A critical security vulnerability has been identified in the Debug Log Manager plugin, marked by a missing authorization check during the handling of the action=clear_log method. This lapse in validation opens the door to Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks, providing unauthorized actors with the ability to clear PHP logs in the affected plugin.

Main info:

PluginDebug Log Manager <= 2.2.1
All Time15 995
Active installations2 000+
Publicly PublishedJanuary 20, 2023
Last UpdatedJanuary 20, 2023
ResearcherDmtirii Ignatyev
OWASP TOP-10A2: Broken Authentication and Session Management
Reference https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2023-6136
Plugin Security Certification by CleanTalk


November 22, 2023Plugin testing and vulnerability detection in the Debug Log Manager have been completed
November 22, 2023I contacted the author of the plugin and provided a vulnerability PoC with a description and recommendations for fixing
January 8, 2023The author fixed the vulnerability and released the plugin update
January 20, 2023Registered CVE-2023-6136

Discovery of the Vulnerability

During testing, a CSRF vulnerability was discovered, which leads to clearing PHP logs in the plugin. The action=clear_log method is vulnerable. The plugin author needs to implement the wp_nonce check

Understanding of Missing Authorization attack’s

Missing authorization in WordPress plugins represents a critical security lapse where essential capability checks are absent or insufficient, enabling unauthorized users to perform actions meant for privileged roles. In the context of the Debug Log Manager plugin, the missing authorization is specifically related to the clear_log() function. In a secure implementation, this function should only be accessible to users with the appropriate privileges, typically higher-level roles like administrators.

Real-world examples of missing authorization vulnerabilities often involve scenarios where certain functionalities that should be restricted to administrators or specific user roles are accessible to lower-privileged users. In the case of Debug Log Manager, this means users with roles as low as subscribers can manipulate and potentially clear debug logs, which is a sensitive operation that should be limited to higher-privileged users.

Exploiting the Missing Authorization Vulnerability

Exploiting the missing authorization vulnerability in Debug Log Manager involves leveraging the plugin’s AJAX functionality. Attackers with subscriber-level access or higher can initiate requests to the clear_log() function without the necessary capability checks. This allows them to clear debug logs even though such actions should be restricted to administrators.

The potential impact of exploiting this vulnerability includes unauthorized manipulation of logs, hindering the debugging and diagnostic processes. Moreover, it raises concerns about the integrity and confidentiality of the log data.

Attackers could execute the exploit by crafting a specially designed request or by utilizing existing plugin features that lack proper authorization checks. For instance, a malicious actor with subscriber-level access could manipulate the plugin to perform actions like log clearance, leading to data loss and potential disruption of the site’s normal operation.

Recommendations for Improved Security

  • Implement Capability Checks: Ensure that critical functions, especially those involving data manipulation or potential data loss, perform capability checks to verify that the current user has the necessary privileges.
  • Regular Code Audits: Conduct regular code reviews and security audits to identify and rectify instances of missing authorization or inadequate capability checks.
  • Follow WordPress Coding Standards: Adhere to established coding standards, specifically those related to user capability and privilege checks, as outlined in the WordPress Plugin Handbook.
  • Role-Based Access Control: Implement role-based access control (RBAC) to ensure that each user role has appropriate permissions, restricting access to sensitive functionalities based on roles.

By addressing these recommendations, the Debug Log Manager plugin can fortify itself against unauthorized data manipulation, preserving the confidentiality and integrity of debug logs and enhancing the overall security posture of WordPress installations.

#WordPressSecurity #MissingAuthorization #WebsiteSafety #StayProtected #MediumVulnerability

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CVE-2023-6136 – Debug Log Manager – Missing Authorization (CSRF)

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