High Severity Vulnerabilities Patched in Discount Rules for WooCommerce feature image

High-Severity Vulnerabilities Patched in Discount Rules for WooCommerce

On August 20, 2020, the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team was made aware of several vulnerabilities that had been patched in Discount Rules for WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin installed on over 40,000 sites. We released a firewall rule to protect against these vulnerabilities the same day. During our investigation, we also discovered a separate set of vulnerabilities in the plugin that were not yet patched, and released a firewall rule to protect against these separate vulnerabilities the next day, on August 21, 2020.

We reached out to the plugin’s team at Flycart on August 21, 2020, and received a response almost immediately. After we provided the full vulnerability disclosure, Flycart let us know that they were aware of one of the issues we disclosed, and released an interim patch on August 22, 2020. Flycart followed this up with a more comprehensive patch on September 2, 2020 and a patch that addressed the last of the issues on September 9, 2020.

Description: Multiple Authorization Bypass leading to stored Cross-Site Scripting(XSS)
Affected Plugin: Discount Rules for WooCommerce
Plugin Slug: woo-discount-rules
Affected Versions: < 2.2.1
CVE ID: Pending
CVSS Score: 7.4(High)
Fully Patched Version: 2.2.1

Discount Rules for WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin designed to work with the WooCommerce e-Commerce plugin to create custom rules for discounts, such as “2 for 1” specials.

The vulnerabilities that were originally patched in the plugin were AJAX actions present in the “v2” codebase of the plugin that allowed any site visitor to add, modify, and delete these rules and view any existing coupons. Unfortunately, the plugin maintained a separate “v1” codebase containing an earlier version of this functionality. Anyone visiting the site could switch between the v1 and v2 codebase by visiting any page on the site and adding a awdr_switch_plugin_to query string parameter set to v1 or v2.

if (isset($_GET['awdr_switch_plugin_to']) && in_array($_GET['awdr_switch_plugin_to'], array('v1', 'v2'))) {
    $awdr_switched_to_version = $version = sanitize_text_field($_GET['awdr_switch_plugin_to']);
    update_option('advanced_woo_discount_rules_load_version', $version);

The initial patch released on August 22, 2020, added a capability check to prevent this switching, but any sites using the “v1” code were still vulnerable.

Once the plugin was set to use the “v1” codebase, a number of AJAX actions became available providing similar functionality to the patched actions in “v2”:

            add_action('wp_ajax_savePriceRule', array($this->discountBase, 'savePriceRule'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_saveCartRule', array($this->discountBase, 'saveCartRule'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_saveConfig', array($this->discountBase, 'saveConfig'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_resetWDRCache', array($this->discountBase, 'resetWDRCache'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_loadProductSelectBox', array($this->discountBase, 'loadProductSelectBox'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_loadCoupons', array($this->discountBase, 'loadCoupons'));

            add_action('wp_ajax_UpdateStatus', array($this->discountBase, 'updateStatus'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_RemoveRule', array($this->discountBase, 'removeRule'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_doBulkAction', array($this->discountBase, 'doBulkAction'));
            add_action('wp_ajax_createDuplicateRule', array($this->discountBase, 'createDuplicateRule'));

Like the previous patched functions, the “v1” AJAX functions did not perform capability checks or nonce checks. Unlike the AJAX actions that were patched in the “v2” codebase, these actions did require a user to be logged in. Due to the nature of e-Commerce, most online stores allow potential customers to register before making a purchase, so this would not have been a major obstacle to attackers.

In addition to allowing attackers to view all available coupons on a site and activate, duplicate, and delete discount rules, at least two of the actions, savePriceRule and saveCartRule were also vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting(XSS) in several of the rule fields.

For example, an attacker could send a POST request to wp-admin/admin-ajax.php with the action set to savePriceRule or saveCartRule and inject malicious JavaScript into one of the fields of a discount rule by adding it to the data parameter. The next time an administrator viewed or edited discount rules, the malicious JavaScript would be executed in their browser. Doing so could lead to site takeover by adding a backdoor to plugin or theme files, adding a malicious administrator, or any number of other actions.


August 20, 2020 – The Wordfence Threat Intelligence team is made aware of a vulnerability in Discount Rules for Woocommerce. We release a firewall rule to Wordfence Premium users to address this vulnerability and discover a separate unpatched vulnerability.
August 21, 2020 – We release a firewall rule for the unpatched vulnerability to Wordfence Premium users, contact the plugin’s developers, Flycart, and send them the disclosure.
August 22, 2020 – Flycart releases an interim patch preventing unauthorized users from switching between the ‘v1’ and ‘v2’ codebase and replies to our disclosure, advising us that they are working on a patch.
September 2, 2020 – Flycart releases a patch that largely covers the vulnerabilities but leaves the version switching functionality vulnerable to CSRF attacks.
September 9, 2020 – Flycart releases a final patch that addresses all vulnerabilities.
September 19, 2020 – The initial firewall rule becomes available to Wordfence Free users.
September 20, 2020 – The second firewall rule becomes available to Wordfence Free users.


In today’s article, we detailed multiple vulnerabilities present in Discount Rules for WooCommerce, including two vulnerable AJAX actions that could be used to take over a site. We strongly recommend updating to the latest version of this plugin, currently 2.2.1, as soon as possible, since the consequences of a breach on an e-Commerce site can be severe.

Wordfence Premium users received a firewall rule for the initial vulnerabilities on August 20 and a firewall rule for the newly discovered vulnerabilities on August 21, 2020. Sites still running the free version of Wordfence will receive these rules after 30 days, on September 19, and September 20, 2020.

This article was written by Ramuel Gall, a former Wordfence Senior Security Researcher.

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  • I can't thank you enough for including the plugin slug in all of your vulnerability reports. This is a tremendous help to us web hosts who want to actively search our hosting machines for sites running those plugins so that we are able to determine if any installations of vulnerable.

  • Thank you for being on top of it!