WP Dashboard Notes Vulnerability- Missing Authorization to Arbitrary Private Notes Update – CVE-2023-7239 |WordPress Plugin Vulnerability Report

Plugin Name: WP Dashboard Notes

Key Information:

  • Software Type: Plugin
  • Software Slug: wp-dashboard-notes
  • Software Status: Active
  • Software Author: sormano
  • Software Downloads: 176,276
  • Active Installs: 30,000
  • Last Updated: January 30, 2024
  • Patched Versions: 1.0.10
  • Affected Versions: <= 1.0.10

Vulnerability Details:

  • Name: WP Dashboard Notes <= 1.0.10
  • Title: Missing Authorization to Arbitrary Private Notes Update
  • Type: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:L/A:N
  • CVE: CVE-2023-7239
  • CVSS Score: 4.3
  • Publicly Published: January 26, 2024
  • Researcher: Pedro Cuco (Illex)
  • Description: The WP Dashboard Notes plugin is vulnerable to unauthorized data modification due to insufficient permission checks on the wpdn_update_note AJAX action. This flaw allows authenticated users with contributor-level access or higher to alter private notes that were originally created by other users, potentially leading to misinformation or unauthorized data alterations within the WordPress dashboard.


The WP Dashboard Notes plugin, a tool designed for creating and managing notes within the WordPress admin dashboard, contains a significant security vulnerability in all versions up to and including 1.0.10. This vulnerability enables users with contributor-level access to modify private notes without proper authorization, compromising the integrity of note contents. The issue has been addressed in the patched version 1.0.10.

Detailed Overview:

Discovered by security researcher Pedro Cuco (Illex), this vulnerability poses a risk to WordPress sites by allowing low-level users to manipulate dashboard notes—a feature intended for private communication and task management among site administrators and authorized users. The vulnerability stems from a lack of capability checks for actions modifying existing notes, which could be exploited to disseminate false information or disrupt site management processes.

Advice for Users:

  • Immediate Action: Users of the WP Dashboard Notes plugin should verify that they have updated to version 1.0.10, where the vulnerability has been patched. If not already updated, immediate action is recommended to prevent unauthorized note modifications.
  • Check for Signs of Vulnerability: Site administrators should review their dashboard notes for any unauthorized changes that may have occurred before the update and assess other areas of the site for potential security breaches.
  • Alternate Plugins: While the patched version is considered secure, users may explore alternative note-taking plugins with similar functionality as a precautionary measure against future vulnerabilities.
  • Stay Updated: Maintaining the latest versions of all installed plugins, themes, and the WordPress core is crucial in safeguarding against known vulnerabilities and ensuring the security of your WordPress site.


The discovery and subsequent patching of the vulnerability in the WP Dashboard Notes plugin highlight the ongoing challenges and responsibilities of managing a secure WordPress site. By staying vigilant and responsive to updates and security advisories, WordPress administrators can protect their sites from potential threats and maintain a secure environment for their content and users.


In today's digital-first environment, the security of your WordPress website is not just about protecting data—it's about safeguarding your brand's reputation and the trust of your users. The recent discovery of a vulnerability in the WP Dashboard Notes plugin, designated as CVE-2023-7239, casts a spotlight on a critical aspect of digital stewardship: the imperative of regular updates and vigilant security practices. This incident underscores the latent risks in widely used tools and the cascading effects a single oversight can have on your digital ecosystem.

WP Dashboard Notes: A Popular Plugin

The WP Dashboard Notes plugin is an essential tool for many WordPress site administrators, offering a streamlined way to create and manage notes within the admin dashboard. With over 30,000 active installations and a significant number of downloads, its role in facilitating internal communication and task management is undeniable.

Unpacking the Vulnerability: CVE-2023-7239

CVE-2023-7239 reveals a critical flaw in versions of WP Dashboard Notes up to and including 1.0.10, where the plugin fails to adequately check user permissions for note modifications. This gap allows users with basic contributor-level access to alter or delete private notes, potentially leading to misinformation or unauthorized data alterations. The vulnerability, publicly disclosed by researcher Pedro Cuco (Illex) on January 26, 2024, has been addressed in the patched version 1.0.10, highlighting the swift response from the plugin's developers.

Risks and Potential Impacts

The risks associated with this vulnerability extend beyond simple data integrity issues. Unauthorized note modifications could disrupt internal workflows, compromise sensitive information, and, in worst-case scenarios, serve as a vector for more insidious attacks if exploited in conjunction with other vulnerabilities.

Remediation and Preventive Measures

For users of the WP Dashboard Notes plugin, the immediate course of action is to update to the latest version (1.0.10 or higher) to mitigate the vulnerability. Additionally, reviewing dashboard notes for unauthorized changes and conducting a broader security audit of the site can help identify and rectify any potential breaches. Going forward, adopting a proactive stance on updates—across all plugins, themes, and the WordPress core itself—is essential for maintaining a secure digital presence.

The Broader Context of Plugin Vulnerabilities

CVE-2023-7239 is not an isolated incident. The WordPress ecosystem, with its vast array of plugins and themes, is no stranger to security vulnerabilities. Each incident serves as a learning opportunity and a reminder of the dynamic nature of cybersecurity threats.

Conclusion: The Imperative of Vigilance

For small business owners, the challenge of staying abreast of every security update amidst the myriad responsibilities of running a business can be daunting. Yet, the security of your WordPress site is a cornerstone of your digital strategy. Leveraging automated update features, employing reputable security plugins, and occasionally consulting with cybersecurity professionals can help streamline this aspect of your operations. In the realm of digital security, complacency is the enemy; proactive vigilance is your ally in protecting your site, your users, and your brand.

In summary, the CVE-2023-7239 vulnerability in the WP Dashboard Notes plugin serves as a stark reminder of the importance of regular maintenance and security oversight in the digital age. For small business owners, investing time and resources in securing your WordPress site is not just about protecting data—it's about safeguarding the trust and confidence your users place in your digital presence.

Staying Secure

Staying on top of WordPress security can feel overwhelming for small business owners without dedicated IT staff. At Your WP Guy, we exist to shoulder that burden for you. Our WordPress experts can fully audit, secure, maintain and support your site - so you can focus on growing your business with peace of mind.

Don't tackle security risks alone. Let us help you assess any impact from this vulnerability, update your plugins, and implement ongoing maintenance to avoid future threats. We treat your website like it's our own - because we know how critical it is for reaching your customers.

Get in touch for a free consultation today on making WordPress security stress-free. Call 678-995-5169 or book a call here. Our knowledgeable team is ready to help you safeguard your online presence.

WP Dashboard Notes Vulnerability- Missing Authorization to Arbitrary Private Notes Update – CVE-2023-7239 |WordPress Plugin Vulnerability Report FAQs

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