WordPress Plugin Code Snippets Vulnerability Risked Over 200K Websites


Researchers have found another WordPress plugin to be posing a threat to hundreds of thousands of websites. Specifically, they a serious vulnerability in the Code Snippets plugin.

Code Snippets Vulnerability

Reportedly, the team Wordfence has recently discovered a high-severity vulnerability in the WordPress plugin Code Snippets. As revealed through their advisory, there is a CSRF to remote code execution flaw in the plugin. Exploiting the bug could allow an adversary to take control of the target websites.

This is a high severity security issue that could cause complete site takeover, information disclosure, and more.

In brief, the Code Snippets plugin’s import function lacked CSRF protection. This allowed an attacker to craft malicious requests and inject code on the target site.

Although, any codes being imported through the plugin are “disabled” by default. This could ideally have prevented any code execution upon a CSRF attack. However, the researchers found that an adversary could bypass this setting.

An attacker could simply inject an “active” flag with a value of “1” into the JSON body containing the code import details, and the code snippet would be enabled upon import.

The following video demonstrates an attack scenario.

The Developer Patched The Flaws

According to the researchers, the vulnerabilities needed immediate attention owing to their severity and the potential risk to over 200,000 sites, as evident by the number of active installations given on the Plugin web page.

Wordfence found the vulnerabilities on January 23, 2020, after which, they quickly reached the developers. The next day, the developers confirmed the bugs and began working on a fix.

Consequently, on the next day, the developers patched all the flaws with the release of Code Snippets plugin version 2.14.0.

Now, the users must ensure immediately updating their websites with the latest version to avoid any attacks.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.



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Sr. SDET M Mehedi Zaman

Currently working as Sr. SDET at Robi Axiata Limited, a subsidiary of Axiata Group. As a Senior SDET: - Played a key role in introducing Agile Scrum methodology and implementing CI/CD pipeline to ensure quality & timely delivery. - Trained colleagues on emerging technologies, e.g. Apache Spark, Big Data, Hadoop, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, AR, Video Streaming Services Technology, Blockchain, Data Science- Developed a test automation framework for Android and iOS apps - Developed an e2e web automation framework with Pytest - Performed penetration testing of enterprise solutions to ensure security and high availability using Kali, Burp Suite etc. - Learned Gauntlet security testing automation framework and shared the lesson learned in a knowledge sharing session

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