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OptinMonster Vulnerability Affects +1 Million Sites

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WordPress security researchers reported that a flaw in the OptinMonster WordPress plugin was found to allow hackers to upload malicious scripts to attack site visitors and lead to full site takeovers. Failure to perform a basic security check exposes over a million sites to potential hacking events.

Lack of REST-API Endpoint Capability Checking

This vulnerability isn’t due to hackers being really smart and finding a clever way to exploit a perfectly coded WordPress plugin. Quite the opposite.

According to security researchers at popular WordPress security company Wordfence, the exploit was due to a failure in the WordPress REST-API implementation in the OptinMonster WordPress plugin which resulted in “insufficient capability checking.”

When properly coded, REST-API is a secure method to extend WordPress functionality by allowing plugins and themes to interact with a WordPress site for managing and publishing content. It allows a plugin or theme to interact directly with the website database without compromising security… if properly coded.

The WordPress REST-API documentation states:

“…the most important thing to understand about the API is that it enables the block editor and modern plugin interfaces without compromising the security or privacy of your site.”

The WordPress REST-API is supposed to be secure. 

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Unfortunately, all websites using OptinMonster had their security compromised because of how OptinMonster implemented the WordPress REST-API.

Majority of REST-API Endpoints Compromised

REST-API endpoints are URLs that represent the posts and pages on a WordPress site that a plugin or theme can modify and manipulate.

But according to Wordfence, almost every single REST-API endpoint in OptinMonster was improperly coded, compromising website security.

Wordfence slammed OptinMonster’s REST-API implementation:

“…the majority of the REST-API endpoints were insecurely implemented, making it possible for unauthenticated attackers to access many of the various endpoints on sites running a vulnerable version of the plugin.

…nearly every other REST-API endpoint registered in the plugin was vulnerable to authorization bypass due to insufficient capability checking allowing unauthenticated visitors, or in some cases authenticated users with minimal permissions, to perform unauthorized actions.”

Unauthenticated means an attacker that isn’t registered in any way with the website being attacked.

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Some vulnerabilities require an attacker to be registered as a subscriber or contributor, which makes it a little harder to attack a site, especially if a site doesn’t accept subscriber registrations.

This vulnerability had no such barrier at all, no authentication was necessary to exploit OptinMonster, which is a worst-case scenario compared to authenticated exploits.

Wordfence warned about how bad an attack on a website using OptinMonster could be:

“…any unauthenticated attacker could add malicious JavaScript to a site running OptinMonster, which could ultimately lead to site visitors being redirected to external malicious domains and sites being completely taken over in the event that JavaScript was added to inject new administrative user accounts or overwrite plugin code with a webshell to gain backdoor access to a site.”

Recommended Course of Action

Wordfence notified the publishers of OptinMonster and about ten days later released an updated version of the OptinMonster that plugged all of the security holes.

The most secure version of OptinMonster is version 2.6.5.

Wordfence recommends that all users of the OptinMonster update their plugin:

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“We recommend that WordPress users immediately verify that their site has been updated to the latest patched version available, which is version 2.6.5 at the time of this publication.”

WordPress offers documentation on best practices for REST-API and asserts that it is a secure technology.

So if these kinds of security issues aren’t supposed to occur,  why do they keep on happening?

The WordPress documentation on best practices for the REST-API states:

“…it enables the block editor and modern plugin interfaces without compromising the security or privacy of your site.”

With over a million sites affected by this vulnerability one has to wonder why, if best practices exist, this kind of vulnerability happened on the highly popular OptinMonster plugin.

While this isn’t the fault of WordPress itself, this kind of thing does reflect negatively on the entire WordPress ecosystem.

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Read the Report About OptinMonster at Wordfence

1,000,000 Sites Affected by OptinMonster Vulnerabilities

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We asked ChatGPT what will be Google (GOOG) stock price for 2030

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We asked ChatGPT what will be Google (GOOG) stock price for 2030

Investors who have invested in Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) stock have reaped significant benefits from the company’s robust financial performance over the last five years. Google’s dominance in the online advertising market has been a key driver of the company’s consistent revenue growth and impressive profit margins.

In addition, Google has expanded its operations into related fields such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence. These areas show great promise as future growth drivers, making them increasingly attractive to investors. Notably, Alphabet’s stock price has been rising due to investor interest in the company’s recent initiatives in the fast-developing field of artificial intelligence (AI), adding generative AI features to Gmail and Google Docs.

However, when it comes to predicting the future pricing of a corporation like Google, there are many factors to consider. With this in mind, Finbold turned to the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT to suggest a likely pricing range for GOOG stock by 2030. Although the tool was unable to give a definitive price range, it did note the following:

“Over the long term, Google has a track record of strong financial performance and has shown an ability to adapt to changing market conditions. As such, it’s reasonable to expect that Google’s stock price may continue to appreciate over time.”

GOOG stock price prediction

While attempting to estimate the price range of future transactions, it is essential to consider a variety of measures in addition to the AI chat tool, which includes deep learning algorithms and stock market experts.

Finbold collected forecasts provided by CoinPriceForecast, a finance prediction tool that utilizes machine self-learning technology, to anticipate Google stock price by the end of 2030 to compare with ChatGPT’s projection.

