WP Cerber Security 9.4

This version brings a lot of small changes and improvements. We continue paying off our technical debt to improve user experience and overall stability of WP Cerber algorithms by removing dependencies on aging WordPress functions. Growth and changes are painful, but nothing is as painful as be dependent on WordPress atavistic algorithms introduced a decade ago and legacy APIs built on usage of global variables.

How to enable automatic updates for WP Cerber

Monthly activity reports

In addition to weekly reporting, WP Cerber can be configured to generate and send monthly activity reports. Depending on the configuration, the reports can be generated for the last 30 days or the previous calendar month and sent on a selected day of the month to specified email addresses. All the settings are on the “Notifications” tab.

Redirection to a page instead of generating a 404 page

Redirecting requests to a specified URL can be enabled instead of generating a 404 page when attempting to access prohibited locations on a website.

You can specify an URL of a page on your website to redirect lost users and bad actors when they are attempting to get access to locations they have no access to. For instance, it can be a sitemap page that helps legitimate users navigating on your website if they entered a protected URL by mistake or due to a software error. The URL can be a relative or absolute. The setting is “Access to prohibited locations” and it’s located on the “Main Settings” tab. From a security standpoint, the best option is to set it “Display simple 404 page”. Read more.

Disabling “Remember Me” checkbox

The “Remember Me” checkbox on the WordPress login form can be disabled. The new setting is on the “Global” tab of the “User Policies” settings page. If disabled, logging-in users can no longer change the duration of their authentication sessions at will.

The default duration of a user session if “Remember Me” is not checked is two days (48 hours), alternatively, if it is checked, it is 14 days. In terms of modern account security, it’s a huge period. Since most ordinary users do not know the duration of the sessions when the checkbox is checked, they have no idea what the implications of enabling it. It’s highly advised to disable “Remember Me”. This new feature also supports WooCommerce.

Miscellaneous improvements

  1. Weekly activity reports now can be generated for the last 7 days or the previous calendar week. New setting is on the “Notifications” tab.
  2. Pursuing better user experience, we have improved the process of configuring WP Cerber features that require updating .htaccess files. Improved handling situations when .htaccess files get read-only permission after changing WP Cerber settings. If a .htaccess is non-writable, the related settings are locked. When importing settings from a file, all the checks also take place.
  3. When saving WP Cerber in the WordPress dashboard, the text notification “Plugin settings updated” is only shown if the settings has been changed.

Breaking changes

  1. The default period of weekly reports is the previous calendar week. In older versions of WP Cerber, the report period was the last 7 days.
  2. Disabling author archives has been improved. No access to author archives via any possible URLs if “Block access to user pages via their usernames” is enabled. Additionally, links to author archives are replaced with the website home URL. Previously, access was blocked if accessing author archives by using usernames (logins) in a $_GET parameter.

Minor changes

  1. If the “User session expiration time” is set globally for all user roles, the “Remember Me” checkbox is hidden on the standard WordPress login form and does not affect the duration of user sessions.
  2. WP Cerber now logs all denied attempts to reset user password when a non-existing user or email has been specified.

Fixed bugs

  1. If WordPress is installed in a subfolder and the custom login page is configured, submitting the password reset form doesn’t redirect users to the page with a success message showing “Not Found” instead.
  2. If the custom login page is configured, disabling the login language switcher has no effect on the login form and the language switcher is still displayed.
  3. On some multi-site WordPress installations, WP Cerber can produce warning messages about using undefined UPLOADBLOGSDIR constant.
  4. If the access lists contain IPv6 addresses and the Activity log contains entries with IPv6 addresses, viewing those entries causes PHP warnings “undefined property: stdClass::$comments”.
  5. If the Pushbullet mobile notifications are enabled and the list of available devices contains inactive (removed) devices, WP Cerber produces PHP notices “Undefined index: nickname” while parsing the list.

Wonder what WP Cerber got in the previous version?

Review the release note for WP Cerber Security 9.3.3.

How to install WP Cerber on your WordPress

Enable automatic updates in the plugin settings or use this instruction on how to install WP Cerber if you do not have it on your website.

Have any questions?

If you have a question regarding WordPress security or WP Cerber, leave them in the comments section below or get them answered on the community forum.

Spotted a bug or glitch?

We’d love to fix it! Share your bug discoveries with us here: Bug Report.

I'm a software engineer and team lead at Cerber Tech. I started coding in 1993 on IBM System/370 and today software engineering at Cerber Tech is how I make my living.

View Comments