Tag Archives: arbitrary file upload

Autoptimize <2.7.7 security vulnerabilities debrief

screenshot of the arbitrary file upload fix on github. quite happy with my work thereWith Autoptimize 2.7.7 released on August the 23rd and having been pushed to all sites that were still on 2.7.0-2.7.6 by the WordPress plugins team on Aug. 30th and 31th, resulting in just under one million downloads in 8 days time, it is now the moment for a small debrief of the security issues that were fixed in this version.

2.7.7 fixed two vulnerabilities, one authenticated cross-site scripting and one arbitrary file upload.

  1. XSS:
    1. Problem: administrator users were able leave JavaScript in the exclusion-fields for CSS and JS optimization, leading that JS to be executed when the page was (re-)loaded.
    2. Risk: This could be abused by one administrator to execute JS against another administrator.
    3. Solution: This was fixed by applying esc_html (to become esc_attr in the next version as suggested by George Stephanis) to escape the JS-code and avoid it getting executed.
  2. Arbitrary File Upload:
    1. Problem: the code that processes Critical CSS settings imports did insufficient checks to ensure no malicious files were uploaded as it lacked a user capability check, did not check file extension of to uploaded file to be zip and did not check the contents of the zip-file. It did however check for a correct nonce for that specific action.
    2. Risk: this could lead to authenticated attackers uploading PHP-files that could be executed, but that risk was very much limited by the nonce-check (which all exploits I have seen happily ignore).
    3. Solution: the code has been updated to do a capability check, to make sure the file uploaded is a zip-file and most importantly to delete any unknown file found immediately after unzipping (based on an list of known-good files).

A big thank you to the two security researchers (Erin Germ for the XSS and an anonymous whitehatter for the file upload problem) who reported these vulnerabilities in a responsible manner and to the WordPress plugin team for their invaluable help in keeping our users safe.