The WordPress team just pushed out a new version of WordPress. WordPress 3.6.1 is a maintenance release that includes some security bug fixes. Straight from their release post, these are the security changes:
- Block unsafe PHP unserialization that could occur in limited situations and setups, which can lead to remote code execution. Reported by Tom Van Goethem.
- Prevent a user with an Author role, using a specially crafted request, from being able to create a post “written by” another user. Reported by Anakorn Kyavatanakij.
- Fix insufficient input validation that could result in redirecting or leading a user to another website. Reported by Dave Cummo, a Northrup Grumman subcontractor for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We asked WordPress Lead Developer, Andrew Nacin for a bit of clarity around the author role issue that was fixed, here’s what Andrew said:
A user can reassign the authorship of a post to another user, even when they are not allowed to do so. (For example, the user is an Author and not an Editor.) The user must already be allowed to edit content — and specifically edit that post. They also then lose the ability to edit that post, but this “forging” could still cause a compromised account or malicious user to post as another user.
In closing the conversation with Andrew, he remarked that WordPress is not vulnerable to the remote code execution issue by default:
I’ll emphasize that WordPress is *NOT* exploitable to the RCE out of the box, despite it being a doozy. It requires a vulnerable object (which core does not have), as well as a vulnerable character set. It is a “perfect storm” vulnerability.