WordPress 4.7.1 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 4.7 has been downloaded over 10 million times since its release on December 6, 2016 and we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of WordPress 4.7.1. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

WordPress versions 4.7 and earlier are affected by eight security issues:

  1. Remote code execution (RCE) in PHPMailer – No specific issue appears to affect WordPress or any of the major plugins we investigated but, out of an abundance of caution, we updated PHPMailer in this release. This issue was fixed in PHPMailer thanks to Dawid Golunski and Paul Buonopane.
  2. The REST API exposed user data for all users who had authored a post of a public post type. WordPress 4.7.1 limits this to only post types which have specified that they should be shown within the REST API. Reported by Krogsgard and Chris Jean.
  3. Cross-site scripting (XSS) via the plugin name or version header on update-core.php. Reported by Dominik Schilling of the WordPress Security Team.
  4. Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) bypass via uploading a Flash file. Reported by Abdullah Hussam.
  5. Cross-site scripting (XSS) via theme name fallback. Reported by Mehmet Ince.
  6. Post via email checks mail.example.com if default settings aren’t changed. Reported by John Blackbourn of the WordPress Security Team.
  7. A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) was discovered in the accessibility mode of widget editing. Reported by Ronnie Skansing.
  8. Weak cryptographic security for multisite activation key. Reported by Jack.

Thank you to the reporters for practicing responsible disclosure.

In addition to the security issues above, WordPress 4.7.1 fixes 62 bugs from 4.7. For more information, see the release notes or consult the list of changes.

Download WordPress 4.7.1 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.7.1.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to 4.7.1: Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Adam Silverstein, Andrea Fercia, Andrew Ozz, bonger, Boone Gorges, Chandra Patel, Christian Chung, David Herrera, David Shanske, Dion Hulse, Dominik Schilling (ocean90), DreamOn11, Edwin Cromley, Ella van Dorpe, Gary Pendergast, Hristo Pandjarov, James Nylen, Jeff Bowen, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Pry, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, John Blackbourn, Keanan Koppenhaver, Konstantin Obenland, laurelfulford, Marin Atanasov, mattyrob, monikarao, Nate Reist, Nick Halsey, Nikhil Chavan, nullvariable, Payton Swick, Peter Wilson, Presskopp, Rachel Baker, Ryan McCue, Sanket Parmar, Sebastian Pisula, sfpt, shazahm1, Stanimir Stoyanov, Steven Word, szaqal21, timph, voldemortensen, vortfu, and Weston Ruter.

Source: WordPress News (https://wordpress.org/news)

Moving Toward SSL

We’re at a turning point: 2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available. Just as JavaScript is a near necessity for smoother user experiences and more modern PHP versions are critical for performance, SSL just makes sense as the next hurdle our users are going to face.

SSL basically means the link between your browser and the server is encrypted. SSL used to be difficult to implement, and often expensive or slow. Modern browsers, and the incredible success of projects like Let’s Encrypt have made getting a certificate to secure your site fast, free, and something we think every host should support by default, especially in a post-Snowden era. Google also weighs SSL as a search engine ranking factor and will begin flagging unencrypted sites in Chrome.

First, early in 2017, we will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts. Later we will begin to assess which features, such as API authentication, would benefit the most from SSL and make them only enabled when SSL is there.

Separately, I also think the performance improvements in PHP7 are particularly impressive, and major kudos to everyone who worked on that. We will consider whether hosts use PHP7 by default for new accounts next year as well.

 

Source: WordPress News (https://wordpress.org/news)