When it comes to the very poor state of the security industry one thing that continually stands out to us is how often it is that security companies don’t make it that hard to realize they are not in fact doing the things they claim. Unfortunately security journalists and others continually ignore that, which is making the security of every website worse off with no positive benefit for anyone other than security companies cutting corners.
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Earlier this week we discussed an incorrect belief that WordPress plugins that are monetized will have any discovered security issues quickly fixed, which led to the suggestion that you should only use monetized plugins. That is far from the only time we have seen advice on choosing plugins to use with an emphasis on security that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Another one out there is that popular plugins are somehow more secure. The reality is that we haven’t seen any evidence presented that would back up there is a correlation between popularity and security. About the closest we can think of is that it does appear that people looking for vulnerabilities for non-malicious purposes (whether they be security researchers or security companies interested in publicity) are more likely to look at more popular plugins. That seems to be at least partly due to the fact that security journalist are more likely to cover very minor vulnerabilities that have been fixed in popular plugins than unfixed vulnerabilities that are being exploited in less popular plugins, despite the latter being much more important to cover.
We recently went to a take a look at the details of a reflected cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability that had been disclosed in the plugin Duplicate Page we noticed that it also had a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability. After that we remember that a similar plugin Duplicate Post had previously had a vulnerability that allowed lower level users to get access to password protected posts by duplicating them that was in part due to a lack of protection against CSRF and we then went to check if that was issue with that plugin as well. We found that it was possible.
While looking into the details of a reflected cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the plugin Duplicate Page we noticed that there was no protection against cross-site request forgery (CSRF) when using the plugin’s functionality, duplicating a post or page.
This post provides the details of a vulnerability in the WordPress plugin Duplicate Page not discovered by us, where the discoverer hadn’t provided the details needed for us to confirm the vulnerability while we were adding it to the data set for our service, so its contents are limited to subscribers of our service. If you are not currently a subscriber, you can try out the service for free and then you can view the contents of the post. There are a lot of other reason that you will want to sign up beyond access to posts like this one, including that you would have already been warned about this vulnerability if your website was vulnerable due to it.