Vulnerabilities in LMS Plugins Allow Students to Access Records, Edit Data

May 4, 2020 @ 12:45 PM
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< 1 min read

Security researchers discovered that students could abuse vulnerabilities in certain learning management system (LMS) plugins to access records and edit data.

Check Point Research conducted a security audit of three popular WordPress LMS plugins: LearnPress, LearnDash and LifterLMS. Those plugins were installed on 100,000 educational platforms at the time of analysis, including both traditional universities and hundreds of online academies.

The researchers uncovered several vulnerabilities that were worthy of attention. For instance, they observed one security flaw through which registered users could have elevated their privileges to those belonging to a teacher. They could have then used those rights to retrieve test answers, change the test answers of their fellow students or even change their own grades.

Through some of the other bugs, students and unauthenticated users could have even stolen sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and full names.

Vulnerabilities in Other LMS Plugins and Software

The three WordPress LMS plugins discussed above aren’t the only educational software programs that have suffered from security vulnerabilities. As reported by InfoWorld back in 2017, researchers observed that they could have exploited several vulnerabilities in Moodle to create secret administrative accounts and execute malicious PHP code. And in December 2019, Cisco Talos uncovered three SQL injection vulnerabilities in the Forma LMS.

Strengthen Your Organization’s Patching Capabilities

Security professionals can help their organizations remediate vulnerabilities such as the ones discussed above by breaking down the silos that separate departments. By improving interdepartmental cooperation, organizations can more easily remedy critical vulnerabilities on a timely basis. Organizations also need to maintain and continually manage an inventory of assets that is prioritized based on their value to the business.

David Bisson
Contributing Editor

David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Trip...
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