Directory Traversal

Affecting pooledwebsocket package, versions <0.0.18

medium severity

Overview

pooledwebsocket is a Pooled Web Socket server. Affected versions of the package are vulnerable to Directory Traversal, which may allow access to sensitive files and data on the server. For example, requesting the following url /..%2f..%2fetc/passwd would result in /etc/passwd leak.

Thanks to Liang Gong for disclosing this vulnerability!

Disclosure Timeline

  • April 24th, 2017 - Disclosed to package owner
  • April 24th, 2017 - Issue acknowledged by package owner.
  • April 24th, 2017 - Issue fixed and version 0.0.18 released.

Details

A Directory Traversal attack (also known as path traversal) aims to access files and directories that are stored outside the intended folder. By manipulating files with “dot-dot-slash (../)” sequences and its variations, or by using absolute file paths, it may be possible to access arbitrary files and directories stored on file system, including application source code, configuration, and other critical system files.

Directory Traversal vulnerabilities can be generally divided into two types:

  • Information Disclosure: Allows the attacker to gain information about the folder structure or read the contents of sensitive files on the system.

st is a module for serving static files on web pages, and contains a vulnerability of this type. In our example, we will serve files from the public route.

If an attacker requests the following URL from our server, it will in turn leak the sensitive private key of the root user.

curl http://localhost:8080/public/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/root/.ssh/id_rsa

Note %2e is the URL encoded version of . (dot).

  • Writing arbitrary files: Allows the attacker to create or replace existing files. This type of vulnerability is also known as Zip-Slip.

One way to achieve this is by using a malicious zip archive that holds path traversal filenames. When each filename in the zip archive gets concatenated to the target extraction folder, without validation, the final path ends up outside of the target folder. If an executable or a configuration file is overwritten with a file containing malicious code, the problem can turn into an arbitrary code execution issue quite easily.

The following is an example of a zip archive with one benign file and one malicious file. Extracting the malicious file will result in traversing out of the target folder, ending up in /root/.ssh/ overwriting the authorized_keys file:

2018-04-15 22:04:29 .....           19           19  good.txt
2018-04-15 22:04:42 .....           20           20  ../../../../../../root/.ssh/authorized_keys

Remediation

Upgrade pooledwebsocket to version 0.0.18 or higher.

References

Do your applications use this vulnerable package?

Credit
Liang Gong
CVE
CVE-2017-16107
CWE
CWE-22
Snyk ID
npm:pooledwebsocket:20170420
Disclosed
19 Apr, 2017
Published
25 Apr, 2017