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ACROS Security: HTML Injection in BEA WebLogic Server Console (ASPR #2008-03-11-1)
ACROS Security Problem Report #2008-03-11-1
ASPR #2008-03-11-1: HTML Injection in BEA WebLogic Server Console
Document ID: ASPR #2008-03-11-1-PUB
Vendor: BEA Systems (http://www.bea.com)
Target: BEA WebLogic Server 10.0
Impact: There is an HTML Injection vulnerability in WebLogic
Server 10 Administration Console that allows the
attacker to gain administrative access to the server.
Status: Official patch available, workarounds available
Discovered by: Sasa Kos and Mitja Kolsek of ACROS Security
There is an HTML Injection vulnerability in WebLogic Server 10
Administration Console that allows the attacker to gain administrative
access to the server. It is possible to craft such URL that will, when
requested from the server, return a document with arbitrarily chosen HTML
injected. An obvious use for this type of vulnerability is cross- site
scripting that can be used, among other things, for obtaining session
cookies from WebLogic administrators. These cookies, when stolen, provide
the attacker with administrative access to WebLogic Administration
Console, compromising the security of the entire web server.
This vulnerability is exploitable even if the Administration Console is
only being accessed via HTTPS, and even if the Administrative Port is
- WebLogic Server 10.0
Note: Our tests were only performed on the above product version. Other
versions may or may not be affected.
An invalid value of some URL argument causes the Console to spawn an
unhandled exception, which results in the exception stack trace being
dumped onto the HTML page. The resulting exception message includes the
value provided in the URL argument. While this value is partially
sanitized, we found a way to bypass this sanitization and inject a working
script into the resulting HTML.
In an actual attack the user would not be required to open URLs specified
by the attacker. Instead, a malicious web page visited by the logged-in
WebLogic administrator would mount the entire attack automatically and
covertly. For instance, a tiny 0x0 pixel iframe could be used for loading
the URL from the demonstration immediately upon administrator's visit to
the malicious page, injecting the malicious script to the WebLogic
server's response. This malicious script would then silently send these
cookies to the attacker's server, where she could pick them up and use
them for entering the administrator's session in the Administration
- In order to execute the above attack, the attacker would need to make
the administrator's browser visit a malicious web page while the
administrator is logged into the Administration Console. This can be
achieved using social engineering, network traffic modification or a
combination of both.
- If the attacker manages to obtain a valid ADMINCONSOLESESSION cookie
(and optionally _WL_AUTHCOOKIE_ADMINCONSOLESESSION cookie), these will
only be useful until the administrator logs out of the Administration
Console. However, the attacker knowing that might rush to create a new
administrative user in the console and use that user for WebLogic
administration after the legitimate administrator has logged off.
BEA Systems has issued a security bulletin  and published a patch which
fixes this issue.
- WebLogic administrators can be trained not to browse other web pages
while logged in to the Administration Console. However, since some
hyperlinks in the console point to servers on the Internet (e.g.,
http://support.bea.com) the attacker could watch the administrator's
Internet traffic and detect such requests as a strong sign that the
administrator is currently logged in to the Administration Console. She
would then slightly modify the Internet server's response so as to include
the malicious code. Such an attack could only be mounted by attackers
capable of monitoring and modifying the administrator's Internet traffic
(most likely an ISP or someone who broke into an ISP).
- The WebLogic Administration Console can be disabled, which would
neutralize this vulnerability.
 BEA Systems Security Advisory BEA08-195.00
We would like to acknowledge Gordon Engel and Neil Smithline of BEA
Systems for professional handling of the identified vulnerability.
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March 11, 2008: Initial release
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