iDefense Security Advisory 03.15.07: Horde Project Cleanup Script Arbitrary File Deletion Vulnerability

Horde Project Cleanup Script Arbitrary File Deletion Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 03.15.07
Mar 15, 2007


The Horde Project provides a PHP-based framework, as well as applications
for web-based group collaboration. IMP is their web-mail application. More
information is available from the Horde Project web site at the following


Local exploitation of an input processing vulnerability within Horde
Project's Horde and IMP allows attackers to delete arbitrary files.

This vulnerability specifically exists due to the improper handling of the
output from an execution of find(1). The output from find(1) is passed
directly to a "for X in Y; do" as the Y value. Since the Y value is
delimited by spaces, the for loop will process files containing spaces in
their path as separate files. An attacker can create a file path
containing spaces to manipulate the output from find(1).

For example, creating the file "/tmp/x /etc/passwd /tmp/mswordx", the
following files will be deleted by the cron script; "/tmp/x",
"/etc/passwd", and "/tmp/mswordx".


Exploitation allows attackers to delete arbitrary files with the privileges
of the user configured to run the cron script. Since a specially created
path must be created on the local file system, local access is required.

In some cases this script may be installed to run as root. If installed
with lesser privileges, such as that of the web server, this vulnerability
is not quite as severe.

By deleting arbitrary files an attacker could possibly remove access
controls, deny access to the system, or reset configurations. In some
cases, it may be possible for an attacker to gain elevated privileges from
this vulnerability.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the cleanup
cron scripts included in the following software packages:

Horde Framework; versions 3.0, 3.0.4, 3.1.3

Horde IMP; versions 2.0.8, 2.0.9, 2.2.8, 2.3.6, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2.1, 3.2.6,

The cleanup script was originally contained within the IMP package. The
script was moved into the Horde Framework with the release of Horde
Framework (H3) 3.0.


Disabling the vulnerable cron script will effectively prevent exploitation
of this vulnerability.


The Horde Project has corrected the vulnerable cron script within version
3.1.4 of the Horde Application Framework.


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.


03/07/2007 Initial vendor notification
03/07/2007 Initial vendor response
03/15/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2007 iDefense, Inc.

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