Flaw in WordPress ThemeGrill Demo Importer WordPress theme plugin expose 200K+ sites to hack

Pierluigi Paganini February 18, 2020

A serious flaw in the ThemeGrill Demo Importer WordPress theme plugin with over 200,000 active installs can be exploited to wipe sites and gain admin access to the site.

Experts from the security firm WebARX have discovered a serious flaw in the WordPress theme plugin ThemeGrill Demo Importer with over 200,000 active installs. The vulnerability could be exploited to wipe sites running the vulnerable versions of the plugin and gain admin access to the site.

ThemeGrill Demo Importer is a popular plugin that allows WordPress website administrators to import demo content, widgets and settings for ThemeGrill theme plugin with just one click.

The critical flaw, that existed for the past three years, affects versions 1.3.4 through 1.6.1 of the plugin and could be exploited only against those websites where the ThemeGrill theme plugin is activated.

Once the attackers have exploited the vulnerability, the database will be populated with default settings and data. If the database includes a user named “admin,” the exploitation of the flaw will allow the attacker to automatically log-in as an administrator.

“The prerequisite is that there must be a theme installed and activated that was published by ThemeGrill.” reads the analysis published by WebARX. “In order to be automatically logged in as an administrator, there must be a user called “admin” in the database. Regardless of this condition, the database will still be wiped to its default state.”

The bad news is that the exploitation of the issued that affects the ThemeGrill plugin can be automated.

The development team behind the ThemeGrill addressed the flaw with the release of version 1.6.2.

Below the timeline for the vulnerability:

  • 06-02-2020 – Discovery of the issue and released a patch to all WebARX customers.
  • 06-02-2020 – Reported the issue to the developer of the plugin.
  • 11-02-2020 – Second attempt to reach out to the developer.
  • 14-02-2020 – Received email from developer, resent the issue to them.
  • 16-02-2020 – Developer published a new version which fixes the issue.

Recently the issues in other two WordPress plugins made the headlines:

  • Jan. 2020 – An authentication bypass vulnerability in the InfiniteWP plugin that could potentially impact by more than 300,000 sites.
  • Jan. 2020 – Over 200K WordPress sites are exposed to attacks due to a high severity cross-site request forgery (CSRF) bug in Code Snippets plugin.
  • Feb. 2020 – A stored cross-site vulnerability in the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin that could potentially impact 700K users.
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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, WordPress)

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