In the digital world, security vulnerabilities will be a constant challenge that developers and businesses must tackle to keep critical information and systems secure from malicious actors. In this post, we will discuss a recently discovered security vulnerability, CVE-2022-3822, which affects the popular “Donations via PayPal” WordPress plugin prior to version 1.9.9. The vulnerability stems from a lack of sanitization and escaping of specific settings, potentially allowing high privilege users, such as administrators, to perform Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks even when the unfiltered_html capability is disallowed (e.g., in a multisite setup). We will delve into the technical details, provide code snippets, and discuss the potential risks.

Exploit Details

The vulnerability in question is a Stored XSS, which occurs when an attacker can insert malicious code (usually JavaScript) into a website's content and have it execute when a user visits the compromised page. In the case of CVE-2022-3822, this could result in unauthorized access to sensitive information, and even control over the affected website.

The plugin's settings page (donations_paypal.php) does not properly sanitize and escape certain settings before storing or displaying them. A high privilege user, such as an administrator, could inject malicious scripts into these settings, resulting in a Stored XSS attack.

Here is a code snippet illustrating the issue from the plugin's settings file

// vulnerable code in donations_paypal.php
echo '<input type="text" id="dpayp-sandbox_name" name="dpayp-sandbox_name" value="' . get_option('dpayp-sandbox_name') . '" />';

// Instead, it should be like this:
echo '<input type="text" id="dpayp-sandbox_name" name="dpayp-sandbox_name" value="' . esc_attr(get_option('dpayp-sandbox_name')) . '" />';

As shown above, the problematic line neglects to sanitize or escape the output of the get_option() function, which retrieves settings from the WordPress database.

Possible Solutions

A patch has been released to fix this vulnerability in the “Donations via PayPal” WordPress plugin via version 1.9.9. Therefore, the best way to secure your website from this vulnerability is to update your plugin immediately.


1. CVE-2022-3822 Official Database Entry
2. “Donations via PayPal” WordPress Plugin


As more vulnerabilities are discovered and disclosed, it is essential for everyone to remain vigilant in keeping their systems up-to-date and secure. Keeping up to date with the lates security patches and following best practices will help minimize the risk of falling victim to such attacks. In the case of CVE-2022-3822, users should update their “Donations via PayPal” WordPress plugin to version 1.9.9 or higher to avoid potential Stored XSS attacks.


Published on: 11/28/2022 14:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 11/30/2022 03:46:00 UTC