[VulnWatch] ColdFusion cross-site scripting security vulnerability of an error page

From: T.Hara (pfh00062_at_nifty.com)
Date: 09/23/03

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    Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 12:57:42 +0900
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    ColdFusion cross-site scripting security vulnerability of an error page


    --> The outline of vulnerability

    Macromedia's ColdFusion can display the various information about an
    error at the time of error occurred.
    There is information transmitted from a client machine like "Referer".
    ColdFusion displays the information as it is.
    An attacker can execute a script on victim's browser by preparing for
    WEB the link which embedded arbitrary scripts.

    --> User's risk

    The user who accesses a vulnerable server has a risk that forced to
    execute the arbitrary javascript and HTML code which the attacker
    Risks of being assumed are below.
     session high-jack ( by stolen cookie )
     page defacement by embedded html tags.
    It is insecure to store critical information ( such as personal
    information ) without encryption in cookie. Such a poor
     application will make risk bigger when session-highjack occurs.

    --> The range of influence

    This problem is contained in the error page of all versions of
    This problem does not occurred when ColdFusion's error page does not
    include the contents transmitted from client machines ( such as "Referer"

    --> About vulnerability

    In Cold Fusion, an error screen is displayed at the time of error
    It is possible to display the contents transmitted from the client
    machine (#error.HTTPReferer#) as it is.
    When the code for an attack is contained in the contents to display, a
    cross-site scripting attack can be executed.

    For example, the script will be executed when the script for an attack
    is embedded by "Referer" in #error.HTTPReferer#, and an error screen is
    The same problem exists in the #error.QueryString# .

    --> Sample attack

    User using Cold Fusion of the site A (www.CFtestA.com).
    The method of stealing cookie is bellow.

    1. An attacker creates the page B (www.atack_testA.com/cf.html) with the
    link to the site A.
    2. Next, after considering the invitation complaint which is easy to
    guide victims, such as present collection, to another page, the link to
    Page B is attached.
    A code for an attack is embedded into this link, that code remains as
    "Referer" information as it is, and when it clicks the link to the site
    A which has a victim in Page B, it will be executed.
    Example: <a href ="http://www.atack_testA.com/cf.html?>alert
    (document.cookie) </script>"> GET PRIZE! HERE'S PRIZE LINKS!</a>

    When cookie is published in site A, it can steal by this method.
    In addition, cf.html does not need to have the mechanisms (CGI etc.).
    The code below "?" is disregarded. cf.html is only displayed.
    However, an attack becomes possible in order for "?" or subsequent ones
    to remain in "Referer" as it is.
    By changing the code embedded by the same method, it becomes possible to
    execute arbitrary codes.

    --> Solution

    The patch corresponding to this problem is distributed at Macromedia.
    A patch can come to hand by Following URL.
    URL of
    Moreover, you should not use an error page which displays the contents
    transmitted from a client machine as it is irrespective of the existence
    of patch application.
    Although it may be necessity at the debugging time, it is dangerous with
    real operation environment.

    T.Hara , Scan Security Wire http://www.scan-web.com/ .

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