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WordPress Yoast SEO Cross Site Scripting

WordPress Yoast SEO Cross Site Scripting
Posted Nov 22, 2017
Authored by Dimopoulos Elias

WordPress Yoast SEO plugin versions prior to 5.8.0 suffer from a cross site scripting vulnerability.

tags | exploit, xss
advisories | CVE-2017-16842
MD5 | 978116d3607766290b34a2d7a3aed0e2

WordPress Yoast SEO Cross Site Scripting

Change Mirror Download
Discoverer:             Elias Dimopoulos
Linkedin: https://gr.linkedin.com/in/dimopouloselias

Vulnerability: Reflected XSS
Affected plugin: Yoast SEO plugin < 5.8.0
Active installations: 5+ million
URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/#developers

Assigned CVE: CVE-2017-16842

-----------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Yoast for their immediate response.
-----------------------------------------------------------


The vulnerability lies in the "tab" parameter and can cause reflected
XSS vulnerability.

The vulnerability can be exploited against an administrator by using the
following url:

http://victim/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wpseo_search_console&tab=settings'><script>alert(window.location)</script><!--

The victim has to have a valid profile under
http://victim/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wpseo_search_console&tab=settings
(example: profile.png)
If there is the message "No profiles found" under the above link, the
plugin has not finished with the configuration and the vulnerability
cannot be exploited.

A logged in Administrator, who will click on the above link, he will
receive an alert box with the value of "window.location".

In this case, the javascript code is just an alert box, however any kind
of malicious javascript code can be used.

Reproduce:

1. Login to your wordpress as an admin.
2. Ensure that a valid profile has been configured under
http://victim/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wpseo_search_console&tab=settings
(example: profile.png)
3. Access the following link:

http://victim/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wpseo_search_console&tab=settings'><script>alert(window.location)</script><!--

4. The alert box should be executed.

The vulnerability has been tested against:

* Yoast SEO Version: 5.7.1
* WordPress 4.8.3 running Twenty Seventeen theme.
* Firefox 56.0 (64-bit) - Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu canonical - 1.0


I also tried to track down the issue in the source code:

file: admin/google_search_console/class-gsc-platform-tabs.php:

70 private function set_current_tab( array $platforms ) {
71 $this->current_tab = key( $platforms );
72 if ( $current_platform = filter_input( INPUT_GET,
'tab' ) ) {
73 $this->current_tab = $current_platform;
74 }
75 }

file: wordpress-seo/admin/google_search_console/class-gsc-table.php:

361 echo "<input id='field_platform' type='hidden' name='platform'
value='{$platform}' />";

the filter_input function has the following definition:

mixed filter_input ( int $type , string $variable_name [, int $filter =
FILTER_DEFAULT [, mixed $options ]] )

If filter is omitted like in the code above, FILTER_DEFAULT will be
used, which is equivalent to FILTER_UNSAFE_RAW. This will result in no
filtering taking place by default. (ref:
http://php.net/manual/en/function.filter-input.php)

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