01 Sep

What Happened With WordPress Plugin Vulnerabilities in August 2017

If you want the best information and therefore best protection against vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins we provide you that through our service.

Here is what we did to keep those are already using our service secure from WordPress plugin vulnerabilities during August (and what you have been missing out on if you haven’t signed up yet):

Plugin Security Reviews

Customers of the service can suggest and vote on plugins to have a security review done by us. This month we released details for a review of:

We don’t currently have any more plugins queue up for a review, so if you sign up now for the service, a plugin you suggest could be reviewed right away.

Plugin Vulnerabilities We Discovered and Publicly Disclosed This Month

We don’t just collect data on vulnerabilities in plugins that others have discovered, we also discover vulnerabilities through proactive monitoring of changes made to plugins, monitoring hackers activity, reviewing other vulnerabilities, and by doing additional checking on the security of plugins.

This month the most concerning vulnerability is a PHP object injection vulnerability in WP Smart Security, since that type of vulnerability is likely to be exploited and the vulnerability hasn’t been fixed yet.

Plugin Vulnerabilities We Helped Get Fixed This Month

Letting you know that you are using a vulnerable version of plugin is useful, but it is much more useful if you can fully protect yourself by simple updating to a new version. So we work with plugin developers to make sure that vulnerabilities get fixed. This month we helped to get vulnerabilities fixed in plugins that have 177,800+ active installs:

Plugin Vulnerabilities Added This Month That Are In The Current Version of the Plugins

Keeping your plugins up to date isn’t enough to keep you secure as these vulnerabilities in the current versions of plugins show:

Additional Vulnerabilities Added This Month

As usual, there were plenty of other vulnerabilities that we added to our data during the month. Most of the new vulnerabilities that were fixed this month are relatively minor.

28 Aug

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)/PHP Object Injection Vulnerability in Jayj Quicktag

We recently found that the plugin Jayj Quicktag contained a cross-site request forgery (CSRF)/PHP object injection vulnerability.

The plugin’s settings page is generated with the function jayj_quicktag_options_page() in the file /jayj-quicktag.php. In that file if the POST input “jayj-quicktag-import-save” exists then the maybe_unserialize() function will be run on the POST input “jayj-quicktag-import”, which permits PHP object injection to occur:

if ( isset( $_POST['jayj-quicktag-import-save'] ) ) :
	$options = get_option( 'jayj_qt_settings' );
	$data = maybe_unserialize( stripslashes_deep( $_POST['jayj-quicktag-import'] ) );

Access to the settings page is limited to users with the “manage_options” capability, which would normally only be Administrator-level users and therefore this would not be a vulnerability on its own since they would normally be able to do anything that could be accomplished through PHP object injection. Because there was not protection against cross-site request forgery (CSRF) an attacker could cause an administrator to cause PHP object injection without them intending it, which would be a vulnerability.

After we notified the developer, they released version 1.3.2, which fixes the vulnerability by replacing serialization/unserialization with JSON encoding/decoding and by using a nonce to prevent CSRF.

Proof of Concept

With our plugin for testing for PHP object injection installed and activated, the following proof of concept will cause the message “PHP object injection has occurred.” to be shown, when logged in as an Administrator.

Make sure to replace “[path to WordPress]” with the location of WordPress.

<form action="http://[path to WordPress]/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=jayj-quicktag%2Fjayj-quicktag.php" method="POST">
<input type="hidden" name="jayj-quicktag-import-save" value="" />
<input type="hidden" name="jayj-quicktag-import" value='O:20:"php_object_injection":0:{}' />
<input type="submit" value="Submit" />


  • August 25, 2017 – Developer notified.
  • August 27, 2017 – Developer responds.
  • August 28, 2017 – Version 1.3.2 released, which fixes vulnerability.