manually update as soon as possible to avoid any potential breaches. For all sites hosted on Pressable, WPVIP, and WordPress.com, immediate deactivation has already been put into place, which has lessened the problem.

“We take the security of our users’ sites very seriously and are grateful to the security researchers who help us identify and address potential vulnerabilities,” the statement read. “We urge all WooCommerce Payments users to update to the latest version of the plugin as soon as possible to ensure their sites remain secure.” Says the developers of WooCommerce Payments. 

Securing Your WooCommerce Payments Account 

Due to the seriousness of this security issue, the developers of WooCommerce Payments have taken action and advised users to update their plugins immediately. To safeguard your online store, it is recommended that you take the following steps:

Backup your website: Before making any updates or modifications, creating a complete backup of your website, including files and databases, is essential.

Update the WooCommerce Payments plugin: To install the latest, patched version, go to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins,” locate the WooCommerce Payments plugin, and click “Update.”

Review user accounts: Check for any suspicious user accounts or unauthorized changes made to your website, and remove or revert them as necessary.

Monitor website activity: Regularly review your website’s activity logs for signs of unauthorized access and configure alerts to let you know about any ominous activity.

Implement additional security measures: Consider using a security plugin such as Wordfence or Sucuri to enhance your website’s security posture further.

It is important to note that WooCommerce remains a secure platform. The significance of having automatic updates activated is brought home by rare vulnerabilities like this one. Thankfully, the WooCommerce security team acted swiftly to address this issue, and they should be commended for their prompt response.

Why Are Prompt Updates Important For Site Security?

Prompt updates are critical for maintaining site security and protecting against known vulnerabilities. Attackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in popular plugins and software, and they will exploit any weaknesses they find.

Site owners who do not update their plugins and software are at a higher risk of being compromised by attackers. This is because known vulnerabilities are often publicly disclosed, and attackers can easily find sites that are not updated and exploit them.

Prompt updates are also essential for maintaining the ongoing security of a site. Plugin and software developers release updates regularly to address known vulnerabilities, improve performance, and introduce new features. Site owners who do not update their plugins and software are missing out on these benefits, which could put their sites at a disadvantage.


The recent vulnerability discovered in WooCommerce Payments is a reminder of the ongoing importance of cybersecurity in the online world. With so many businesses relying on online platforms to reach customers and process payments, it is essential that site owners remain vigilant and take prompt action to address any vulnerabilities that may arise.

Site owners who use WooCommerce Payments or any other plugin or software should take steps to ensure that their sites are secure, including using strong passwords, regularly updating plugins and software, and monitoring their sites for any suspicious activity. The developers of WooCommerce Payments have shown a commitment to security by responding quickly to the vulnerability and releasing

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