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All In One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin, which has over three million active installations, is vulnerable to two Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
The vulnerabilities affect all versions of AIOSEO up to and including version 4.2.9.Stored Cross-Site Scripting
Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are a form of injection exploit that involves malicious scripts executing in a user’s browser which then can lead to access to cookies, user sessions and even a site takeover.
The two most common forms of Cross-Site Scripting attacks are:
Reflected Cross-Site Scripting
Stored Cross-Site Scripting
A Stored XSS is when the malicious script is on the vulnerable site itself.
The vulnerability arises when there are insufficient security checks to block unwanted inputs.
The two issues affecting the AIOSEO plugin are both Stored Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities.CVE-2023-0585
Vulnerabilities are assigned numbers to keep track of them. The first one was assigned, CVE-2023-0585.
This vulnerability arises from a failure to sanitize inputs. This means that insufficient filtering is done to prevent a hacker from uploading a malicious script.
The National Vulnerability Database (NVD) notice describes it like this:
“The All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Stored Cross-Site Scripting via multiple parameters in versions up to, and including, 4.2.9 due to insufficient input sanitization and output escaping.
This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with Administrator role or above to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.”
The vulnerability was assigned a threat level of 4.4 (out of ten), which is a medium level.
An attacker must first acquire administrator privileges or higher to perpetrate this attack.CVE-2023-0586
This attack is similar to the first one. The main difference is that an attacker needs to assume at least a contributor level of website access privilege.
A contributor level role has the ability to create content but not to publish it.
The vulnerability is also a medium level threat but it is assigned a higher vulnerability score of 6.4.
This is the description:
“The All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Stored Cross-Site Scripting via multiple parameters in versions up to, and including, 4.2.9 due to insufficient input sanitization and output escaping.
This makes it possible for authenticated attackers with Contributor+ role to inject arbitrary web scripts in pages that will execute whenever a user accesses an injected page.”Recommended Action
The first vulnerability requires administrator level privileges and is assigned a relatively low medium threat level score of 4.4.
But the second vulnerability only requires a lower level of privilege and is rated higher at 6.4.
It’s generally a good policy to update all vulnerable plugins. AIOSEO plugin version 4.3.0 is the one containing the security fix, referred to in the official AIOSEO changelog as additional “security hardening.”
Read details of the two vulnerabilities:
Featured image by Shutterstock/Bangun Stock Productions
You're reading All In One Seo WordPress Plugin Vulnerability Affects Up To 3+ Million
Stored XSS Vulnerability
A Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability is when the software has a flaw that allows a hacker to upload a malicious file that can then attack someone else who visits the site.
There are different kinds of stored XSS vulnerabilities and it isn’t clear which kind this is.
However, depending on where the malicious file is uploaded, this type of vulnerability can be especially problematic when someone with admin level privileges visits the site and receives the payload, which can lead to a total site takeover.
According to the United States government National Institute of Standards and Technology, a U.S. Commerce Department website, the following is how a cross site scripting exploit is defined:
“A vulnerability that allows attackers to inject malicious code into an otherwise benign website.
These scripts acquire the permissions of scripts generated by the target website and can therefore compromise the confidentiality and integrity of data transfers between the website and client.
Websites are vulnerable if they display user supplied data from requests or forms without sanitizing the data so that it is not executable. “
This is called a “stored” XSS vulnerability because the malicious file is stored on the website itself. Of the different kinds of XSSVulnerability Rating
Vulnerabilities are rated using an open source standard called Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). A vulnerability score is commonly referred to using CVSS version 3.1.
This is how the vulnerability standard is described:
“The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is an open framework for communicating the characteristics and severity of software vulnerabilities. “
That may be a contributing reason for why the severity level of the Autoptimize WordPress Plugin vulnerability has been rated as medium, with a score of 5.4 on a scale of 1 to 10.Autoptimize Changelog
A changelog is a log of all the changes that a software makes with every update. It typically states a version, sometimes the date of the version and the changes contained within the update.
According to the official Autoptimize Changelog, the latest version is 2.8.4 which fixes the vulnerability.
fix for an authenticated XSS vulnerability”
While this is a vulnerability that’s rated as medium, it’s still recommended that all publishers who use this plugin update it immediately in order to stay safe.Citations
Documentation of Autoptimize Vulnerability at Patchstack Security Site
Official Autoptimize Changelog
With over 50,000 plugins in its repository, it’s clear that WordPress plugins are an essential element to any WordPress site. You have most likely tested and tried to use many of them to solve problems or accomplish tasks. If you decide you don’t want to use it anymore or it doesn’t work as you expected, you deactivate and then delete it from your WP dashboard.
