Discontinued WordPress Plugin Flaw Exposes Websites to Attacks

A critical vulnerability was discovered in two plugins developed by miniOrange.

The affected plugins, miniOrange’s Malware Scanner and Web Application Firewall, contained a severe privilege escalation flaw that could allow unauthenticated attackers to gain administrative access to WordPress sites.

This discovery underscores website administrators’ ongoing risks and challenges in securing their digital assets against sophisticated cyber threats.

The core of the issue lies in a privilege escalation vulnerability identified under the CVE ID CVE-2024-2172. It has a CVSS score of 9.8, indicating a critical level of severity.


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This flaw was present in versions up to and including 4.7.2 of the Malware Scanner plugin and 2.1.1 of the Web Application Firewall plugin.

The vulnerability allowed unauthenticated individuals to escalate their privileges to that of an administrator by updating the user password through a missing capability check in the mo_wpns_init() function.

Discovery and Response

The vulnerability was discovered by a researcher named Stiofan, who reported it through the Wordfence Bug Bounty Program during their second Bug Bounty Extravaganza on March 1, 2024.

Wordfence, a leading provider of WordPress security solutions, confirmed the flaw and identified that it also affected the miniOrange’s Web Application Firewall plugin.

In recognition of the discovery, Stiofan was awarded a bounty of $1,250.00.

Wordfence acted swiftly to mitigate the risk posed by this vulnerability.

On March 4, 2024, Premium, Care, and Response users of Wordfence received a firewall rule to protect against exploits targeting this flaw.

Users of the accessible version of Wordfence were scheduled to receive the same protection on April 3, 2024.

Upon notification of the vulnerability, miniOrange responded by permanently closing the affected plugins on March 7, 2024, leaving no patch or update available for users.

This drastic measure highlights the severity of the vulnerability and the potential risks to WordPress sites if left unaddressed.

This incident is a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining up-to-date security measures for WordPress sites.

Website administrators are urged to delete the affected miniOrange plugins from their sites immediately and seek alternative solutions to ensure their digital assets remain secure.

Collaborative Efforts in Cybersecurity

The discovery and resolution of this vulnerability demonstrate the critical role of bug bounty programs and collaborative efforts between security researchers and plugin developers in identifying and mitigating security risks.

The Wordfence Bug Bounty Program, in particular, has proven invaluable in securing the WordPress ecosystem by encouraging researchers to report vulnerabilities responsibly.

The discontinuation of miniOrange’s Malware Scanner and Web Application Firewall plugins after discovering a critical privilege escalation vulnerability is a cautionary tale for the WordPress community.

It underscores the need for continuous vigilance, timely updates, and collaborative security efforts to protect against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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