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Re: Security Hole in Netscape Enterprise Server 3.0
From: mfrederick () PHOENIX USWEB COM (Matthew Frederick)
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 09:45:00 -0700


This problem has been around in "Livewire" since its inception. We solved it
more securely by putting the actual web file in a protected directory above
the website's directory.

It makes testing a bit more of a pain (relative URL's have to be mucked with)
but it's certainly more secure than renaming the file. The problem with the
default setup (and the renaming system) is that the .web file lies in a
publicly-readable directory. Put it somewhere where the OS can protect it
instead.

We really panicked when we first realized this -- we had, of course, database
usernames and passwords in the .web file!

[BTW, please note that I don't subscribe to BugTraq -- I received this through
another source who was just passing it along to me.]

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew Frederick                               USWeb Corporation
Director of Technology                             Phoenix Office
Associate Partner                    mfrederick () phoenix usweb com
-----------------------------------------------------------------
USWeb Corporation     A Strategic Partner for the Information Age

-----Original Message-----
From: Bugtraq List [mailto:BUGTRAQ () NETSPACE ORG]On Behalf Of Daragh
Malone
Sent: Friday, April 24, 1998 4:48 AM
To: BUGTRAQ () NETSPACE ORG
Subject: Security Hole in Netscape Enterprise Server 3.0


     Hi All,
        I don't know if there is a patch for this, or if this is already
     well known, but here it is. A simple workaround follows.

     Problem: Livewire Applications are downloadable. (Passwords are
     unencrypted)

     Platform: DEC UNIX 4.0D (possibly all Unixes/NT)

     Description:
        Livewire applications are basically server-side Javascript
     applications that behave similiar to Active Server Pages. The main
     difference is that Livewire applications are compiled to a proprietary
     byte executable that contains all the pages in the application.
        These applications are generated with .web extensions. In their own
     example, the game hangman is accessed as
     http://www.myserver.com/hangman/ and the application is hangman.web.
     So accessing http://www.myserver.com/hangman/hangman.web will download
     the application to your browser.
        The second problem lies in the fact that all the pages are
     readable, and that database username/passwords are unencrypted, unless
     specifically encrypted in your application.
        The two problems combined can compromise security. This problem
     occurs regardless of Web directory permissions from a server level.

     Quick Workaround:
        Rename the .web application to something cryptic like G6r$79k9.web
     and make sure that the directory it's in isn't a document directory.

     Rant:
        I verified this problem on a few Internet sites, which leads to the
     question: If you verify a web security problem (remember .. at the end
     of Active Server Pages) is this technically illegal.
        If anyone knows if this problem has been fixes I'd really
     appreciate it.


        Thanks,
        D.Malone.





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