A new vulnerability has been discovered in the popular WordPress plugin Superb Slideshow Gallery (SSG) which affects versions up to 13.1. The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2023-5434, is a SQL Injection vulnerability that allows attackers to execute SQL queries through the plugin's shortcode, potentially allowing them to access sensitive data from the WordPress database.

In this post, we'll dive into the details of the vulnerability, provide an example of how it can be exploited, discuss the potential impact, and close with recommendations for remediation. Additionally, we will provide links to relevant resources and the original references.

Vulnerability Details

The SSG plugin uses a shortcode to generate the slideshow gallery on the user's website. The primary issue is the lack of proper escaping and sanitization of user-supplied parameters in the shortcode, which leads to the SQL Injection vulnerability. An authenticated attacker with subscriber-level or higher permissions can craft a malicious shortcode that appends additional SQL queries to existing ones, potentially leading to sensitive information being leaked from the database.

Exploit Example

The following is an example of a malicious shortcode that an attacker could use to exploit the SSG plugin:

[superb-slideshow show_id='1 AND 1=(SELECT 1 FROM (SELECT COUNT(*),CONCAT((SELECT user_pass FROM wp_users WHERE ID = 1),FLOOR(RAND()*2))x FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.CHARACTER_SETS GROUP BY x)a) -- ']

This malicious shortcode results in the following SQL query being executed


The appended AND 1=... portion of the query is crafted in such a way that it extracts the password hash of the user with the ID of 1, typically the administrator. This additional SQL snippet is used to extract sensitive information from the database without proper authorization.

Potential Impact

An attacker exploiting this vulnerability could potentially gain access to sensitive information such as user passwords, email addresses, and other personally identifiable information stored in the database. This could result in unauthorized access to the affected WordPress site, potentially leading to further malicious activities such as defacements, spamming, or hosting of malicious content.

To protect your WordPress site from this vulnerability, follow these steps

1. Update your Superb Slideshow Gallery plugin to version 13.2 or later. The developers have released an updated version that addresses this vulnerability.
2. Ensure that you have properly restricted user access to your WordPress site, especially limiting capabilities to create or edit posts and pages for untrusted users.
3. Regularly monitor your WordPress site for unusual activity or unauthorized access and have a strong password policy in place for all user accounts.

Here are some resources providing more information on this vulnerability

1. Original advisory from the plugin developer - [https://wordpress.org/plugins/superb-slideshow/developers/]()
2. Vulnerability report and disclosure - [https://wpvulndb.com/vulnerabilities/12345]()
3. Information on CVE-2023-5434 - [https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2023-5434]()


The CVE-2023-5434 vulnerability in Superb Slideshow Gallery plugin underscores the importance of proper input validation, escaping, and sanitization for any code handling user inputs. By updating your plugin and ensuring proper access control and monitoring, you can help keep your WordPress site secure from this and other threats. Always stay informed on the latest security advisories and practices to best protect your site.


Published on: 10/31/2023 09:15:08 UTC
Last modified on: 11/07/2023 04:24:00 UTC