However, this does not remove all traces of a WP plugin and leaves behind rows and tables in your WP database.
Table of Contents
The plugins that are most likely to store data include form, caching, security, and SEO plugins. Before proceeding, be sure to backup your website in case something goes wrong.
Over time, these plugins traces will take up disk space and affect your site’s performance. This article will show you how to remove a WP plugin along with all associated files.Remove the WordPress Plugin From The Dashboard Delete Plugin Via FTP
Plugins can also be uninstalled via FTP. Connect to an FTP client such as FileZilla, WinSCP, or Free FTP. Navigate to the /wp-content/ folder.
Find the plugin you want to remove and delete it from your server by removing its folder.Use FTP to Remove Leftover Files
WP keeps related plugin files in unique folders. You can remove these files with an FTP client such as FileZilla.Remove Orphaned Tables from Your Database
There are two methods to remove these tables. The easiest is to use a plugin.Use WP-Optimize
WP-Optimize will clean up and remove unused data from your database.Delete Orphaned Tables Manually
Don’t attempt this method unless you are experienced and comfortable editing databases. You don’t want to delete tables that are not related to the plugin you are uninstalling.
To delete orphaned tables manually, use a tool such as phpMyAdmin. Most hosting control panels will give you access to this tool.
From phpMyAdmin, use the search function at the top to find the database you want to clean up.Use WP Plugins to Remove Plugin Associated Files
Some free and premium WP plugins will clean up your database with minimal effort. Below are a few of them.Plugins Garbage Collector
Plugins Garbage Collector will scan and check your WP database to show the tables you can’t see in your WP dashboard.WP-Optimize
WP-Optimize has over 600,000 active installations and is one of the most popular of the WP database optimization plugins.WP-Sweep
WP-Sweep is another WP plugin that will clean up unnecessary data in your database, including orphaned plugin data and tables.
WP-Sweep uses WP delete functions to clean up your database. This ensures that orphaned data isn’t left behind.Remove Unused Shortcodes
WP has many plugins that use shortcodes that you insert on pages and posts. When you deactivate the plugin, the shortcode remains and shows as text in brackets to viewers.
One option is to remove the shortcut from every instance on your site manually. However, this can take a long time. Other more time-effective and practical options are outlined below.Hide the Shortcode
To hide a shortcode leftover from a deleted plugin, add the following to your chúng tôi file:Use WP Plugin Remove Orphan Shortcodes
If you aren’t comfortable editing WP files, use the Remove Orphan Shortcodes plugin.
This plugin automatically hides orphan (inactive) shortcodes from your content that were previously used with plugins and themes.
Uninstalling plugins from your WP dashboard is simple and easy. However, as you now know, deactivating and deleting plugins doesn’t always remove all files and WordPress databases associated with them.
What’s one simple way to improve your WordPress SEO starting today?
Make sure you have SEO-friendly URLs.
Creating SEO-friendly URLs is a super simple way to improve your SEO.
If you get it right, you’ll improve your organic search visibility, especially for low-volume long-tail keywords.
In this article, you’ll learn four tips to ensure your WordPress URLs are SEO-friendly.
They range from basic, global updates to strategic updates tied to content and the information architecture of your site.1. Get to a Single Root Version of Your Domain
By default, there are several variations of your root domain that can render as functional URLs that can be identical versions of your pages.
This means the home page plus every single page of the site, based on how the domain is configured as well as the variations.
Domain variations for URLs:
All of these will properly render the site.
If all render the site separately, they can look like mirrored versions of the site.
Another important area from a security and SEO standpoint is to ensure that your website is fully encrypted with an SSL certificate.
HTTPS is now a minor ranking signal in Google’s algorithms.
Furthermore, Google requires HTTPS for secure data in Chrome.
For both these reasons, enabling HTTPS on your WordPress site can help you rank better and improve the user experience.
And with Let’s Encrypt providing a free HTTPS solution, there’s no reason not to make the transition to help your website strengthen its URLs in the eyes of Google.2. Choose an SEO-Friendly Permalink Structure
If you want Google to recognize your content and associate it with certain search phrases, you’ll want to make sure your URL uses keywords relevant to your topic.
For example, if you’re writing about an epic Burning Man sunrise dance party you experienced, make sure your URL looks like this:
Rather than this:
The first one. You know exactly what you’re getting.
