[VulnWatch] PHP Information Functions May Allow Cross-Site Scripting

From: Matthew Murphy (mattmurphy@kc.rr.com)
Date: 10/13/02

From: "Matthew Murphy" <mattmurphy@kc.rr.com>
To: "VulnDiscuss" <vulndiscuss@vulnwatch.org>, "VulnWatch" <vulnwatch@vulnwatch.org>, "Vuln-Dev" <vuln-dev@securityfocus.com>, "SecurITeam News" <news@securiteam.com>, "BugTraq" <bugtraq@securityfocus.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 00:34:13 -0500

PHP Information Functions May Allow Cross-Site Scripting

Write-Up: http://www.techie.hopto.org/vulns/2002-36.txt

The phpinfo() debugging function is a useful tool to diagnose the causes of
errors in applications, particularly those relating to individual
environments. The procedure outputs information about the state of PHP and
the server at the time of execution -- including an image tag that pulls up
the PHP logo. To do this, the tag calls the PHP script with a query string
of "=/soinfo.php?=PHPE9568F35-D428-11d2-A769-00AA001ACF42" or similar
(changes based on the logo desired).

The first thing I audited with this was messing with the query -- zilch.
The next thing I did was add an extra question mark to the URI. The nice
PHP logo miraculously transforms into that ugly Internet Explorer X -- no
image to display. So, we now know that PHP forgot to strip the query off
the URI before inserting it into that image tag.

Worse, we discover that PHP doesn't filter queries -- meaning that the


will cause [code] to run, provided the browser doesn't implement a paranoid
encoding mechanism -- as most do. This vulnerability has a limited impact.


Set expose_php = Off in php.ini to eliminate this. PHP Bug ID#19881
describes this issue.

The Irony:

The comment lines directly above the expose_php directive in the default
config file specifically say that it is "no security threat", but having it
enabled opens you to an XSS? Food for thought...

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