[waraxe-2004-SA#032 - Multiple security flaws in PhpNuke 6.x - 7.3] Jun 11 2004 11:26AM
Janek Vind (come2waraxe yahoo com)


{ [waraxe-2004-SA#032] }


{ }

{ [ Multiple security flaws in PhpNuke 6.x - 7.3 ] }

{ }


Author: Janek Vind "waraxe"

Date: 11. June 2004

Location: Estonia, Tartu

Web: http://www.waraxe.us/index.php?modname=sa&id=32

Affected software description:


Php-Nuke is a popular freeware content management system, written in php by

Francisco Burzi. This CMS (Content Management System) is used on many thousands

websites, because it's freeware, easy to install and has broad set of features.

Homepage: http://phpnuke.org



Most of the bugs are XSS and one is noncritical sql injection.

Affected are modules "Reviews", "Encyclopedia" and "Faq".

A - Cross-site scripting aka XSS


A1 - XSS in "Faq" module through unsanitaized user-submitted variable "categories":

es=[xss code here]

A2 - XSS in "Encyclopedia" module through unsanitaized user-submitted variable "ltr":

=[xss code here]

A3 - XSS in "Encyclopedia" module through unsanitaized user-submitted variable "eid":

ss code here]

f00bar&eid=[xss code here]

A4 - XSS in "Encyclopedia" module through unsanitaized user-submitted variable "query":

Remark: this exploit needs multipage encyclopedia entry for success...

&page=2&query=[xss code here]

A5 - XSS in "Reviews" module's function "preview_review()":

e=f001&text=f002&score=9&email=f003 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=f00bar&url_title=fo
obar&url=[xss code here]

e=f001&text=f002&score=9&email=f003 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=f00bar&cover=[xss code here]

e=f001&text=f002&score=9&email=f00 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=f00bar&rlanguage=[xs
s code here]

e=f001&text=f002&score=9&email=f00 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=f00bar&hits=[xss code here]

A6 - XSS in "Reviews" module's function "send_review()":

This function is written very poorly by security means. Most of the input variables,

submitted by user, are not properly checked and will be written to database without

sanitaize. So users with lower permissions (regular users) can write review and when

admin will look at that review for approval, then XSS event occurs. Basically it's

script injection and can be used for cookie theft/browser redirection/etc.


=f002&score=9&email=f00 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=[xss code here]

And in addition to all previous mentioned weaknesses such fragment of code can

be found from "/modules/Reviews/index.php":

------- [ original code starting ] ------------------------------------------------

function send_review($date, $title, $text, $reviewer, $email, $score, $cover, $url, $url_title, $hits, $id, $rlanguage) {

global $admin, $EditedMessage, $prefix, $db, $module_name;

include ('header.php');

if (eregi("<!--pagebreak-->", $text)) {

$text = ereg_replace("<!--pagebreak-->","<!--pagebreak-->;",$text);


$id = intval($id);

$title = stripslashes(FixQuotes(check_html($title, "nohtml")));

$text = stripslashes(Fixquotes(urldecode(check_html($text, ""))));

if (eregi("<!--pagebreak-->", $text)) {

$text = ereg_replace("<!--pagebreak-->","<!--pagebreak-->",$text);


------- [ original code ending ] ------------------------------------------------

So what's bad in it? Well, let's look at "$text = stripslashes(Fixquotes(urldecode(check_html($text, ""))));".

As we can see, first user submitted variable "text" will be sanitized against html tags

(which is of course good thing to do), next it will be urldecoded (mmmm...) and then all the "\'"

will be replaced with "''". Traditional mistake can be found here - we can inject urlencoded

scripting content through variable "text" and it will be not smashed by check_html(), coz

it is "reconstructed" AFTER check_html() ;)

Proof of concept example:

=f002&score=9&email=f00 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&text=f00%253c/textarea>%253cscript>alert

As seen above, we can use even simplest "<script>" tags to accomplish XSS, because all the

malicious stuff will bypass phpnuke anti-xss filters, being urlencoded...

Remark: it will not work on nuke73, because there is added additional filter

against "%25" in query string. Is there a way to evade this filter? Sure, if attacker is creative.

A7 - XSS in "Reviews" module's function "savecomment()":

xss code here]&id=8&score=9

B - Sql injection


B1 - noncritical sql injection in module "reviews":

http://localhost/nuke73/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=Q&order=[sql injection code here]

C - Full path disclosure


C1 - full path disclosure in "Reviews" module function "preview_review()":

e=f001&text=f002&score=9&email=f00 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=f00bar&date=f00bar

And we will get:

Warning: date(): Windows does not support dates prior to midnight (00:00:00), January 1,

1970 in D:\apache_wwwroot\nuke73\modules\Reviews\index.php on line 214

Remark: this kind of error seems to occur only on windows servers...

D - Flaws in score subsystem


Score points must be in range 0...10, but its not checked properly before storing to

database. In case on review score, if we issue request like this:

=f002&score=9&email=f00 (at) bar (dot) org [email concealed]&reviewer=f00&score=9999


1. we see funny looking very long line of score, which itself is not insecure in any way ;)

2. we get error message, leading to full path discosure:

(Warning: date(): Windows does not support dates prior to midnight (00:00:00), January 1, 1970

in D:\apache_wwwroot\nuke73\modules\Reviews\index.php on line 542)

Now, any user can post comments to reviews and give score too. That score is not properly

checked too and this time lets give VERY BIG score to review and lets see, whats happeing:


Result is DoS - server side will consume massively CPU and memory resources and client-side

webbrowser will be stalled too. Finally in most cases maximum php script execution time will

be exceeded and error message will be seen.

How to fix:


Anyone interested in tutorial(s) for fixing those security bugs, is welcome to

forum on http://www.waraxe.us/forums.html

See ya there!



Greets to Raido Kerna and to http://www.gamecheaters.us staff!

Special greets to icenix, Dionysus and Stonecold for great help!



come2waraxe (at) yahoo (dot) com [email concealed]

Janek Vind "waraxe"

Homepage: http://www.waraxe.us/

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

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