Flaws in Moodle CMS put thousands of e-learning websites at risk


Organizations that use the popular Moodle learning management system should deploy the latest patches as soon as possible because they fix vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to take over web servers.

Moodle is an open source platform used by schools, universities, and other organizations to set up websites with interactive online courses. It’s used by more than 78,000 e-learning websites from 234 countries that together have more than 100 million users.

A week ago the Moodle developers released updates for the still supported branches of the platform: 3.2.2, 3.1.5, 3.0.9 and 2.7.19. The release notes mentioned that “a number of security related issues were resolved,” but didn’t provide any additional details about their nature or impact.

The severity of the flaws became apparent Monday, when security researcher Netanel Rubin, who found the vulnerabilities, published a detailed blog post about them. They don’t seem too critical on their own, but when combined, they allow attackers to create hidden administrative accounts and execute malicious PHP code on the underlying server.

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