A Vulnerability in WordPress Easy WP SMTP Plugin Could Allow for Remote Code Execution

ITS Advisory Number: 
2019-033
Date(s) Issued: 
Monday, March 25, 2019
Subject: 
A Vulnerability in WordPress Easy WP SMTP Plugin Could Allow for Remote Code Execution
Overview: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in the WordPress Easy WP SMTP Plugin that could allow for remote code execution. WordPress is a web-based publishing application implemented in PHP, and the Easy WP SMTP Plugin allows website administrators to configure an SMTP server for outgoing emails. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow for remote code execution with elevated privileges.

 

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

A Proof-of-Concept has been developed by the researchers who discovered this vulnerability. There are reports of this vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild in March 2019.

Systems Affected: 
  • WordPress Easy WP SMTP Plugin 1.3.9 and potentially prior

RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
Low
Description: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in the WordPress Easy WP SMTP Plugin that could allow for remote code execution. This vulnerability exists because the plugin fails to properly authenticate users accessing the admin_init() function in the easy-wp-smtp.php file. An unauthenticated attacker can exploit this issue by crafting an AJAX request to publicly accessible pages that make use of the code including admin-ajax.php and admin-post.php. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow for remote code execution with elevated privileges. 

Actions: 
  • Verify no unauthorized system modifications have occurred on the system before applying patches.

  • After appropriate testing, immediately apply updates provided by WordPress.

  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.

  • Monitor intrusion detection systems for any signs of anomalous activity.

  • Unless required, limit external network access to affected products.