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Re: Plesk Apache Zeroday Remote Exploit
From: David H <ispcolohost () gmail com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 23:07:19 -0400

I don't have an interest in disproving anything or defending Plesk as it is
mostly bug-ridden garbage, the purpose of my post was to try and determine
in which scenarios the exploit is possible so those who are vulnerable can
help themselves.

Like I said in my email, as best I can tell, the ScriptAlias directive that
the exploit states as being a requirement for the vulnerability, would
never appear on a Plesk 8 server since Plesk 8, at least on CentOS, never
offered the ability to run php as a cgi.  I also could not find the
required directive existing on a Plesk 9.5.4 server; on there php cgi
requests are fed to their wrapper script.

I've since seen some other discussion of this on Reddit and someone on
there confirmed the bad directive was present on a Plesk 9.2 server.  It
sounds like any Plesk version 9.x prior to 9.5.4 would be vulnerable on any
IP where the site in question is set to run php in cgi mode.  I do not
believe it would be possible to perform the attack if php were set to
apache module.  Of course Plesk 9.x prior to 9.5.4 with all updates applied
has numerous known vulnerabilities so this would be an addition to that

I do believe if there is any platform where php as a cgi is the default
config, it would be vulnerable as well if not patched because Plesk would
keep that default.

I would be interested in knowing if anyone has a Plesk 8 server where the
[scriptAlias /phppath/ "/usr/bin/"] is present; I have not been able to
find one and have not been able to find a Plesk 8 server where this exploit

On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 10:28 PM, Kingcope <
isowarez.isowarez.isowarez () googlemail com> wrote:

Dave ,
Again bla bla,
Dont Lie!!! I tested and it Works proper !! Tested on Centos Red Hat
Debian FreeBSD !! Pure Remote in the Wild !! Better Patch Ur Servers and
Check Ur perimeter than Telling lies.

Me mixanaki Kai Computer Kai flogera!



Am 06.06.2013 um 00:37 schrieb David H <ispcolohost () gmail com>:

Sorry for improper reply; was not a member of the list until today so I
didn't have the original email to reply to.

As best I can tell, this exploit only works on very specific
configurations that may or may not actually be related to Plesk; I'm not
able to tell because I have not found a version of Plesk that the
vulnerability worked on to be able to determine why.  I was only able to
reproduce this issue on one server and it turns out there was a very weird
reason why it worked.

The server in question was Plesk 8.6 on CentOS 5.  On that particular
server, the exploit only worked on IP addresses that were set to 'shared'
in Plesk, it did not work on any IP set to exclusive that had a default
website configured to be served.

Additionally, there was no reference to phppath in any of the apache
config files on the system in /etc/httpd/conf/, /etc/httpd/conf.d/, or
/var/www/vhosts/*/conf/ where all the included domain config files are so I
was really struggling to figure out why that was working.

Turns out on this specific server the server owner had an issue where
some of his hosted domain owners liked to type in https:// in front of
their domain even if they did not use SSL and were on the shared IP
address.  Normally, by default for Plesk, if a site on a shared IP does not
have SSL enabled, you'll get the Plesk banner page instead of the website
you typed in, which is served from /var/www/vhosts/default/htdocs/.  This
customer had some complaints from those users, so he put a copy of
/usr/bin/php-cgi in /var/www/vhosts/default/cgi-bin/, used a .htaccess to
enable php for those default requests, then rewrote all requests coming in
over https:// to index.php where a redirect was done in php to the
non-secure equivalent of the domain requested.  (Just using rewrite rules
would have worked too but whatever...)

It appears this was set up a couple years ago and since this was CentOS
5, the copy of /usr/bin/php-cgi taken at the time was vulnerable to the
cve-2012-1823 issue.  Copying /usr/bin/php-cgi over top of
/var/www/vhosts/default/cgi-bin/php-cgi resolved the issue.  If this was
not related to cve-2012-1823 I would not have expected that solution to
work, since the only change was copying the latest CentOS 5 php-cgi over
top of a several year old version of the same file.  Additionally, prior to
doing that, I modified the exploit script to execute 'ls' and got the
contents of the /var/www/vhosts/default/htdocs/ directory.  Based on the
description of the exploit and the expectation that it is running by using
a direct execution of /usr/bin/php, I would have expected to get the
contents of /usr/bin/ instead?

Now, keep in mind that Plesk 8 did not allow you to select to select to
run php as a fastcgi or cgi, only php on or php off.  I'm only familiar
with Plesk on CentOS but this means that without a custom config, there is
no way to run a website on an install of Plesk 8 on CentOS with php set to
run as a cgi, only apache module, and the exploit doesn't seem to work in
that case.

Plesk 9 did add the option to run php as fastcgi or cgi.  After some
searching around online, I did find reference to the 'phppath' alias in
some Plesk forum posts but they were for platforms other than CentOS and
not Plesk 8, so unless I'm missing it, I don't think the ScriptAlias
/phppath/ is used on Plesk 8 or 9 on CentOS with the CentOS-provided php.

I know my situation was very weird, so I'm just theorizing now, but I'm
kind of thinking at this point that perhaps the exploit only works in the
following specific situations:

1) If the server in question runs an OS where php executes as a cgi by
default instead of as an apache module, AND either the OS vendor has not
released a patched php-cgi for cve-2012-1823 or the server owner is not up
to date on their patches.  My example of just copying the OS php-cgi over
top of the one that had been in use on the single instance resolved it, so
that's what lead me to that conclusion.  I do not know which
Plesk-supported OS's run php as a cgi by default.

2) If the server in question runs Plesk 9, AND the server admin or site
owner has set php to run as a cgi, AND the php-cgi has not been patched for

In CentOS/RHEL, if you install httpd and mod_php, the default config is
to run it as an apache module and this exploit did not work in those
situations; same with Plesk 9.  I also attempted to set php to run as a cgi
on a few sites on Plesk 9 on CentOS 5 and the exploit did not work, but all
of the CentOS 5 servers I have access to have their php rpm up to date
which means it is patched for cve-2012-1823.  CentOS 4 was never php 5 so
it was not vulnerable to cve-2012-1823 to begin with and Plesk 8 and Plesk
9 on that platform don't seem to be vulnerable.

If someone has an out of date copy of CentOS 5 running Plesk 9, it would
be interesting to set a site to run php as a cgi and then hit it with the
script to see if the exploit works.  If it does, then it's the
cve-2012-1823 issue and just unpatched servers causing the problem, but
only when the exploit hits a website that has php set to run as a cgi, or
the OS runs it as a cgi by default (don't know which ones do that).


From: king cope <isowarez.isowarez.isowarez () googlemail com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 18:37:38 +0200
Please keep headers intact.

Engineered by Kingcope

Copyright (C)2013 Kingcope
Attachment: pleskwwwzeroday.rar
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