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Open source software is no less vulnerable to security problems than commercial applications. Which is why IT personnel responsible for security need to keep an eye on every application their organization runs.

The latest lesson in that comes from the popular open source Zen Cart shopping cart software, which has advised users to update their application to version 1.5.5 to fix possible multiple security vulnerabilities in the admin module.

The problems, discovered by Trustwave and revealed last week,  involve multiple Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in version 1.5.4 and possibly earlier ones. “Our researchers found both reflective and stored XSS in multiple parameters of number of requests,” Trustwave said. “Malicious Cross-Site Scripting injections could result in access to cookies, sensitive information and site defacement, which can result into further attacks.”

There are a lot of places in Admin where Zen Cart allows the input of html/script tags, such as product descriptions/product names/email sending as well as some configuration values, the developer acknowledged. “While allowing these does mean there could be XSS vulnerabilities, this is further mitigated by the use of XSRF tokens in admin … and the requirement that one must be logged into the admin for this to be an issue at all.”

Some point patches were released earlier. However, after a long discussion with with Trustwave, Zen Cart said it decided to add a better way to sanitize GET/POST parameters in Admin. Trustwave says there is still a single Cross-Site Scripting issue, but an attacker would need admin privileges to exploit it.

Those changes can be seen in the admin/includes/init_incudes/init_sanitize.php and admin/includes/classes/AdminRequestSanitizer.php files of the new v155 release, it said. There is also documentation about the new sanitzation at http://docs.zen-cart.com/Developer_D…n_sanitization

The patch, available here, applies to Zen Cart versions as far back as 1.5.0.

Often used by small businesses, Zen Cart says it can be installed and set-up “by anyone with the most basic web site building and computer skills.” It also integrates with many payment gateways.