Your URL tells Google – and the people scanning Google’s search results – exactly what topic your content is about.
In other words, Google can understand it (because it’s SEO-friendly) and people can understand it (because it’s also user-friendly).
There, you’ll find these options.
Plain: Not a good option for SEO. Nothing in the URL describes your pages/content.
Day and name: This is a good option for SEO as it helps Google know what your content is about and the exact publishing date, which can be really important for your readers.
Month and name: Also a good option! Similar to day and name, but only shows the month the piece of content was published.
Numeric: Not a good option for SEO. Nothing in the URL describes your pages/content.
Post name: This is the most popular choice for optimal WordPress SEO. It allows you to personalize your URL to match your content topics.
Custom Structure: Here you can use WordPress-specific tags to customize your URL. If you have a large website with multiple categories that are important to your readers, using a tag like “/%category%/%postname%/“ to add the category to your URL might be a good idea. You can use this to give Google even more information about your piece of content, but it’s up to you how granular you want to get.
If you make the transition to use categories in your SEO-friendly permalink structure, you’ll only want to choose one, single category per post.
This video by former Googler Matt Cutts will give you some additional information.
Subsequently, you can make changes to the URL of individual pages and posts.A Note for Established Websites
By transitioning from one permalink structure to another on an existing site, you will, unfortunately, lose all of your social media share counts.
If you have thousands of share counts on a piece of content, switching your URL structure will reset it to zero.
Additionally, there’s always a risk of damaging your existing search rankings.
If your site is implementing plain URLs, you should change the URL structure no matter how old it is.
You will still lose your social share counts across all pages on your website, but the benefits of a more relevant URL far outweigh that loss.
Now your URLs will look something like they do on Search Engine Journal:
Equally, if not more important, you’ll want to make sure that your instance of WordPress automatically creates 301 redirects from the old URL to your new one.
I recommend testing on a single page by noting the current (soon to become old) URL, updating to a new one, and then trying to access the old one.
If you aren’t redirected to the page at the new location, pause your effort and do some research and troubleshooting to ensure you have automatic redirects or have a plugin that allows you to manually configure them for each page URL you change.3. Site Architecture & URL Structure
Now that we have knocked out the basics with getting to one global format for the URL and have selected a permalink structure, it is time to map out our site’s URLs.
The ultimate goal is to align URLs with the content topics and keyword focuses of each section and each page respectively.
Follow your sitemap and main navigation to organize your URL strings based on directories that content should live in.
Don’t be afraid to go deep vertically with your site as the subject matter gets more specific.4. Rewrite Your URLs to Make Them SEO-Friendly
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to writing and rewriting URLs in WordPress:Keep URLs Focused
Remove any irrelevant words and focus on your target keywords.
“Stop words” are words that don’t add any value to your readers (e.g., “a,” “the,” “of”).
These won’t hurt you if they’re in your URL, but they won’t help you either because they don’t add any value to your readers and they make your URLs longer.Keep URLs Short
URL length isn’t a ranking factor.
You can do this by following the first bullet point above; the key here is to use the most focused keywords possible in the URL and avoid needless words.Keep Your URL Formatting Consistent
If you use dashes (“-”) to separate words on all your posts, don’t use underscores (“_”) to separate words on your pages.
Stick with how WordPress does it – use the traditional dash to separate words in your URLs.Summary
There isn’t a single way to create the best SEO-friendly URL.
It depends heavily on the kind of website you’re running, your niche/industry, and what your visitors find valuable.
It’s incredibly important to optimize your WordPress URLs – include all the significant keywords to make it clear what the page is about, and you should be ready to rumble in the SERPs.
All screenshots by author, October 2023
The company:Based in Arlington, Va., chúng tôi is a content/e-commerce site focused on “the fun and finer things in life.”
Given these proclivities, chúng tôi execs assumed that high-end electronics gear like DVDs and home theater systems would be equally enticing. So in preparation for the 1999 holiday season, they loaded up on content and products in this category. But when the season came and went, the electronics merchandise didn’t. “While internally, the hypothesis was this was a good product line to get into, it turns out there was mild to low interest,” says Philip Hawken, director of operations at chúng tôi Inc., in Arlington, Va.
A warehouse of Web wares
WebSideStory Inc. Offers HitBox, a Web audience analysis service; chúng tôi a Webmaster resource center and community of independent Web sites; and chúng tôi a source of data on Internet user trends.
