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11 January 2008, 17:15

Hole in Joomla CMS allows addition of admin accounts

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Operators of Joomla-based content management systems should be extra careful when doing system maintenance in the near future. A demo describing how to add a super admin to Joomla via specially crafted web pages has appeared, making use of a cross site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability known since December. Attackers could craft their web pages with malicious JavaScript code and wait until the operator of a vulnerable system visits the page. However, the trick only works if a user is currently logged in as a super admin at the CMS when accessing the crafted page in an additional browser window.

The vulnerability was published on December 27 and was already fixed along with two other CSRF vulnerabilities in version 1.5 RC4 in mid December. However, version 1.0.13 still contains the hole. The developers are said to be working on an update. Until it is released, users working in their CMS are advised not to open additional browser windows. According to reports, however, it is not enough to close the window after finishing work in the CMS before visiting other pages. Instead, users must close the session by actively logging out of the backend.

Another example of a potential CSRF attack was recently found in the WRT54GL Linksys router.

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