Tag Archives: pingback

WordPress Pingback Attack

Yesterday I wrote a post titled On WordPress Pingbacks. While writing this I came to several conclusions that resulted in some interesting experiments and results.

WordPress Pingback Attacks

I was going to publish my results along with that post, however, I wanted to make sure that the WordPress Security mailinglist had nothing against my publishing such information. With no word from them (I guess I expected too much to be contacted back within 24 hours), I’ve decided to dedicate a whole article to the Pingback attack, its potential, its limitations and further considerations and concerns.

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On WordPress Pingbacks

WordPress supports Pingbacks and these are enabled by default. Having noticed a missing pingback from one of my posts and having made sure that it wasn’t caught as spam or still pending, I decided to investigate a bit and try to resend it manually.

On WordPress Pingbacks

Armed with the Pingback specification, and the XML-RPC RFC, I was able to successfully have a request cURLed over.

curl "http://.../xmlrpc.php" --header "Content-Type: text/xml" --data "<?xmlversion="1.0"?><methodCall><methodName>pingback.ping</methodName><params><param><value><string>http://.../</string></value></param><param><value><string>http://.../</string></value></param></params></methodCall>"

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<methodCall>
   <methodName>pingback.ping</methodName>
   <params>
      <param>
        <value><string>http://.source./</string></value>
      </param>
      <param>
        <value><string>http://.target./</string></value>
      </param>
   </params>
</methodCall>

For which I got a nice response:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<methodResponse>
  <params>
    <param>
      <value>
      <string>Pingback from http://.source./ to http://.target./ registered. Keep the web talking! :-)</string>
      </value>
    </param>
  </params>
</methodResponse>

Mission accomplished, got the Pingback thorough, great! But what if…?

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