Elementor WordPress Plugin Ravaged by Six XSS Vulnerabilities

Elementor, known for its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, has democratized website design, enabling millions to craft websites without deep coding knowledge. However, its popularity, boasting over 5 million active installations and powering over 16 million websites worldwide, has not gone unnoticed by malicious actors. The recent discovery of six unique Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in both Elementor and its Pro version is a stark reminder of the constant vigilance required in the web security domain.

Unpacking XSS Vulnerabilities: A Closer Look at Elementor's Security Challenges

XSS vulnerabilities are a type of security flaw that allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into web pages viewed by other users. These vulnerabilities can enable attackers to steal data, hijack user sessions, or deface websites. The recent advisory issued by security researchers highlights six distinct vulnerabilities within Elementor, each rated as a medium-level security threat, requiring attention.

CVE-2024-2117 and CVE-2024-2120: These vulnerabilities affect both the free and Pro versions of Elementor, involving insufficient input sanitization and output escaping. Specifically, they allow authenticated DOM-Based and Stored Cross-Site Scripting via the Path and Post Navigation widgets, respectively.

CVE-2024-1521: Exclusive to Elementor Pro, this vulnerability arises from the improper handling of SVGZ file uploads within the Form Widget, posing a risk on NGINX-based servers.

CVE-2024-2121, CVE-2024-1364, and CVE-2024-2781: These vulnerabilities pertain to Stored Cross-Site Scripting via various widgets, including Media Carousel, custom_id, and video_html_tag, underlining the diversity of potential attack vectors within Elementor's ecosystem.

The Crucial Role of Input Sanitization and Output Escaping

At the core of many XSS vulnerabilities is the inadequate sanitization of user inputs and escaping of outputs. Input sanitization is a critical security measure that ensures only expected data types or formats
are accepted, effectively blocking malicious scripts. Output escaping prevents the execution of untrusted scripts by ensuring that any data output to the browser is done so in a way that mitigates the risk of exploitation. These practices are foundational to securing web applications and plugins against XSS attacks.

Navigating the Vulnerabilities: Elementor's Response and User Remediation

The Elementor team's response to these vulnerabilities, including timely updates and patches, is an essential part of the security lifecycle. Users of Elementor are urged to update their installations to the latest versions to mitigate these vulnerabilities. Despite the medium-level threat rating, the potential for exploitation, especially by attackers leveraging contributor-level permissions, underscores the importance of maintaining strong password policies and access controls.

Beyond Elementor: The Broader Web Security Landscape

The discovery of vulnerabilities in popular platforms like Elementor serves as a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of web security threats. It highlights the importance of continuous monitoring, regular updates, and adherence to best security practices for website owners and developers. Furthermore, it underscores the value of the security community's ongoing efforts to identify and disclose vulnerabilities responsibly, enabling software creators to fortify their solutions against emerging threats.

Maintaining a Proactive Security Posture

The recent XSS vulnerabilities identified in Elementor underscore the ongoing battle in web security. They remind us of the critical need for vigilance, robust security practices, and the collective responsibility of developers, website owners, and the security community in safeguarding the digital ecosystem. As we navigate this landscape, let us commit to a proactive security posture, embracing the tools, practices, and knowledge necessary to anticipate and mitigate the risks in our increasingly connected world.

Read the official Wordfence advisories:

Elementor Website Builder – More than Just a Page Builder <= 3.20.2 – Authenticated (Contributor+) DOM-Based Stored Cross-Site Scripting via Path Widget CVE-2024-2117

Elementor Website Builder – More than Just a Page Builder <= 3.20.1 – Authenticated (Contributor+) Stored Cross-Site Scripting via Post Navigation CVE-2024-2120

Elementor Website Builder Pro <= 3.20.1 – Authenticated (Contributor+) Stored Cross-Site Scripting via Form Widget SVGZ File Upload CVE-2024-1521

Elementor Website Builder Pro <= 3.20.1 – Authenticated (Contributor+) Stored Cross-Site Scripting CVE-2024-2121

Elementor Website Builder Pro <= 3.20.1 – Authententicated (Contributor+) Stored Cross-Site Scripting via widget’s custom_id CVE-2024-1364

Elementor Website Builder Pro <= 3.20.1 – Authenticated (Contributor+) DOM-Based Stored Cross-Site Scripting via video_html_tag CVE-2024-2781

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