According to the most recent long-term estimate, which Finbold obtained on March 20, the price of Google will rise beyond $200 in 2030 and touch $247 by the end of the year, which would indicate a 141% gain from today to the end of the year.

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2030 GOOG price prediction: Source: CoinPriceForecast

Google has been assigned a recommendation of ‘strong buy’ by the majority of analysts working on Wall Street for a more near-term time frame. Significantly, 36 analysts of the 48 have recommended a “strong buy,” while seven people have advocated a “buy.” The remaining five analysts had given a ‘hold’ rating.

1679313229 737 We asked ChatGPT what will be Google GOOG stock price
Wall Street GOOG 12-month price prediction: Source: TradingView

The average price projection for Alphabet stock over the last three months has been $125.32; this objective represents a 22.31% upside from its current price. It’s interesting to note that the maximum price forecast for the next year is $160, representing a gain of 56.16% from the stock’s current price of $102.46.

While the outlook for Google stock may be positive, it’s important to keep in mind that some potential challenges and risks could impact its performance, including competition from ChatGPT itself, which could affect Google’s price.


Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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This Apple Watch app brings ChatGPT to your wrist — here’s why you want it

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Apple Watch Series 8

ChatGPT feels like it is everywhere at the moment; the AI-powered tool is rapidly starting to feel like internet connected home devices where you are left wondering if your flower pot really needed Bluetooth. However, after hearing about a new Apple Watch app that brings ChatGPT to your favorite wrist computer, I’m actually convinced this one is worth checking out.

The new app is called watchGPT and as I tipped off already, it gives you access to ChatGPT from your Apple Watch. Now the $10,000 question (or more accurately the $3.99 question, as that is the one-time cost of the app) is why having ChatGPT on your wrist is remotely necessary, so let’s dive into what exactly the app can do.

What can watchGPT do?

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Discord goes all in with AI: chatbots, automods, whiteboards and more

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Discord goes all in with AI: chatbots, automods, whiteboards and more

AI is the future, at least over on Discord.

The messaging application originally made for gamers has become Gen Z’s favorite online hangout destination of choice, and now it’s rolling out a number of features powered by artificial intelligence.

In an announcement(Opens in a new tab) on Thursday, Discord shared what’s coming to the platform soon: an AI chatbot, an automated AI moderator, a conversation summarizer, an avatar remixer, and a whiteboard. Some of these features begin rolling out today, March 9. Others will launch in the coming weeks and months.

While AI has jumped into the mainstream thanks to the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, Discord has had an active AI community for quite a while now. According to the company, third-party AI apps already on the platform already have more than 30 million monthly users. Nearly 3 million servers on Discord have some AI element integrated into the community.

In fact, the biggest community on Discord is Midjourney, a text-to-image AI project which allows users to generate art from right within the server. Discord says Midjourney’s server has more than 13 million members.

So, with AI being such an integral part of Discord already, it seemed like only a matter of time before Discord itself started bringing AI directly into the platform.

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AutoMod AI
Credit: Discord

The first feature coming to some Discord servers as soon as today is AutoMod AI. Discord already has an AutoMod feature, which basically automatically moderates rooms for admins based on the rules of the server. Discord has now integrated OpenAI-powered AI into AutoMod, allowing it to search the server and contact moderators when it thinks rules are possibly being broken. According to Discord, AutoMod AI can also consider the context of a conversation so, for example, users don’t get penalized for posts that are misconstrued.

Clyde is a bot that Discord users may already be familiar with, and starting next week, Clyde is getting an AI upgrade. Currently, the Clyde bot provides information, such as server error messages, and also responds to timeout or ban requests from users and mods. However, that’s pretty much all Clyde was able to do. Until now.

Clyde chatbot

Clyde
Credit: Discord

Clyde will now be able to answer all sorts of questions from users, much like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. Users simply have to type “@Clyde” followed by their prompt. Clyde will be able to pull up information and also help find specific emojis or GIFs based on a user’s description.

Another AI feature coming to Discord next week is Conversation Summaries. Again, the name is fairly descriptive of what it does. With users all over the world, many Discord channels are always moving regardless of time of day. Conversation Summaries will allow users to catch up on what they missed on a Discover Server. The AI-powered feature will “bundle” chats into topics so users can easily read up on what they find most interesting.

Conversation Summaries

Conversation Summaries
Credit: Discord

Starting today, developers can start playing with Avatar Remix, an open-source Discord app that integrates AI art into the messaging app. Avatar Remix allows users to take a fellow user’s avatar and change it up “using the power of generative image models.” What does that mean? In the demo that Discord showed Mashable, a user was able to add a party hat or a mustache to a friend’s avatar by simply mentioning their username and describing what changes they’d like to make.

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Avatar Remix

Avatar Remix
Credit: Discord

The company is also launching an “AI incubator,” offering support for developers creating AI-powered apps on Discord.

Finally, Discord revealed a feature that’s coming soon that has long been requested by the Discord community: a whiteboard. But, of course, this won’t be just any collaborative whiteboard feature. It’s going to be AI-powered, allowing users to collaborate in generating AI art and more.

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