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Re: Oddities of PHP file access in Window s ®. Cheat-sheet [maybe 0day]
From: ascii <ascii () katamail com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 17:19:54 +0100

On 01/12/2011 09:59 AM, [UNICODE] wrote:
And we never can know what nifty tricks PHP
interpreter had reserved for our next
day. In this paper we will describe details about how PHP treats file
names on Windows operating
systems, regarding the presence of different fuzzy characters

Original English article: http://onsec.ru/onsec.whitepaper-02.eng.pdf


I don't know what name you are willing do to of your company by
publishing such papers. To me it seems important to behave in a correct
way by citing prior works. Rehashing and ripping seems a dismal choice.

It seems really hard to believe that you failed to stumble upon our
papers during your "research".


But let's analyze the paper, page by page, and try to understand the
amount of "original" work here.

- Page 1

Vladimir Vorontsov (d0znpp () onsec ru / https://twitter.com/#!/d0znpp),
Arthur Gerkis (arthur.gerkis () onsec ru / https://twitter.com/#!/ax330d).
ONsec - security research team (http://onsec.ru).
Greetz to RDOT (http://rdot.org)

What we learn from this page?

That the two "researchers", "d0znpp" and "ax330d", are the lax
"authors" of the research.

- Page 2

Nothing interesting. Fuffa.

- Page 3

Nothing interesting. Menu.

- Page 4

Ripped information, copy and paste. Prologue.

What we learn from this page?

The two researchers didn't known of this technique, found a Chinese
document explaining some code auditing tips for PHP code. Amazed the
two decided to completely rip the code and rephrase the results.

Translation of the .ch text is: "We are in the windows system running
the above code are the following characters * <>? P p can open the
directory 1.php."

The promise of the paper authors is that the "Current paper will show
the results of further investigation of such weird behavior.".

In our opinion great parts of their further investigations is already
contained in our paper, from 2009.

- Page 5

"Investigating our fuzzing results"

Moreover, during the trace of call stack it was found out that the
character > gets replaced with ?, character < transforms to *, and "
(double quote) is replaced by a . (dot). This bug has already been
described in MSDN in 2007 year: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-

The point is, this is uber well known well before 2007.

Our paper was writing:

- On Windows OS both (include|require)(_once)? functions will convert
  "foo.php" followed by one or more of the chars \x20 ( ), \x22 ("),
  \x2E (.), \x3C (<), \x3E (>) back to "foo.php".

We were not aware of the MS document, but in general we are always
happy to cite and link to previous works. So my opinion is that if we
stumbled upon that document at the time of our research it would be
surely included.


- Page 6

Perhaps the first useful bit of the paper. An investigation of witch
functions use FindFirstFile() internally.

- Page 7 and 8

Nothing interesting. If you take a closer look the code is taken from

No idea why they republished it.

- Page 9

"Collecting together all the known tricks to access files in Windows"

Yeah, the point is that these trick have not been discovered by ONSEC
authors! The issue is that ONSEC's researchers totally fail to
understand this and even write the following sentence:

"During our research we have tested different combinations of file
names and functions, that resulted into the following cheat-sheet."

Tip 1: Known. 100% shown in our paper.
Tip 2: Known. Documented by MS. 90% already shown in our paper.
Tip 3: Known. Documented by MS. 90% already shown in our paper. In
addition we show that the dot at the end of the filename is ignored.
Tip 4: Known. Documented by MS. 90% already shown in our paper.
Tip 5: Known. 100% already shown in our paper.
Tip 6: "This is obvious and was known for a long time."

Summarizing our feeling is that ONSEC published a paper that mostly
rehash the contents of a paper* that is a rehash of research published
by others, incorrectly citing (or better, not citing at all) previous
works and sources and essentially unfairly taking credits.

The value of the spots of actual research that are contained in the
paper is ruined by this.

Francesco `ascii` Ongaro

* As shown by the dates in http://code.google.com/p/pasc2at/updates/list

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