Home page logo

oss-sec logo oss-sec mailing list archives

Re: Zimbra XSS in aspell.php, CVE request
From: Jeff Flanigan <jflanigan () zimbra com>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 10:36:53 -0700 (PDT)

Filed https://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=81588 for 8.0.4. Thanks for the clarification of what we missed in 
bug 79640.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Kurt Seifried" <kseifried () redhat com>
To: oss-security () lists openwall com
Cc: "Michael Scherer" <misc () zarb org>, security () vmware com, security () zimbra com
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:21:11 AM
Subject: Re: [oss-security] Zimbra XSS in aspell.php, CVE request

Hash: SHA1

On 04/05/2013 06:14 PM, Michael Scherer wrote:
Le vendredi 05 avril 2013 à 18:05 -0600, Kurt Seifried a écrit :
On 04/05/2013 04:21 AM, Michael Scherer wrote:

While trying to see how hard a bug would be to fix in Zimbra 
during a discussion with a coworker, I stumbled across a XSS
flaw in Zimbra, in a spell checking external webservice.

Since I didn't found the public web interface for the source
code of Zimbra and since perforce is not as straightforward to
run on linux than git and slow to download the 2G of source
code, I recommend to people to look at the github mirror, even
if this mean losing some information and changelog.

The issue is on this file : 

The problem is that $dictionary is coming from user input ( from
GET parameters ), since it is a copy of $_REQUEST. Then if no
text is given ( and so $text is empty ), it is printed back in
the html form displayed without any kind of sanitization at all
( line133 : 


So a attacker could inject javascript/html there just by
giving crafted link to a user, running as the domain of zimbra
( albeit on a different port ). Something like 

( with proper url encoding of course ).

Due to typecasting, "" is considered as equal to NULL for
'==', while it may not be the case in other circumstances.

If I am not wrong, the default location for the spell checking 
service is http://$config{HOSTNAME}:7780/aspell.php, so a 
improperly secured server ( ie, without a firewall ) could be 
vulnerable to javascript injection, which could be used to
steal various informations ( like the session cookie ).

However, depending on the browser and the security setting,
the issue could be mitigated, even if it seems we can still
steal the cookie with a spear phising attempt ( 


The issue can be tested quite easily, just take any php
hosting, download the aspell.php file there and run :

$ curl 

You should see that the html code is inserted back in the form. I
didn't spent time on writing a trivial exploit for that.

Upstream have been notified on 2013-01-12 on a private bug ( 
https://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=79640 ), with
first answer on 2013-02-22, along with a fix following on the
next hours. However, the fix is incorrect, and my attempt to
make the coder change his mind failed.

The fix that was written can be found on a aggregate commit on

While that could fix a XSS issue if the code was correctly used,
there was no security issue since the call of the function is
wrong on line 67, we see 1 parameter is missing and the value
of $dictionnary is overwrote by the return code and is always
0, so we cannot inject anything with it.

As I couldn't convince upstream to correct this, and given that
I have let enough time to react to them after following the 
procedure, I consider that full disclosure is the next step to
have it corrected.

Can someone assign a CVE for it ?

Is this also in the open source version?


I only used the open source version ( since I doubt the other
version is cloned on github, that would kinda be a license
violation ) and I do not have access to the closed source one ( or
rather, i didn't tried very hard to have access to it to check, as
I would not be able to link to source code for verification )

However, I suspect that's the same for non open source one ( ie, I
see no reason to have less features in the commercial version )

Ah sorry misread, thought you were testing against a live commercial
zimbra install the first time. Also added vmware/zimbbra security
(hopefully those email addresses exist) to the CC.

Please use CVE-2013-1938  for this issue.

- -- 
Kurt Seifried Red Hat Security Response Team (SRT)
PGP: 0x5E267993 A90B F995 7350 148F 66BF 7554 160D 4553 5E26 7993
Version: GnuPG v1.4.13 (GNU/Linux)


  By Date           By Thread  

Current thread:
[ Nmap | Sec Tools | Mailing Lists | Site News | About/Contact | Advertising | Privacy ]