Support » Plugin: Stop User Enumeration » Bypass protection with POST requests

  • Resolved urbanadventurer


    An attacker can bypass the username enumeration protection by using POST requests. The protection currently only stops GET requests to enumerate users.

    By sending POST requests with the body of “author=1” and incrementing the number for successive requests, the entire set of WordPress users can be enumerated.

    The WordPress user information is disclosed in the HTML response body, unlike being disclosed in the redirect header, as with GET requests.

    POST / HTTP/1.1
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    Content-Length: 8

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Any ideas on trapping this then?

    Just thinking about this, what about restricting all POSTS not from the local server? Is there ever a genuine reason that a WordPress site woudl expect a POST from a third party server?

    Would not intercept all POSTs in general, only ‘author’ POSTs, something like isset( $_POST['author'] ) or similar.

    Edit: Unnecessary code-example removed…

    PS. Are post vars case-sensitive? Would ‘autHor=x’ work with WordPress if it gets through?

    Thanks, some good ideas, I will get testing.

    Confirmed, just change this :

    if (preg_match('/author=([0-9]*)/', $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'])===1) ll_kill_enumeration();

    By this :

    if (preg_match('/author=([0-9]*)/', $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'])===1 || ($_POST['author'])) ll_kill_enumeration();

    Thanks. This is now in latest release.


    Hello, just a small feedback on that issue.

    Here is my code :

    if(!is_admin()) {
      if(preg_match('/author=([0-9]*)/', $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING']) === 1)
      // If isn't admin, requested URI isn't wp-comments-post and $_POST['author']
      if(preg_match('/(wp-comments-post)/', $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']) === 0 && isset($_POST['author']))
      add_filter('redirect_canonical','ll_detect_enumeration', 10,2);
    add_filter('redirect_canonical','ll_detect_enumeration', 10,2);

    As you can see, I do the $_POST check on first match. Plus, I had to check the requested URI to avoid blocking post comment process since it uses the same POST variable..

    The problem will be the same for each plugin / process that uses the author post variable.

    I don’t know what you think about that, maybe not the best solution… but at least it bypasses

    Thanks 🙂

    i wish i read your post before making release 1.2.7 !

    1.2.8 coming out in a minute

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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