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Critical XSS Flaw Patched in Jetpack WordPress Plugin

5/10/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


The developers of the popular Jetpack plugin for WordPress have patched a critical vulnerability that allows malicious actors to attack website administrators.

Jetpack, a plugin with more than one million active installs, provides WordPress website administrators tools needed for customization, security, traffic, and performance.

According to Sucuri, Jetpack 3.7 and earlier are plagued by a stored cross-site scripting(XSS) vulnerability that affects the plugin’s contact form module, which is activated by default.

An attacker can exploit the vulnerability by entering malicious JavaScript code into the email address field of the targeted website’s contact form.

“As the email is not sanitized properly before being output on the ‘Feedback’ administrative section, the attacker could use this bug and a bit of web browser hackery to execute JavaScript code on the administrator’s end, allowing them to do whatever they wants with the site (hiding a backdoor for future exploitation of the hacked site, injecting SEO spam, etc.),” Sucuri vulnerability researcher Marc-Alexandre Montpas explained in a blog post.

Montpas has pointed out that Jetpack uses some filters and functions to sanitize email addresses and ensure that they are valid. However, experts have managed to bypass the constraints by leveraging various tricks, such as inserting slashes between attributes and replacing semicolons with the equivalent HTML decimal code (&#59).

Sucuri noted that unlike the less dangerous reflected XSS, which requires the attacker to trick the victim into clicking on a specially crafted link, stored XSS flaws are far more serious since they allow the attacker to insert malicious code into the targeted website and the code gets executed as soon as a user visits the page containing it.

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Montash is a multi-award winning global technology recruitment business. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments across a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

ERP Recruitment, BI & Data Recruitment, Information Security Recruitment, Enterprise Architecture & Strategy Recruitment , Energy Technology Recruitment, Demand IT and Business Engagement Recruitment, Digital and E-commerce Recruitment, Leadership Talent, Infrastructure and Service Delivery Recruitment, Project and Programme Delivery Recruitment.

Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid-management in permanent and contract roles.

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