In the ever-evolving landscape of web security, vulnerabilities in popular plugins can have far-reaching consequences. One such vulnerability, identified as CVE-2024-4305, affects the PostX plugin for WordPress, which boasts a substantial user base. This article delves into the specifics of this stored cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability, highlighting the risks it poses, how it was discovered, and measures to mitigate its impact.

CVECVE-2024-4305
PluginPostX < 4.1.0
CriticalHigh
All Time1 643 123
Active installations40 000+
Publicly PublishedMay 31, 2024
Last UpdatedMay 31, 2024
ResearcherDmitrii Ignatyev
OWASP TOP-10A7: Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
PoCYes
ExploitNo
Reference https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2024-4305/
https://wpscan.com/vulnerability/635be98d-4c17-4e75-871f-9794d85a2eb1/
Plugin Security Certification by CleanTalk
Logo of the plugin

Timeline

April 26, 2024Plugin testing and vulnerability detection in the PostX have been completed
April 26, 2024I contacted the author of the plugin and provided a vulnerability PoC with a description and recommendations for fixing
May 23, 2024Registered CVE-2024-4305

Discovery of the Vulnerability

The vulnerability in question was uncovered during a routine security audit of the PostX plugin. The flaw was identified in a feature that allows contributors to create new posts. By embedding malicious JavaScript code within these posts, an attacker could potentially escalate their privileges, leading to the creation of an admin account. This discovery underscores the importance of thorough security testing, especially in plugins with widespread usage.

Understanding of Stored XSS attack’s

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a common vulnerability that occurs when web applications allow users to inject malicious scripts into content that is then viewed by other users. In the context of WordPress, XSS vulnerabilities can be particularly dangerous, given the platform’s extensive use and the potential for attackers to compromise high-privilege accounts.

Real-world examples of XSS attacks often involve attackers injecting scripts into comments, posts, or user profiles. These scripts can steal cookies, redirect users to malicious sites, or, as in the case of CVE-2024-4305, escalate privileges by creating new admin accounts.

Exploiting the Stored XSS Vulnerability

To exploit the vulnerability in the PostX plugin, an attacker would need to be a contributor to the site. They could then create a new post containing the following payload:

POC:

Create a new Post with this content:<!– wp:ultimate-post/post-grid-3 {\”blockId\”:\”d57ca5\”,\”currentPostId\”:\”2198\”,\”filterShow\”:true,\”paginationShow\”:true,\”readMore\”:true,\”contentTag\”:\”section\”,\”openInTab\”:true,\”headingText\”:\”123\”,\”headingURL\”:\”123\”,\”headingTag\”:\”h5\”,\”titleTag\”:\”h6\”,\”metaMinText\”:\”123\”,\”metaAuthorPrefix\”:\”123\”,\”fallbackImg\”:{\”url\”:\”123\”,\”id\”:99999},\”readMoreText\”:\”123\”,\”filterText\”:\”123\”,\”filterMobileText\”:\”123\\u0022onmouseover=’alert(1)’\”,\”loadMoreText\”:\”123\”} /–>

____

The primary risk associated with this vulnerability is the potential for privilege escalation. An attacker with contributor-level access could exploit the XSS flaw to create an admin account, gaining full control over the WordPress site. This could lead to various malicious activities, including data theft, defacement, or further exploitation of the site’s resources.

In real-world scenarios, such a vulnerability could be used to compromise high-profile websites, leading to significant reputational damage and financial loss. Attackers could also use the compromised sites as a launchpad for broader campaigns, affecting even more users.

Recommendations for Improved Security

To mitigate the risks associated with CVE-2024-4305, several steps can be taken:

  1. Update the Plugin: Ensure that the PostX plugin is updated to the latest version, which should include patches for the identified vulnerability.
  2. Input Validation and Sanitization: Developers should implement robust input validation and sanitization to prevent the injection of malicious scripts.
  3. Least Privilege Principle: Limit the permissions of user roles. Contributors should not have capabilities that could be exploited to escalate privileges.
  4. Security Audits: Regular security audits and code reviews can help identify and address vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  5. User Training: Educate users about the risks of XSS and how to avoid creating or exposing vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, CVE-2024-4305 serves as a stark reminder of the importance of security in web development. By understanding and addressing such vulnerabilities, we can protect our sites and users from malicious attacks.

By taking proactive measures to address Stored XSS vulnerabilities like CVE-2024-4305, WordPress website owners can enhance their security posture and safeguard against potential exploitation. Stay vigilant, stay secure.

#WordPressSecurity #StoredXSS #WebsiteSafety #StayProtected #VeryHighVulnerability

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CVE-2024-4305 – PostX – Stored XSS to Admin Account Creation (Contributor+) – POC

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