“With e-commerce, you need to be talking about a warehouse that’s customer-centric as opposed to traditional management information warehouses, which store information on the performance of a company and summarize it so people can see trends,” explains John McIntyre, director of global marketing at SAS Institute Inc., in Raleigh, N.C. “A customer-centric look is more likely to be augmented with external data. And to really personalize your relationship with customers, you need to take information from all points of contact that a company has with the customer to get the richest profile.”
SAS and many of the traditional data warehousing vendors, like Oracle Corp., see Webhousing as a natural extension of their product lines. For example, SAS is positioning its existing suite of tools, augmented by new additions, as a way for companies to produce reports, do analysis on their Web traffic, and develop rich customer profiles. SAS is also introducing what it calls Knowledge Solution add-ons to its Enterprise Miner datamining tool for specific functions like cross-selling, available since January 2000, and fraud detection and churn, which will be available in the first quarter of 2000.
Oracle also insists that Web business intelligence has to be part of an overall enterprise data warehouse effort to give companies a holistic view of their customers, according to Jagdish Mirani, senior director for Oracle’s Data Warehouse Program Office in Redwood Shores, Calif. The company’s Intelligent WebHouse, as it’s calling its end-to-end solution, comprises existing products, including Oracle Reports, the Darwin datamining tool, the Express multidimensional database, and the Discoverer, for ad hoc analysis. In March 2000, Oracle released Oracle Warehouse Builder, a lifecycle management tool for integrating data from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, Web sites, and external data sources into a single warehouse.
Hawken acknowledges, however, that there’s much more work to be done to get a complete view of the customer. Later in 2000, chúng tôi plans to use extensions to net.Analysis to tie the Web log data to its catalog and shopper demographic information stored in its production SQL Server 7.0 databases. “We definitely want to extend the tool, but the data we’re getting out of the box is more than enough to make key business decisions before we get into more in-depth data Webhousing,” he explains.
Data warehousing meets the Web
Two data warehouse veterans have taken an early stab at defining and describing what they claim is the data warehouse reborn: the data Webhouse.
A custom approach
Ralph Kimball, a veteran data warehouse expert, is also a proponent of creating a real-time or what he calls a “hot response” cache as part of a Webhouse architecture (see diagram, “How to build a Webhouse”). “That way, the data warehouse can continually anticipate questions and provide a whole set of precomputed responses,” says Kimball, president of Ralph Kimball Associates Inc., in Boulder Creek, Calif., and co-author of The Data Webhouse Toolkit (see “Data warehousing meets the Web”).
Whatever the approach, smart Web businesses know that guesswork no longer cuts it when it comes to catering to customers. In today’s wild and wooly Web world, the name of the game is knowing exactly what customers want and when they want it. And that makes all the difference.
Many companies are still struggling with whipping enterprise data warehouse efforts into shape, and with the introduction of the Web, the exercise becomes far more daunting. Luckily, two data warehouse veterans have taken an early stab at defining and describing what they claim is the data warehouse reborn: the data Webhouse, a new entity at the center of the Web revolution.
As described by authors Ralph Kimball and Richard Merz in their book, The Data Webhouse Toolkit, published by John Wiley & Sons Inc., the new data Webhouse will be the engine that controls or analyzes the Web experience. As such, it increases the importance of the technology, but changes its very nature from the data warehouses of the past decade. In the book, written for designers and project managers in IT organizations, Kimball and Merz lay out the differences between the two generations, provide a detailed roadmap of how to design and model a data Webhouse, and discuss how to extend and adapt existing data warehouses to accommodate this critical Web component.
In keeping with its practical–rather than theoretical–tone, the authors devote Chapter 15 to the special management and organizational issues surrounding Webhouse projects. Included in this discussion is a nice organizational chart that spells out the roles necessary for getting a project of this ilk off the ground and completed successfully.
The authors acknowledge that the book tackles its subject matter at the very early stages of development. And yet while big changes are undoubtedly on the horizon, they make the case that the impact of the Web is so profound that Webhousing is the future for data warehousing. If they’re right, it’s not too early to get acquainted with one’s new environment, making The Data Webhouse Toolkit a worthwhile read. –Beth Stackpole
Xbox One S has always been tagged as the elite console that this generation of gamers can’t live without. It is a considerable improvement over its predecessor. It looks edgy and high-end but one that gives a bang for your buck with its power-packed features, especially with the introduction of the new and improved Xbox One S Controller.
