Multiple Vulnerabilities Discovered in WordPress Content Management System

ITS Advisory Number: 
2014-036
Date(s) Issued: 
Monday, April 14, 2014
Subject: 
Multiple Vulnerabilities Discovered in WordPress Content Management System
Overview: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in WordPress CMS which could allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) for websites. Successful exploitation of the vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining un-authorized access, bypassing security restrictions, injecting scripts or HTML, and stealing cookies. Depending on the privileges gained, an attacker could install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • WordPress 3.7.1
  • WordPress 3.8 and 3.8.1
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
High
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
High
Home Users: 
HIGH (If running WordPress from a home server)
Description: 

Three vulnerabilities have been identified in WordPress CMS that could allow for an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow the attacker to bypass certain security restrictions, gain unauthorized access, run malicious HTML and script codes or steal cookie-based authentication credentials. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

WordPress has released WordPress 3.8.2, which corrects this issue.

Actions: 
  • Update vulnerable systems running WordPress immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Review and follow WordPress hardening guidelines - http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress
  • Confirm that the operating system and all other applications on the system running this CMS are updated with the most recent patches.
  • Deploy NIDS to detect and block attacks and anomalous activity such as crafted requests containing suspicious URI sequences.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.

References: 
WordPress:
http://wordpress.org/news/2014/04/wordpress-3-8-2/
SecurityFocus:
http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/66765
CVE:
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-0165
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-0166