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PHP Object Injection Vulnerability in Booking Calendar Plugin

On April 18, 2022, the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team initiated the disclosure process for an Object Injection vulnerability in the Booking Calendar plugin for WordPress, which has over 60,000 installations.

Wordfence received a response the same day and sent over our full disclosure early the next day, on April 19, 2022. A patched version of the plugin, 9.1.1, was released on April 21, 2022.

Wordfence released a firewall rule to protect Wordfence Premium, Wordfence Care, and Wordfence Response customers on April 18, 2022. Sites still running the free version of Wordfence will receive the same protection on May 18, 2022.

A recent email sent to registered users of the WordPress security plugin said it was recommend that all Wordfence users update to the patched version, 9.1.1, as soon as possible as this will entirely eliminate the vulnerability

Description: Insecure Deserialization/PHP Object Injection
Affected Plugin: Booking Calendar
Plugin Slug: booking
Plugin Developer: wpdevelop, oplugins
Affected Versions: <= 9.1
CVE ID: CVE-2022-1463
CVSS Score: 8.1(High)
CVSS Vector: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H
Researcher/s: Ramuel Gall
Fully Patched Version: 9.1.1

The Booking Calendar plugin allows site owners to add a booking system to their site, which includes the ability to publish a flexible timeline showing existing bookings and openings using a shortcode, [bookingflextimeline].

The flexible timeline includes the ability to configure viewing preferences and options when viewing the published timeline. Some of these options were passed in PHP’s serialized data format, and unserialized by the define_request_view_params_from_params function in core/timeline/v2/wpbc-class-timeline_v2.php.

An attacker could control the serialized data via several methods:

  1. If a timeline was published, an unauthenticated attacker could obtain the nonce required to send an AJAX request with the action set to WPBC_FLEXTIMELINE_NAV and a timeline_obj[options] parameter set to a serialized PHP object.
  2. Any authenticated attacker could use the built-in parse-media-shortcode AJAX action to execute the [bookingflextimeline] shortcode, adding an options attribute in the shortcode set to a serialized PHP object. This would work even on sites without a published timeline.
  3. An attacker with contributor-level privileges or above could also embed the
    [bookingflextimeline] shortcode containing a malicious options attribute into a post and execute it by previewing it, or obtain the WPBC_FLEXTIMELINE_NAV nonce by previewing the [bookingflextimeline] shortcode and then using method

Any time an attacker can control data that is unserialized by PHP, they can inject a PHP object with properties of their choice. If a “POP Chain” is also present, it can allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code, delete files, or otherwise destroy or gain control of a vulnerable website. Fortunately, no POP chain was present in the Booking plugin, so an attacker would require some luck as well as additional research in order to exploit this vulnerability. Nonetheless, POP chains appear in a number of popular software libraries, so many sites could still be exploited if another plugin using one of these libraries is installed.

Despite the lack of a POP chain and complexity involved in exploitation, the potential consequences of a successful attack are so severe that Object Injection vulnerabilities still warrant a “High” CVSS score. 

Timeline

April 18, 2022 – Firewall rule released to protect Wordfence Premium, Care, and Response customers.
April 19, 2022 – Sent the full disclosure to the plugin developer.
April 21, 2022 – A patched version of the Booking Calendar plugin, 9.1.1, is released.
May 18, 2022 – The firewall rule becomes available to free Wordfence users.

The TBN team is a well establish group of technology industry professionals with backgrounds in IT Systems, Business Communications and Journalism.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
The TBN team is a well establish group of technology industry professionals with backgrounds in IT Systems, Business Communications and Journalism.

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