ColdFusion cross-site scripting security vulnerability of an error page

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

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    Date: 23 Sep 2003 03:37:29 -0000
    To: bugtraq@securityfocus.com
    
    
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    >> 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 embedded.
    Risks of being assumed are below.
     session high-jack ( by stolen cookie )
     page defacement by embedded html tags.
     etc.
    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 ColdFusion.
    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 occurred.
    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 displayed.
    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?&lt;script&gt;alert(document.cookie) &lt;/script&gt;"> 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 http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/security/security_zone/mpsb03-06.html
    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/ .
    http://www.scan-web.com/jvi/index.cgi


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