A Close Look at 100+ Patched Vulnerabilities

With the release of MyBB 1.8.22, over one hundred vulnerabilities have been addressed in the 1.8 branch. In this post we look into what the numbers can tell us so far, and how the trends are expected to change in the future.

Since the announcement of the first stable package in 2005, over 270 security flaws were fixed in the 87 versions starting with MyBB 1.0 (some of which overlapped when two supported branches received security updates simultaneously), making 88% of all releases related to security fixes. Additional information tracked within the 1.8.x branch surfaces the most common means of reporting, types, and practical impact of 103 vulnerabilities that have been addressed five years in.

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MyBB 1.8.20 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.20 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

This release includes allowing users to see their unapproved content and view user referrals; compatibility with PHP >= 7.2 has been improved and jQuery has been upgraded to 3.0.0, which might affect custom JavaScript code in plugins and themes.

  • 5 security vulnerabilities addressed:

    • Medium risk: Reset Password reflected XSS
    • Medium risk: ModCP Profile Editor username reflected XSS — reported by Jovan Zivanovic of MaTRIS Research Group, SBA Research
    • Low risk: Predictable CSRF token for guest users — reported by Devilshakerz of MyBB Team
    • Low risk: ACP Stylesheet Properties XSS — reported by Cillian Collins
    • Low risk: Reset Password username enumeration via email — reported by Abdullah Md. Shaleh
  • 42 issues resolved

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.
Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.
If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,
MyBB Team

MyBB 1.8.19 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.19 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

This update includes improved compatibility with PostgreSQL and resolves regressions from previous versions. Administrators may need to update CSS code in global.css for customized themes.

  • 4 security vulnerabilities addressed:

    • High risk: Email field SQL Injection — reported by StefanT
    • Medium risk: Video MyCode Persistent XSS in Visual Editor — reported by Numan OZDEMIR of InfinitumIT
    • Low risk: Insufficient permission check in User CP’s attachment management — reported by StefanT
    • Low risk: Insufficient email address verification — reported by StefanT
  • 8 issues resolved

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.
Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.
If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,
MyBB Team

Blueprinting Automatic Updates for PHP Applications

Keeping MyBB boards secure is a team effort. Security issues discovered and reported by external researchers and our core developers are analysed, fixed and included in final packages. The process doesn’t end there however: it is essential that administrators are notified to update their forums as soon as possible in order to prevent the addressed vulnerabilities from being exploited in an attack on their boards and users.

Learn More

Our recently published summaries, recommendations and links to reviewed guides in the SECURITY.md file contain many resources forum administrators can use to secure their boards against both opportunist and experienced digital criminals. First and foremost though, we always recommend that users keep their MyBB installs up to date. We also suggest using the new subscription feature for all used plugins and themes on Extend.

Based on our experience, even large discussion boards that don’t have dedicated technicians tend to use outdated versions of MyBB and the situation in the area of extensions might be equally concerning. Not unlike other software, periodical updates are the main method of delivery for security patches — most MyBB releases contain fixes plugging security holes ranging from theoretical risks to critical vulnerabilities.

Issues Addressed in MyBB 1.8.x by Version

The need for continuous response to vulnerability reports is a strong argument for making the reduction of manual effort needed to keep our packages up to date a long-term goal.

In this post we’ll explore what keeps our developers up at night that also affects MyBB’s ability to introduce automated updates, and how the mechanism might be actually implemented once the system — currently being rebuilt for version 1.9 and subsequent branches — is ready.

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MyBB 1.8.18 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.18 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

Changes include added support for Mixer videos and multi-file attachments, modified Word Filter behavior, fixes to the mailing queue and improved compatibility with SQLite and MySQL 8. Theme CSS changes may be required and administrators may need to review Word Filters.

  • 2 security vulnerabilities addressed:

    • High risk: Image MyCode “alt” attribute persistent XSS — reported by Punisher_HF
    • Medium risk: RSS Atom 1.0 item title persistent XSS — reported by 0xB9
  • 30 issues resolved

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.
Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.
If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,
MyBB Team

MyBB 1.8.16 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.16 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

This update includes compatibility fixes for database engines and recent PHP versions as well as performance and global security improvements. Note that the theme’s CSS files may need to be updated. If you use the login_attempt_check() function, note that its signature has changed.

 

  • 6 security vulnerabilities addressed:
    • High risk: Image & URL MyCode Persistent XSS — reported by Punisher_HF
    • Medium risk: Multipage Reflected XSS — reported by Dimaz Arno of Ethic Ninja
    • Low risk: ACP logs XSS — reported by Cillian Collins
    • Low risk: Arbitrary file deletion via ACP’s Settings — reported by Devilshakerz of MyBB Team
    • Low risk: Login CSRF — reported by Cillian Collins
    • Low risk: Non-video content embedding via Video MyCode — reported by Punisher_HF
  • 66 issues resolved

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

 

Issues on Upgrade?

