WordPress Site Builder Plugin Accused Of Adding A “Backdoor”

WordPress developer of a Bricks site builder add-on accused of inserting a “backdoor” that blocks posts created with pirated versions

 

A widely used add-on plugin for a popular WordPress site builder installed an anti-piracy script that essentially unpublishes all posts. WordPress developers are livid, with some calling the script a malware, a backdoor,  and a violation of laws.

 

BricksUltimate Add-On For Bricks Builder

 

Bricks site builder is a site building platform for WordPress that is wildly popular with web developers who cite the intuitive user interface, the class-based CSS and the clean high performance HTML code it generates as features that elevate over many other site builders. What sets this site builder apart is that it’s created for developers who have advanced skills, which enables them to create virtually anything they want without having to fight against built-in code that’s created by typical drag and drop site builders that are meant for non-developers.

 

A benefit of the Bricks site builder is that there’s a community of third-party plugin developers that extends the power of Bricks to make it faster to add more website features.

 

BricksUltimate Addon for Bricks Builder is a third-party plugin that makes it easy to add features like breadcrumbs, animated menus, accordion menus, star ratings and other interactive on-page elements.

 

It is this plugin that has stirred up controversy in the WordPress developer community by adding anti-piracy elements that many in the WordPress community feel is a “very bad practice” and others referring to it as “malware”.

 

BricksUltimate Anti-Piracy Measures

 

What is causing the controversy appears to be a script that checks for a valid license. It is unclear exactly what is installed, but according to a developer who examined the plugin code there appears to be a script installed that is designed to hide all posts across the entire website if it detects a pirated copy of the plugin (more about this below).

 

Developer Backtracks On Anti-Piracy Measure

The developer may have read the room and seen that the move was highly unpopular. They said they had reversed course on taking action.

 

Backdoors Can Lead To Fines And Prison

 

Wordfence recently published an article about backdoors left by developers that intentionally interfere with or damage a website by publishers who owe them money.

 

Fighting piracy is a legitimate issue. But it’s a little more difficult in the WordPress community because WordPress licensing specifies that everything created with WordPress must be released with an open source license.

 

The developer of a popular WordPress site builder plugin called BricksUltimate Add-On is facing allegations of including a “backdoor” that blocks posts created with pirated versions. This controversial addition has caused uproar among WordPress developers, with some condemning it as malware, a backdoor, and a violation of laws.

 

Bricks site builder is widely used by web developers due to its intuitive user interface, class-based CSS, and clean HTML code, which sets it apart from other drag-and-drop builders. One of its advantages is the availability of third-party plugins that extend its functionality.

 

The BricksUltimate Addon is one such plugin, offering features like breadcrumbs, animated menus, accordion menus, star ratings, and other interactive elements. However, the plugin’s inclusion of anti-piracy measures has sparked controversy within the WordPress community, with many considering it an unethical practice or even malware.

 

The contentious element appears to be a script that checks for a valid license. Although the exact details are unclear, a developer who examined the plugin’s code discovered a script that hides all posts on a website if it detects a pirated copy of the plugin.

 

In response to the backlash, the developer has backtracked on their anti-piracy measure, possibly realizing the negative sentiment surrounding it.

 

Backdoors in website development can lead to legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. Wordfence, a security company, recently published an article highlighting the risks of backdoors intentionally placed by developers to manipulate or harm websites owned by individuals who owe them money.

 

Fighting piracy is a legitimate concern, but it poses unique challenges within the WordPress community. WordPress licensing mandates that everything created with the platform must be released with an open-source license.

 

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