Advisory 01/2007: WordPress CSRF Protection XSS Vulnerability Jan 05 2007 03:13PM
Stefan Esser (sesser hardened-php net)
Hash: SHA1

Hardened-PHP Project

-= Security Advisory =-

Advisory: WordPress CSRF Protection XSS Vulnerability
Release Date: 2007/01/05
Last Modified: 2007/01/05
Author: Stefan Esser [sesser (at) hardened-php (dot) net [email concealed]]

Application: WordPress <= 2.0.5
Severity: The CSRF protection of WordPress's administration
interface is vulnerable to an XSS vulnerability
which might result in a compromise of the admin
account and the execution of arbitrary PHP code
on the server
Risk: Critical
Vendor Status: Vendor has released WordPress 2.0.6 which fixes this issue
References: http://www.hardened-php.net/advisory_012007.140.html


Quote from http://www.wordpress.org
"WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-
architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL
and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of
b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and
development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product.
We hope by focusing on user experience and web standards we can
create a tool different from anything else out there."

While testing WordPress it was discovered that there is a XSS
vulnerability in the CSRF protection of WordPress's administration
interface. This might result in a compromise of the admin account
and might result in the execution of arbitrary PHP code.


The administration interface within WordPress comes with a token
based CSRF protection. When a request is received with an invalid
token it is not discarded like in many similar applications, but
a warning screen is returned that asks the admin to verify the
action by clicking on a link (that contains a valid token).

Unfortunately there was a bug in the way the request information
(URL variables) was put into the new link. Due to this fault it
was possible to break out of the HTML string context by embedding
quotes and HTML tags into the names of URL variables.

Due to this is is possible to launch XSS attacks against admin
users currently logged into their WordPress and perform all possible
administrative actions (or simply steal the login cookie).
Depending on the file permissions on the server (for example a
writeable wp-config.php or template file) this can also be
exploited to execute arbitrary PHP code.

Proof of Concept:

The Hardened-PHP Project is not going to release a proof of concept
exploit for this vulnerability.

Disclosure Timeline:

14. November 2006 - Notified security (at) wordpress (dot) org [email concealed]
05. January 2007 - WordPress 2.0.6 release
05. January 2007 - Public Disclosure


We strongly recommend to upgrade to WordPress 2.0.6 which also
fixes several other security vulnerabilities not covered by this




pub 1024D/0A864AA1 2004-04-17 Hardened-PHP Signature Key
Key fingerprint = 066F A6D0 E57E 9936 9082 7E52 4439 14CC 0A86 4AA1

Copyright 2007 Stefan Esser. All rights reserved.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.3 (GNU/Linux)


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