WordPress and multiple maybe_unserialize

WordPress introduced maybe_unserialize and maybe_serialize as security functions in the past and they are deeply integrated in the core. Usually for backward compatibility or improper usage in the past, many software vendors are using multiple maybe_unserialize towards values that could be planted into DB with lower number of maybe_serializecalls.

Eli5 PoC

$maybe_double_unserialize = function ( $value ) {
	return maybe_unserialize( $value );

$values = array_map(
	array_filter( get_post_meta( $product_id, $field_key ) )

and if you think that this code isn’t existing then check this out. Yes it is 100k active installs Woo plugin and when Woo unserialze attack is in question, then! :/

Few facts

  • double maybe_unserialize is quite widespread around WP eco system, specially in Woo related plugins


  • add constraints into your php.ini regarding serialization
  • mod the maybe_ functions so they sign the final payload