In our quest for a secure WordPress environment, a significant discovery has emerged. The POEditor plugin, a powerful translation tool, harbors a critical vulnerability. Prior to version 0.9.8, the absence of Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) protection has exposed the plugin to potential manipulation by attackers.
|Publicly Published||August 7, 2023|
|Last Updated||August 7, 2023|
|OWASP TOP-10||A2: Broken Authentication and Session Management|
|Exploit||Will be later|
|Plugin Security Certification by CleanTalk|
|July 14, 2023||Plugin testing and vulnerability detection in the POEditor plugin have been completed|
|July 14, 2023||I contacted the author of the plugin and provided a vulnerability PoC with a description and recommendations for fixing|
|August 3, 2023||The author has released a fix update|
|August 7, 2023||Registered CVE-2023-4209|
Discovery of the Vulnerability
During a comprehensive assessment of the POEditor plugin for WordPress, a medium vulnerability was uncovered. Versions prior to 0.9.8 lack Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) checks in various critical areas. This oversight could potentially enable attackers to exploit logged-in administrator accounts, leading to unwanted actions, including the resetting of the plugin’s settings and unauthorized updates to its API key through CSRF attacks.
Understanding of CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) attack’s
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is a type of attack where an attacker tricks a user into performing actions they didn’t intend to, often in the context of an authenticated session. In the case of the POEditor plugin, the absence of CSRF checks exposes administrators to potential manipulation by malicious actors who can initiate actions without their knowledge.
Exploiting the CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) vulnerability
By exploiting the lack of CSRF protection, attackers can create scenarios where logged-in administrators unwittingly trigger actions on the POEditor plugin. Through carefully crafted links or malicious code on websites, attackers can remotely reset the plugin’s settings and alter its API key, ultimately compromising the plugin’s functionality.
POC html code:
<script>history.pushState(”, ”, ‘/’)</script>
<input type=”hidden” name=”page” value=”poeditor” />
<input type=”hidden” name=”do” value=”clean” />
<input type=”submit” value=”Submit request” />
Potential Risks and Real-World Impact
The CSRF vulnerability in the POEditor plugin presents several potential risks and scenarios:
- Plugin Functionality Disruption:
Attackers can render the plugin non-functional by resetting its settings and invalidating its API key, causing site administrators to lose valuable translation management capabilities.
- Unauthorized Data Access:
Malicious actors could exploit CSRF attacks to gain unauthorized access to sensitive translation-related data, potentially exposing private information.
- Manipulation of Plugin Behavior:
Attackers might tamper with the plugin’s settings or configuration, leading to erratic behavior or undermining the intended functionality of the plugin.
Recommendations for Improved Security
To mitigate the risks associated with this vulnerability and enhance overall security, the following measures are strongly advised:
- Update the Plugin:
Promptly update the POEditor plugin to version 0.9.8 or higher, ensuring that the vulnerability is patched.
- Implement CSRF Protection:
Developers should incorporate robust CSRF protection mechanisms, such as nonces or token-based authentication, to prevent unauthorized actions.
- Regular Security Audits:
Conduct regular security assessments and penetration tests on WordPress installations to identify and remediate potential vulnerabilities proactively.
- User Awareness:
Educate administrators about the risks of clicking on unknown links or visiting suspicious websites, emphasizing the importance of vigilance.
By addressing the CSRF vulnerability in the POEditor plugin and adhering to these security recommendations, website owners can fortify their translation management system, prevent unauthorized actions, and maintain a secure and functional WordPress environment.
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