ISSalert: ISS Advisory: Remote Vulnerabilities in Macromedia ColdFusion Example Applications

From: X-Force (
Date: 08/07/01

Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 11:02:15 -0400
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From: X-Force <>
Subject: ISSalert: ISS Advisory: Remote Vulnerabilities in Macromedia ColdFusion Example Applications

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Internet Security Systems Security Advisory
August 7, 2001

Remote Vulnerabilities in Macromedia ColdFusion Example Applications


Internet Security Systems (ISS) X-Force has discovered multiple remote
vulnerabilities in Macromedia ColdFusion. ColdFusion is an enterprise
application used to develop, maintain, administer, and deliver Web sites
on the Internet. The vulnerabilities may allow remote attackers to
execute arbitrary commands as a privileged user on a vulnerable
ColdFusion installation.

Affected Products and Releases:

ColdFusion Server for Windows 4.x
ColdFusion Server for Solaris 4.x
ColdFusion Server for HP-UX 4.x
ColdFusion Server for Linux 4.x

ColdFusion Server 5.0 is not vulnerable


Macromedia ColdFusion ships with several small "helper" applications
that are meant to educate users on a small subset of ColdFusion’s
features. These applications are not installed by default, and
Macromedia has documented and continues to recommend that production
ColdFusion servers should not have the example applications installed.

ColdFusion ships with two vulnerable "Exampleapps". These applications
may be queried via a normal Web browser. Both of these example
applications employ a rudimentary security mechanism to attempt to block
all access except from the ColdFusion server itself. It is possible for
remote attackers to spoof the source of the query and bypass this

Both vulnerable scripts behave like CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
applications. It is possible for the attacker to interact with the
example applications to create files, view files, or execute commands
on the vulnerable target.


Macromedia will not release a patch to address the vulnerabilities
described in this advisory. Macromedia recommends that customers do not
install example applications or documentation on production ColdFusion
servers. Example applications are stored in the /CFDOCS/exampleapps

Macromedia recommends that the entire /CFDOCS directory tree be removed
from production servers and only installed on development installations
that that are not exposed to potentially hostile networks.

All ColdFusion customers should familiarize themselves with the
ColdFusion "Best Security Practices" document available at the following

Additional Information:

Allaire/Macromedia Security Zone:

Macromedia Security Bulletin, "ColdFusion Example Applications
Potentially Expose Server":

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
Name CAN-2001-0535 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.

ISS Consulting can offer security assessments and penetration testing
for your organization. ISS Managed Security Services can also provide
automated scanning and 24x7 IDS monitoring for these security issues.
ISS SecureU offers educational courses on ISS products and detailed
ethical hacking classes on these and other security issues.


This vulnerability was discovered and researched by Mark Dowd of ISS
X-Force. ISS would like to thank Macromedia for their response and
handling of this vulnerability.


About Internet Security Systems (ISS)
Internet Security Systems is a leading global provider of security
management solutions for the Internet, protecting digital assets and
ensuring safe and uninterrupted e-business. With its industry-leading
intrusion detection and vulnerability assessment, remote managed
security services, and strategic consulting and education offerings, ISS
is a trusted security provider to more than 8,000 customers worldwide
including 21 of the 25 largest U.S. commercial banks and the top 10 U.S.
telecommunications companies. Founded in 1994, ISS is headquartered in
Atlanta, GA, with additional offices throughout North America and
international operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and
the Middle East. For more information, visit the Internet Security
Systems web site at or call 888-901-7477.

Copyright (c) 2001 Internet Security Systems, Inc.

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