 

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.
Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.
If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,
MyBB Team

Building software packages with Docker and Phing

Every meaningful set of development activity in open-source projects like MyBB is followed by an official release that merges in additional lines of production, like security updates, and wraps it up with descriptions and instructions easy to understand for non-developers and site maintainers. Currently the most popular way of distributing updates to PHP-based software is file packages: project managers have to scramble to gather and bundle all files and associated documentation while site administrators are expected to keep track of (and sometimes interpret) this information.

This, to convenience of site administrators and ours, is planned to improve upon adoption of concepts like continuous integration that put emphasis on making all products deployable after every change to the code, and the integration of tools like Composer, which ease the pains of managing third-party solutions and allow to separate one big product into small, handy modules. Even though conveniences like fully automated updates will take time to become reality with informal open-source projects (where the technicalities are much easier to implement than procedures that provide a reasonable level of security), MyBB moves closer to that with eliminating manual tasks covering a broad range of activities that precede each release—the last 4 versions of MyBB (starting with 1.8.12) have been build using the recently published package builder.

The MyBB build repository

Rewriting Memos in XML & PHP

The core part of the builder’s logic is Phing, an Apache Ant-based PHP task build system. This engine enables developers to specify operations related i.a. to git & patch (extensively used to apply sensitive patches before the release), file encoding and archiving saved in an XML build file. It’s also used to call sub-scripts that list changed files and calculate archive size and checksums, but also perform some project-specific operations like counting modified language files, searching for templates that changed between versions or update plugin hook locations with line number precision. Since the Jekyll-powered MyBB.com website is generated from Markdown & Front Matter data files, the builder also prepares the version’s YaML metadata ready to be put into the repository allowing Release Notes and the Release Blog Post content to be generated.

You Want to Run it on What?

Another important role plays Docker, a platform introducing container systems. You might recognize it from the recently put out image recipe that can be used to deploy MyBB 1.8, however this environment is also used whenever packages need to be assembled. No matter who, where or when participates in the building process, they should be able to use the same precisely defined tools—by running the script inside a container we can assure a degree of confidence in that, given the separation from the host operating system. Our Docker image, based on a trimmed down version of Debian, contains an unsuspicious development toolset including basic packages and a PHP interpreter with customized configuration and the strip-nondeterminism tool that normalizes the output to make it possible to arrive with byte-to-byte equal archives identified by matching checksums. This practice is called build reproducibility which will serve as a vital part in download verification.

Real output (with real git errors) when building MyBB 1.8.15 packages

Visit the mybb/mybb-build repository to set up own production line basing on our code and compare against the latest MyBB release packages (starting with 1.8.15, releases on GitHub include a build package with input necessary to reproduce the output).

The MyBB build repository

Automated packaging does not only leave more time for other aspects of running large-scale projects, but also assures that every update is brought to users without potential mistakes that could have been made otherwise with manual assembling. Furthermore, whenever mistakes are spotted, the archives can be quickly rebuilt and pushed out—less emphasis will be put on singular releases and more on their continuous delivery with seamless upgrades that MyBB will be working on.

MyBB 1.8.15 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.15 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

This update includes compatibility improvements for PostgreSQL and recent PHP versions as well as minor optimizations.

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.
Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.
If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,
MyBB Team

MyBB 1.8.14 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.14 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

This update applies security patches and fixes minor issues related to the upgrade script included in the previous version.

  • 2 security vulnerabilities addressed:

    • High risk: Language file headers RCE — reported by Julian Rittweger
    • Low risk: Language Pack Properties XSS — reported by Julian Rittweger
  • 2 issues resolved

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.
Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.
If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,
MyBB Team

MyBB 1.8.13 Released — Security & Maintenance Release

MyBB 1.8.13 is now available, and is a security & maintenance release.

This update includes fixes related to compatibility with PostgreSQL, SQLite and PHP 7.2 and resolves attachment HTML output problems. Note that the theme’s CSS files may need to be updated. Please see this post on the community forum for more information.

  • 7 security vulnerabilities addressed:
    • High risk: Installer RCE on configuration file write — reported by pabstersac
    • High risk: Language file headers RCE — reported by Julian Rittweger
    • Medium risk: Installer XSS — reported by pabstersac
    • Medium risk: Mod CP Edit Profile XSS — reported by Julian Rittweger
    • Low risk: Insufficient moderator permission check in delayed moderation tools — reported by Starpaul20 of MyBB Team
    • Low risk: Announcements HTML filter bypass
    • Low risk: Language Pack Properties XSS — reported by Julian Rittweger
  • 62 issues resolved

Check Release Notes for a list of changes to language files, templates and unresolved issues.

Get latest MyBB Full & Upgrade Packages →

The MyBB Project extends thanks to reporters and researchers following responsible disclosure.

Go to mybb.com/security to report possible security concerns or to learn more about security research at MyBB.

If you would like to contribute to the Project, Get Involved.

Thanks,

MyBB Team