Medium Severity Vulnerability Patched in Fast Velocity Minify Plugin

Description: Full Path Disclosure
CVSS v3.0 Score: 4.3 (Medium)
CVSS Vector String: CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:L/I:N/A:N
Affected Plugin: Fast Velocity Minify
Plugin Slug: fast-velocity-minify
Affected Versions: <= 2.7.6
Patched Version: 2.7.7

A few days ago, our Threat Intelligence team identified a vulnerability present in Fast Velocity Minify, a WordPress plugin with approximately  80,000+ active installs. This flaw allowed authenticated attackers to discover the full web root path to the running WordPress application. We disclosed this issue privately to the plugin’s development team who released a patch just a few hours after our initial disclosure.

Fast Velocity Minify versions up to 2.7.6 are vulnerable to attacks against this flaw. All Fast Velocity Minify users should update to version 2.7.7 immediately. Wordfence Premium customers received a new firewall rule on October 14th to protect against exploits targeting this vulnerability. Free Wordfence users will receive the rule after thirty days.

Vulnerability In Detail

Fast Velocity Minify is a plugin that provides a functionality to help improve the speed of WordPress sites it is installed on by using a caching method that merges Javascript & CSS files into a limited number of grouped files. One feature of this plugin is meant to allow administrators to review cached files in the plugin settings dashboard. In order to display the status of the cached files, the plugin uses a wp_ajax callback to the $cachedir  where it retrieves the information about the files. While this feature did use the is_admin() function to verify that the request was coming from an administrative screen, it did not do a capability check to verify if the call was coming from an authenticated administrative user viewing the status page.

 if(is_admin()) {
    add_action('admin_menu', 'fastvelocity_min_admin_menu');
    add_action('admin_enqueue_scripts', 'fastvelocity_min_load_admin_jscss');
    add_action('wp_ajax_fastvelocity_min_files', 'fastvelocity_min_files_callback');
    add_action('admin_init', 'fastvelocity_min_register_settings');
 # function to list all cache files
function fastvelocity_min_files_callback() {
	global $cachedir;
	
	# default
	$size = fastvelocity_get_cachestats();
	$return = array('js' => array(), 'css' => array(), 'cachesize'=> $size); 

This functionality is intended to provide site owners with status updates on already available files that can be seen in the source code of WordPress sites. The real issue appeared when the option ‘Enable FVM Debug Mode’ was enabled. Once that option was enabled, the full file path including the web root was logged in the $cachedir with a status update that could later be viewed on the ‘status’ page. Since this plugin was using the is_admin() function for authorization, it meant the AJAX request only needed to come from an administrative page so authentication could be bypassed and the information could be accessed. 

Any user with subscriber and above capabilities could send an AJAX request from an administrative page and see the information found on the ‘Status’ page which included the full path to the WordPress instance when ‘Enable FVM Debug Mode’ was enabled.

Fast Velocity Minify Full Path Disclosure Exploit.

Zoomed in on Fast Velocity Minify Full Path Disclosure.

Although there was no direct harm with this vulnerability, it could have been used to further escalate a more sophisticated attack. Therefore, we created a firewall rule to protect Wordfence users against its exploitation.

Vulnerability Importance and Impact

Discovered vulnerabilities should always be corrected and protected from when discovered, regardless of the vulnerability’s severity. Although a full path disclosure vulnerability is not the most severe vulnerability, it still poses a security risk to anyone running the vulnerable software on their systems.

A full path disclosure can be used as part of a larger chain of attacks. An attacker gaining the path of your site’s web root structure could allow them to map out your file structure for exploitation such as a directory traversal attack where malicious actors could access restricted directories and can potentially execute commands outside of the web root directory where WordPress is installed. Attackers can also use a full path disclosure to help aid in a local file inclusion attack, where they may need the full web root directory structure in order to include the file they would like to execute as a result of the vulnerability. A full path disclosure provides attackers with useful information needed to exploit other more severe vulnerabilities, which is what makes them dangerous.

Out of precaution, we immediately released a firewall rule to our Wordfence Premium users so that they would be protected against this vulnerability. The chances of this vulnerability being exploited are quite low for most WordPress users, and the requirements make it quite difficult to exploit. Wordfence takes all security vulnerabilities seriously, and our threat intelligence team proactively researches, discloses and protects against known vulnerabilities to keep our users safe. 

Disclosure Timeline

October 14th, 2019 – Developers notified privately of security issue. 
October 14th, 2019 – Firewall rule released to Wordfence Premium users.
October 14th, 2019 – Developers acknowledged issue and released patch. 
November 14th, 2019 – Free users receive firewall rule to protect against this vulnerability.

Conclusion

In today’s post, we detailed a full path disclosure flaw present in the Fast Velocity Minify plugin. This flaw has been patched in version 2.7.7 and we recommend users update to the latest version available. Sites running Wordfence Premium have been protected from attacks against this vulnerability since October 14th, 2019. Sites running the free version of Wordfence will receive the firewall rule update on November 14th, 2019.

Thank you to the plugin’s developer Raul Peixoto, for their extremely prompt response and cooperation in quickly patching this vulnerability.

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