WordPress 4.2 - Persistent Cross-Site Scripting

EDB-ID:

36844

Author:

klikki

Type:

webapps

Platform:

PHP

Published:

2015-04-27

Source: http://klikki.fi/adv/wordpress2.html


## Overview
Current versions of WordPress are vulnerable to a stored XSS.  An unauthenticated attacker can inject JavaScript in 
WordPress comments. The script is triggered when the comment is viewed.

If triggered by a logged-in administrator, under default settings the attacker can leverage the vulnerability to 
execute arbitrary code on the server via the plugin and theme editors.

Alternatively the attacker could change the administrator’s password, create new administrator accounts, 
or do whatever else the currently logged-in administrator can do on the target system.



## Details
If the comment text is long enough, it will be truncated when inserted in the database. 
The MySQL TEXT type size limit is 64 kilobytes, so the comment has to be quite long.

The truncation results in malformed HTML generated on the page. 
The attacker can supply any attributes in the allowed HTML tags, in the same way 
as with the two recently published stored XSS vulnerabilities affecting the WordPress core.

The vulnerability bears a similarity to the one reported by Cedric Van Bockhaven in 
2014 (patched this week, after 14 months). Instead of using an invalid character to truncate 
the comment, this time an excessively long comment is used for the same effect.

In these two cases, the injected JavaScript apparently can't be triggered in the 
administrative Dashboard so these exploits seem to require getting around comment 
moderation e.g. by posting one harmless comment first.

The similar vulnerability released by Klikki in November 2014 could be exploited in the 
administrative Dashboard while the comment is still in the moderation queue. Some 
exploit attempts of this have been recently reported in the wild.



## Proof of Concept
Enter as a comment text:

  <a title='x onmouseover=alert(unescape(/hello%20world/.source)) style=position:absolute;left:0;top:0;width:5000px;height:5000px  AAAAAAAAAAAA...[64 kb]..AAA'></a>

Confirmed vulnerable: WordPress 4.2, 4.1.2, 4.1.1, 3.9.3. 
Tested with MySQL versions 5.1.53 and 5.5.41.



## Demo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCqQZJZ1Ie4