Security Experts:

Critical Vulnerability Patched in Zen Cart

The developers of Zen Cart, the popular open source shopping cart software used by over one hundred thousand websites, have released patches for several vulnerabilities, including a critical flaw that can be exploited for remote code execution.

The critical issue, a PHP file inclusion vulnerability affecting the /ajax.php file, was reported by Switzerland-based security firm High-Tech Bridge on November 25 and it was patched by Zen Cart within 24 hours.

High-Tech Bridge will only disclose the details of the vulnerability on December 16, but the company’s CEO Ilia Kolochenko told SecurityWeek that a remote attacker can exploit the flaw to execute arbitrary PHP code and get unlimited access to the files and entire database of the vulnerable application.

Zen Cart RCE vulnerability

According to Kolochenko, the vulnerability is not difficult to abuse and no specific skills or conditions are required to exploit it. Exploitation is possible even on hardened web servers, but it could take longer, the expert said.

It’s worth noting that the security hole only affects Zen Cart 1.5.4 as the vulnerable script did not exist in previous versions of the e-commerce shopping cart software. The bug can be addressed by replacing the existing /ajax.php file with the patched version.

In addition to this critical flaw, Zen Cart developers released a patch for a medium severity cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the “order-comments” field. The security hole was reported by Trustwave and it affects Zen Cart 1.5.4 and earlier.

Other XSS vulnerabilities reported by Trustwave affect some of the fields in the admin edit screens. A patch is not yet available, but the issue has been classified as low risk.

“A patch is being prepared, but it is important to note that none of these concerns can be exploited without having a valid Admin login already. So, the problems could only be caused by persons already having permission to access the admin area and intentionally placing malicious code into the affected fields,” Zen Cart said in an advisory. “The Zen Cart Admin area is already protected against CSRF vulnerabilities so these XSS issues cannot be exploited by third parties.”

A patch has been released for a low severity issue that caused incorrect passwords to remain in the password input field following a failed login attempt. This vulnerability was also reported by Trustwave.

Related Reading: Thousands of Magento Sites Abused for Malware Distribution

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.