Developers of phpMyAdmin, one of the most popular and widely used MySQL database management systems, today released an updated version 4.8.4 of its software to patch several important vulnerabilities that could eventually allow remote attackers to take control of the affected web servers.The phpMyAdmin project Sunday gave an early heads-up about the latest security release on its blog, informing website administrators about this significant update.
phpMyAdmin is a free, open-source administration tool for managing MySQL databases using a simple graphical interface over the web-browser.
Almost every web hosting service pre-installs phpMyAdmin with their control panels to help webmasters easily manage their databases for websites, including WordPress, Joomla, and many other content management platforms.
Besides many bug fixes, there are primarily three critical security vulnerabilities that affect phpMyAdmin versions before release 4.8.4, phpMyAdmin revealed in its latest advisory.Details of three newly discovered phpMyAdmin vulnerabilities are as described below:
1.) Local file inclusion (CVE-2018-19968) — phpMyAdmin versions from at least 4.0 through 4.8.3 includes a local file inclusion flaw that could allow a remote attacker to read sensitive contents from local files on the server through its transformation feature.
“The attacker must have access to the phpMyAdmin Configuration Storage tables, although these can easily be created in any database to which the attacker has access. An attacker must have valid credentials to log in to phpMyAdmin; this vulnerability does not allow an attacker to circumvent the login system.”
2.) Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)/XSRF (CVE-2018-19969) — phpMyAdmin versions 4.7.0 through 4.7.6 and 4.8.0 through 4.8.3 includes CSRF/XSRF flaw that could allow attackers to “perform harmful SQL operations such as renaming databases, creating new tables/routines, deleting designer pages, adding/deleting users, updating user passwords, killing SQL processes, etc.” just by convincing victims into opening specially crafted links.
3.) Cross-site scripting (XSS) (CVE-2018-19970) — The software also includes a cross-site scripting vulnerability in its navigation tree, using which an attacker can inject malicious code through a specially-crafted database/table name.
Since phpMyAdmin has now released its latest version 4.8.4 to address all reported flaws, website administrators and hosting providers are highly recommended to install the update immediately.