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TUCoPS :: Web :: Apache :: bt1378.txt

mod_security 1.7RC1 to 1.7.1 vulnerability

Program:		mod_security (
Versions:		1.7RC1 to 1.7.1 (Apache 2 version)
Synopsis:		malloc based buffer overflow
Author:			Adam Dyga (adeon(at), ad(at)
Discovered:		October 24, 2003
Published:		October 28, 2003


	There is a exploitable malloc based buffer overflow in
	mod_security (apache 2 version).
	When appropriately exploited this can lead to (under some circumstances - 		
	remote)	code execution on a vulnerable system with apache server user 		


	The bug exists in sec_filter_out() function in apache2/mod_security.c :


		if (ctx->bufused + len > ctx->buflen) {
            char *newbuffer;
            // todo: implement a smarter extension policy
            unsigned long int newsize = ctx->buflen * 2;

            sec_debug_log(r, 3, "sec_filter_out: expanding buffer to %i", newsize);

            // allocate a larger buffer
            newbuffer = apr_palloc(f->r->pool, newsize + 1);
            memcpy(newbuffer, ctx->buffer, ctx->bufused);
            // free(ctx->buffer);

            ctx->buffer = newbuffer;
            ctx->buflen = newsize;
            ctx->input_ptr = ctx->buffer + ctx->bufused;

        memcpy(ctx->input_ptr, data, len);
        ctx->input_ptr += len;
        ctx->bufused += len;


	As we can see, if ctx->buffer is too small, it's size is doubled, regardless of
	the size of	incoming data. If incoming data size is larger than
	(ctx->buflen*2 - ctx->bufused) then the second memcpy may overwrite further header(s) of
	the next chunks on the heap. The author assumed, that incoming data size is not
	larger than 8kB, because Apache internally transports data in chunks that are
	4kB/8kB long. However, this is not true when data is sent by server side script.

	This is a piece of mod_security debug log:

	sec_filter_out: got 198301 bytes, bufused=0, buflen=16384
	sec_filter_out: expanding buffer to 32768

	The buffer is overflowed when server side script is generating large output,
	for example when writing large file to the output:

		Header('Content-Type: image/jpeg');

	When getting the 'some_large_image.jpeg' directly from server (not by the above
	script, but by using GET method instead), the buffer overflow doesn't occur.

	So, to perform an attack, the attacker has to have the possibility to upload his/her own
	script to the server (very common on web hosting servers) or to use some XSS bug found on
	the site.

	The sec_filter_out() function is called when the module is just loaded,
	no other directives in httpd.conf (from mod_security) are needed.


	Upgrade to 1.7.2, which fixes the vulnerability. If that is not
	possible, turn output filtering off with "SecFilterScanOutput Off".

Vendor status:

	October 24, 2003 - notified, no response
	October 25, 2003 - notified, got response
	October 28, 2003 - patched version of mod_security 1.7.2 released
	October 28, 2003 - public disclosure

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