Despite the Xbox One S price, gamers loved that they would now be able to customize every button. The Xbox One S allows you to play anything from its growing library (obviously as far as you can pay for the game), even your old Xbox 360 games which are automatically converted to the current version and downloaded from Xbox Live. This works well with Xbox 360 achievements, expansions, and downloadable content. It is smaller but much more powerful than Xbox One.Setting up Xbox One S Console
Every modern-day gamer owns an Xbox One S console. It’s just a matter of categorizing a user into one looking for an upgrade or another contemplating buying a new one. There is a thrill to unboxing an Xbox One S and even more so in setting it up. Here is a quick and easy-to-follow guide on how to set up your Xbox One S console:
Connecting with TV
Connect Console to Router
Change Display Settings
Connect to the Internet
Initiate System Update
Select Power Option
Choose automatic updates
Connect with Microsoft Account
Make sure you have a working internet connection
1] It works well whether placed vertically or horizontally. Xbox One was intended to be placed horizontally. However, despite guidelines, users placed it vertically quite often. Microsoft understood that it wouldn’t be possible to convince people to place it in an intended manner. Thus they improved upon their device. Xbox One S can be placed horizontally as well as vertically.
Read Xbox One X vs. Xbox One S.
2] Use an HDMI cable to connect the console to HDTV. Please connect the HDMI cable, which is a part of the package, to the Xbox’s HDMI port at the back of your console. The other end of the cable should be connected to the HDMI input of your TV. As a safety precaution, make sure that the cables don’t get in contact with the console. Plug the power cord into the back of the Xbox One S console. The other end should be plugged into the electrical outlet.
Xbox One S can also be connected to the TV through a set-top box. You could use an HDMI cable for the same.
3] Connect the Xbox console to a router or modem. If you wish to play games online, you need to connect the console to the internet. To do so, you would need to connect it to a router or modem. The Xbox console has an Ethernet port which could be used to connect to the source of the network. Other than this, we could also connect to the internet using Wi-Fi. To switch on your console after connecting to the router/modem, you need to press the Xbox button in the center of the controller, or you can try pressing the Xbox button right in front of the controller.
Once the connections are done, we could begin with the digital setup.
4] Select the language and other settings. Select a language you understand to connect to the internet. More languages will be available after its first system update. Once connected to the internet, you would be presented with more languages to choose from. Those using the Kinect sensor can select the option “Begin sensor setup” and continue with the Wizard.
5] Change the display settings. When prompted, change your display screen resolution. Manually pick one and then press “A” to continue.
6] Connect to the internet. You can choose to connect automatically to the internet with either a wired or wireless setup. Attach the network cable to connect by wire or select from available networks if you opt for a wireless connection. In the next step, select your country and then press “A” to continue. Then, you can select your location and begin with your gaming experience.
7] Initiate System Update. Before you can use your Xbox One S, you need the most recent or current system update to make sure it’s going to run in smooth condition. Select “Start Update” to start the download. Once the update is complete, your Xbox One S will restart. After your console has restarted, you need to choose your time zone. This is especially important for that gaming online.
8] Select the power option. Depending on your usage, you can choose what mode of power option would be best for your needs. You can opt for the Energy Saving option, which uses less power but takes much longer for the console to power up and doesn’t automatically install updates. Another option is the Instant-On which uses up more power but turns on instantly, and you can also turn it on using voice commands.
9] Choose automatic updates. You can select the type of automatic updates to receive on your console.
10] Sign in to your Xbox with Microsoft account. Xbox supports single sign-on. You could sign in to your Microsoft or Gamertag account using your Xbox console. If you don’t have a Microsoft or Gamertag account, the setup will help you create one.
The above guide will help you a lot, especially if you are using your console and signing in to Xbox Live for the first time. You can also set up Kinect to automatically detect and read your voice and body when signing in to Xbox Live. There are many ways to customize your Xbox gaming experience, and you can start with a new skin to compliment your mood and theme.
More details can be checked from the Microsoft support website here.
Read next: How to move from the original Xbox One Console to Xbox One S.How do I set up my Xbox One without Internet?
You cannot set up Xbox One or any other console without the Internet, as Microsoft needs to connect it with your Microsoft account and download updates. However, once the setup is complete, you should be able to play some of the games online, save game clips, screenshots, and so on.Can you use Xbox One without a Microsoft account?
No, you cannot. Xbox Gamertags are connected to your Microsoft account; you will need one to start. If the internet is available, Microsoft does allow you to create one if you don’t already have one.
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