Contact Form 7 Open to Attack

With over 5 million WordPress websites available today, the majority of them use Contact Form 7, a plugin installed on your website that controls your contact forms. On December 16, 2020, CF7 issued a big update to address a huge security vulnerability.

The Issue

Information sourced from threatPost article on security bug on Dec. 17th.

A critical unrestricted file upload bug in Contact Form 7 allows an unauthenticated visitor to take over a site running the plugin.

The critical vulnerability (CVE-2020-35489) is classified as an unrestricted file upload bug, according to Astra Security Research, which found the flaw on Wednesday.

The security threat allows an unauthenticated user to take over a website running the plugin or possibly hijack the entire server hosting the site and the attack could be done remotely.

Easy Fix

Contact Form 7 is a plugin that is installed on your website and a solution or “patch” for this plugin has already been released by WordPress in the form of a 5.3.2 version update to the Contact Form 7 plugin.

If you are running Contact Form 7 on your website, this is an easy fix; simply update the plugin. Once you do, be sure to follow these steps to verify that everything is still working:

  • Go to your Contact Form 7 settings and make sure all forms are validated
  • Visit your website, in an incognito window, and fill out your form(s)
  • Verify you have received the inquiry

Once you’ve run through everything above, your website’s vulnerability decreases significantly. Now you can rest a little easier at night.

Protect for Next Time

2020 has been a bad year for cybersecurity. More hacking events were attempted in the first 6 months of 2020 than in all of 2019. We are currently working through the websites RedTree is contracted with but I would suggest you reach out to your current website partner to update this issue before your website gets attacked.

If you don’t have a partner, we know a good web design company that can help.

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