WordPress Plugin Vulnerability Report – Comments – wpDiscuz – Unauthenticated SQL Injection

Plugin Name: Comments – wpDiscuz

Key Information:

  • Software Type: Plugin
  • Software Slug: wpdiscuz
  • Software Status: Active
  • Software Author: advancedcoding
  • Software Downloads: 2,865,421
  • Active Installs: 80,000
  • Last Updated: September 18, 2023
  • Patched Versions: 7.6.6
  • Affected Versions: <=7.6.5

Vulnerability Details:

  • Name: wpDiscuz <= 7.6.5 - Unauthenticated SQL Injection
  • Type: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an SQL Command ('SQL Injection')
  • CVE: NA
  • CVSS Score: 8.8 (high)
  • Publicly Published: September 18, 2023
  • Researcher: NA
  • Description: The wpDiscuz plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to SQL Injection via the 'visibleCommentIds' parameter in versions up to, and including, 7.6.5 due to insufficient escaping on the user-supplied parameter and a lack of sufficient preparation on the existing SQL query. This makes it possible for unauthenticated attackers to append additional SQL queries into already existing queries that can be used to extract sensitive information from the database. This requires the 'Live Update' functionality to be enabled for subscriber+ exploitation, and the 'Enable Live Update for Guests' setting enabled for unauthenticated exploitation.

Summary: The wpDiscuz plugin for WordPress has a vulnerability in versions up to and including 7.6.5 that allows unauthenticated SQL Injection attacks via the 'visibleCommentIds' parameter. This vulnerability has been patched in version 7.6.6.

Detailed Overview: The wpDiscuz plugin vulnerability, titled "Unauthenticated SQL Injection," poses a significant risk to WordPress websites using affected versions. This vulnerability allows attackers to manipulate SQL queries, potentially leading to data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information within the WordPress database.

The vulnerability primarily stems from insufficient validation of user-supplied data in the 'visibleCommentIds' parameter. Attackers can exploit this weakness to inject malicious SQL commands into existing queries, opening the door to data extraction and potential compromise of the website.

The severity of this vulnerability is reflected in its CVSS Score of 8.8 (high), making it crucial for site administrators to take immediate action.

Advice for Users:

  • Immediate Action: Site administrators are strongly advised to update the wpDiscuz plugin to the patched version 7.6.6 or later immediately.
  • Check for Signs of Vulnerability: Monitor your website for any unusual activities or data breaches, as exploitation of this vulnerability could compromise sensitive information.
  • Alternate Plugins: While a patch is available, users might still consider alternative plugins that offer similar functionality as an added precaution.
  • Stay Updated: Regularly update all WordPress plugins to their latest versions to minimize the risk of vulnerabilities.

Conclusion: The rapid response from the wpDiscuz plugin developers in releasing version 7.6.6 to address the SQL Injection vulnerability underscores the importance of keeping WordPress plugins up to date. Website owners and administrators are strongly encouraged to apply the patch promptly to secure their WordPress installations and protect user data from potential exploitation.


Detailed Report:

Keeping your WordPress website and its plugins up-to-date is one of the most important things you can do as a site owner or administrator. Unfortunately, far too many fall behind on updates, leaving their sites exposed to serious security vulnerabilities. That's exactly what has happened with the popular wpDiscuz comments plugin, which has a high severity SQL injection flaw impacting 80,000+ active installs.

The wpDiscuz plugin, which has over 2.8 million downloads, allows WordPress sites to add interactive comment sections. But versions up to and including 7.6.5 contain an unauthenticated SQL injection vulnerability (CVE-2023-XXXX), allowing attackers to potentially steal data or take over sites.

Specifically, this vulnerability stems from insufficient validation of user-supplied data in the 'visibleCommentIds' parameter. Attackers can exploit this to inject malicious SQL commands into queries, enabling data extraction and compromise. With a severity score of 8.8 out of 10, this is a critical threat.

If exploited, this vulnerability could lead to a range of impacts, including:

  • Data breaches exposing private user information
  • Injection of spam comments or other malicious content
  • Defacement of websites by attackers
  • Installation of backdoors, viruses or other malware

For the 80,000+ active sites still running outdated wpDiscuz versions, the danger is very real. The developer has acted quickly by releasing version 7.6.6 to patch this flaw. Immediate action is required by any site owners using wpDiscuz versions 7.6.5 or lower.

To protect your website, you should:

  • Update wpDiscuz to version 7.6.6 or higher immediately
  • Monitor your site closely for signs of exploitation
  • Consider migrating to alternate plugins for added security

This incident also highlights the broader importance of vigilant security for WordPress sites, especially staying on top of plugin updates. wpDiscuz has had 9 previous vulnerabilities reported since 2016, underscoring the risks of outdated plugins.

For small business owners without the time or expertise to stay on top of security, partnering with a managed WordPress host or web development firm is highly recommended. They can maintain your site's software and plugins, perform security audits, and provide ongoing support.

While threats like this wpDiscuz vulnerability may come and go, the need for robust WordPress security remains constant. Don't let your website be the next target - take action today to lock down vulnerabilities and keep your data safe.

As a business owner, you don't have time to constantly monitor for WordPress vulnerabilities like this. At Your WP Guy, we become your outsourced IT team to handle security, updates, maintenance and support. Let us fully audit your site and plugins to assess any impact from this issue. We'll update everything to patched versions so you can rest easy knowing your site is locked down.

Focus on your business goals while we focus on your WordPress site's security. Chat with us anytime during business hours, schedule a call or call 678-995-5169 for a free consultation on securing your online presence.

WordPress Plugin Vulnerability Report – Comments – wpDiscuz – Unauthenticated SQL Injection FAQs

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