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Check Point discovers critical vulnerability for Wikipedia.org and other ‘Wiki’ sites

31 Jan 2014

Check Point Software Technologies has today released its findings of a critical vulnerability in the MediaWiki project Web platform, a popular open-source Web platform used to create and maintain ‘wiki’ Web sites.

The MediaWiki platform includes Wikipedia.org, the sixth most visited Web site in the world with over 94 million unique visitors per month.

Check Point researchers discovered that this critical vulnerability left MediaWiki (version 1.8 onwards) exposed to remote code execution (RCE), where an attacker can gain complete control of the vulnerable web server.

Check Point immediately alerted the WikiMedia Foundation about the vulnerability, and after verification, the Foundation issued an update and patch to the MediaWiki software.

“It only takes a single vulnerability on a widely adopted platform for a hacker to infiltrate and wreak widespread damage," says Dorit Dor, vice president of products, Check Point Software Technologies.

"The Check Point Vulnerability Research Group focuses on finding these security exposures and deploying the necessary real-time protections to secure the Internet.

"We’re pleased that the MediaWiki platform is now protected against attacks on this vulnerability, which would have posed great security risk for millions of daily ‘wiki’ site users."

Check Point also delivered updated protections to its worldwide customers in conjunction with the WikiMedia Foundation’s software update.

Key Findings:

· If the vulnerability had not been uncovered, an attacker would have been able to control the Wikipedia.org Web server, or any other ‘wiki’ site running on MediaWiki, and potentially inject and serve malware-infecting code to users visiting these sites

· The WikiMedia Foundation released a software update after learning of the vulnerability from Check Point and encouraged all MediaWiki customers to apply the patch as soon as possible

· Since 2006, this is only the third RCE vulnerability found in the MediaWiki platform.

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