Mastodon Security Flaw Enables Account Takeover

Mastodon Security Flaw Enables Account Takeover

Cybersecurity experts have uncovered a critical vulnerability in the decentralized social network Mastodon, potentially enabling unauthorized access and account takeover. Fortunately, a fix is already available for this flaw.


CVE-2024-23832 has been assigned a critical severity rating of 9.4 out of 10 due to its potential impact and ease of exploitation. At the core of this vulnerability is a flaw in how Mastodon handles user authentication, particularly in the processing of session tokens. Attackers can exploit this flaw to impersonate legitimate users. Versions affected include Mastodon 3.1.2 through 3.3.0, as well as 4.0.x versions prior to 4.0.13, 4.1.x versions prior to 4.1.13, and 4.2.x versions.

Exploiting this flaw involves sending a malicious request to the affected application. Successful exploitation could result in unauthorized code execution on the server, providing attackers with the ability to manipulate or access sensitive data.

The potential impact of this vulnerability is extensive. Attackers could use it to carry out various unauthorized actions, such as posting content, accessing private messages, and altering account settings without the user’s knowledge or consent.


The patch has been incorporated into a recent Mastodon release, accessible for administrators of Mastodon instances to download and install. Detailed installation instructions and support are provided to facilitate a seamless update process. The vulnerability has been addressed in versions 3.3.1 and beyond. Users of impacted instances are advised to upgrade to this version or a later one.

Mastodon intends to withhold further technical details about the vulnerability until February 15, 2024. This delay aims to provide server admins with ample time to update their instances and mitigate the risk of exploitation. Additionally, the Mastodon team pledges to monitor the network continuously for any abnormal activity, promptly addressing any potential exploitation of the vulnerability.


Upon discovery, the Mastodon development team promptly responded, recognizing the severity of the issue and taking immediate steps to mitigate the risk. Therefore, it is crucial to heed their advice: install the update, and you will be protected. The recent surge of account hijackings on X/Twitter serves as a stark reminder of the chaos that a vulnerability of this nature can unleash.

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