Over the course of one week I had the opportunity to audit two hacked WordPress websites. I could quickly discover two vulnerabilities: a Cross Site Scripting, or XSS, in a premium WordPress theme Akal, and a Denial-of-Service in an undisclosed newsletter plugin. This post describes the Akal premium WordPress theme XSS vulnerability.
Marcin Probola conducted a PHP static code analysis of the top ~1000 WordPress plugins, and the results showed 103 plugins were vulnerable to at least one vulnerability type (XSS, SQL injection). This is roughly 10 percent! Marcin Probola writes that scanning results were manually verified in his spare time and delivered to official email@example.com from 04.07.2015 to 31.08.2015. Most of reported plugins are already patched, some are not. Vulnerable and not patched plugins are already removed from official wordpress plugin repository.
TheCartPress eCommerce Shopping Cart – a popular WordPress e-commerce plugin that is actively used on over 5,000 websites – contains high-risk vulnerabilities that can be exploited to compromise customers’ data, execute arbitrary PHP code, and perform Cross-Site Scripting attacks against users of WordPress installations, claim High-Tech Bridge researchers. Users are advised to disable or remove the plugin.
Where the Vevida Optimizer WordPress plugin kept plugins on all my WordPress sites up-to-date: Sucuri reports that multiple WordPress plugins are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS) due to the misuse of the
remove_query_arg() functions. These are popular functions used by developers to modify and add query strings to URLs within WordPress. If you haven’t configured automatic updates for WordPress plugins, please update NOW!
prettyPhoto DOM based XSS on Saotn.org… This evening, after tweeting about preventing cross site scripting vulnerabilities, I received a reply from Olivier Beg. His reply to my tweet contained an image, as you can see above. He alerted me that Saotn.org was vulnerable to a DOM based XSS vulnerability, hidden in prettyPhoto used by my WordPress theme. Whoops! So, I had work to do! But, what is prettyPhoto and what exactly is a DOM based XSS?
Finbar Ryan writes in his blog post Asp.Net Application Security: “I was recently helping a colleague with a customer who was running a security check against their IIS Server on Windows Server 2008. The security tool they used highlighted that the server was running Asp.Net and might be vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks. The Asp.Net engine does validate every request that comes in. We do however recommend that you still ensure your application is not susceptible to the scripting attacks that are out there…
Defend Against Cross-Site Scripting Using The HTML Encode Shortcuts. The .NET 4.0 & 4.5 frameworks introduced new syntax shortcuts to HTML encode dynamic content being rendered to the browser. These shortcuts provide an easy way to protect against Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks in the newer versions of the .NET framework.
.htaccess to secure your website
In this post I’ll show you a couple of snippets to use .htaccess as a Web Application Firewall (WAF) for your website. You can use these snippets to block out exploit- and rogue HTTP requests, to secure your website.