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OptinMonster < allows execution of arbitrary WordPress shortcodes

OptinMonster is a WordPress plugin/service to collect leads from customers visiting a website. The plugin is free to download from wordpress.org and it claims there are 20,000+ active installs. The service does require a membership, so presumably they have contacted all of their customers to tell them to upgrade.

I discovered an issue that allows any non-authenticated user to execute arbitrary WordPress shortcodes. Generally this type of access is only allowed by users with the ability to edit content on a site. Most of the default shortcodes aren’t very exciting and don’t provide much leverage for an attacker, but many third-party plugins expect that anyone who is able to execute shortcodes has sufficient permission that they don’t need to provide any further security.

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Formidable Forms < 2.0.22 Security Vulnerability

Formidable Forms is a visual form builder WordPress plugin from Strategy 11. The free version has 200,000+ active installs which makes it one of the most popular contact form plugins for WordPress.

I noticed some potential security vulnerabilities in some of the more obscure AJAX actions they make available. Most of the actions are protected by a helpful function FrmAppHelper::permission_check() which checks if a user has the WordPress permission for the action as well as a valid nonce for the action. Kudos on implementing a system that makes it easy to be secure without duplicating code all over the place!

All of the actions uncovered require at least a valid WordPress account, but any account will work. If you are using this plugin, please update immediately.

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Backup Guard < 1.0.3 Logged in users can upload arbitrary files

Backup Guard is one of many WordPress plugins to designed to backup your site. The free version on wordpress.org claims to have 20,000+ active installs, there is no indication of how many installs the non-free version has. After disclosing this information the developer sent me a copy of the paid version, but I have not had time to investigate that code.

As of today, the included ChangeLog still does not have any release notes related to this version and I have not seen any announcements of any security issues.

I noticed several issues related to their handling of AJAX requests. One of them allowed a non-authenticated user to trigger a manual backup. Though by default it uses .htaccess to keep anyone from accessing the backup files directly. With the paid version it might have been possible to pass in a remote location to backup the file to, but I did not have the code available when I did my initial analysis to determine if that was possible.

The other AJAX commands required a valid WordPress account (not just admin), none of the commands did any further authorization so a normal user could do any of the actions. There are lots of actions to choose from, the most interesting to me was ‘backup_guard_importBackup’.

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