TIM’s Red Team Research (RTR) discovered 2 new zero-day vulnerabilities in WordPress Plugin Limit Login Attempts Reloaded

Pierluigi Paganini February 03, 2021

Researchers from TIM’s Red Team Research (RTR) discovered 2 new zero-day vulnerabilities in WordPress Plugin Limit Login Attempts Reloaded

Italy also joins the security bug research, with the Red Team Research laboratory of TIM, an important Italian telecommunications company.

Among the team’s objectives is to detect the vulnerabilities that a potential attacker could exploit to carry out cyber-attacks on TIM’s infrastructures and highlight the real impacts detected.

The activity is not limited only to the verification of known vulnerabilities, but includes specific research with the aim of discovering any new vulnerabilities not yet publicly known (vulnerability 0-day).

Today, TIM’s Red Team Research led by Massimiliano Brolli, discovered 2 new vulnerabilities in the Limit Login Attempts Reloaded WordPress Plugin. The flaws have been addressed by the plugin developer WPChef, between June and December 2020.

This WordPress plugin is aimed to be a brute force attack protection mechanism, and is currently installed in more than 1 million of active installations.

WordPress zeroday TIM

According to the plugin description from the author page:

“Limit Login Attempts Reloaded stops brute-force attacks and optimizes your site performance by limiting the number of login attempts that are possible through the normal login as well as XMLRPC, Woocommerce and custom login pages.”

Cybersecurity researcher Veno Eivazian identified two security issues as part of a series of laboratory tests. One is a rate limiting bypass under a non-default configuration, which effectively defeats the plugin purpose. The other one is an unauthenticated reflected XSS.

  • The first one, Improper Restriction of Excessive Authentication Attempts (CWE-307), identified as CVE-2020-35590, has a CVSS3 score of 9.8.
  • The second one, Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation (CWE-79), identified as CVE-2020-35589, has a CVSS3 score of 5.4.

For some time, we have been witnessing a series of undocumented vulnerabilities issued by this IT security laboratory called Red Team Research (RTR), of the Italian telecommunications company TIM, which has already identified 37 new CVEs for today in about a year.

The laboratory has identified, from public sources available on the corporate website, vulnerabilities on vendors such as Oracle, Nokia, Siemens, Schneider Electric, QNAP, Selesta, WOWZA, MultiUX and recently WordPress, helping to improve overall IT security.

It is a small all-Italian “Progetto Zero”, which has attracted the attention of professionals, because every 10 days it publishes a new CVE, and all this is not bad at all.

The complete list of CVEs discovered by TIM researchers (formerly Telecom Italia S.p.A.) are available on the TIM Corporate websites:

TIM is one of the main Italian telecommunications companies, it is one of the few Italian industrial companies that has devoted such an important effort to the search for undocumented vulnerabilities.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, WordPress)

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