Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) vulnerable to cross-site scripting via HTTP TRACK method

ID VU:288308
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2004-01-09T00:00:00



Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) servers support a HTTP method called TRACK. The HTTP TRACK method returns the contents of client HTTP requests in the entity-body of the TRACK response. This behavior could be leveraged by attackers to access sensitive information, such as cookies or authentication data, contained in the HTTP headers of the request.


Microsoft IIS servers support the HTTP TRACK method. The HTTP TRACK method asks a web server to echo the contents of the request back to the client for debugging purposes. The TRACK request is not RFC compliant and not well documented.

The complete request, including HTTP headers, is returned in the entity-body of a TRACK response. This leads to a Cross-site Scripting attack. Using features that provide client-side HTTP protocol support, such as XMLHTTP ActiveX or XMLDOM scripting objects, a web site can cause browsers to issue TRACK requests. The site can read the TRACK response, including sensitive header information such as cookies or authentication data.

Because the TRACK method is similar to the TRACE method, when combined with cross-domain browser vulnerabilities (VU#244729, VU#711843, VU#728563), HTTP TRACK and client-side HTTP support can be leveraged by attackers to read sensitive header information from third-party domains. This technique has been termed "Cross-Site Tracing," or XST, in a report published by WhiteHat Security. As noted in the report, the technique can be used to bypass the HttpOnly cookie attribute introduced in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1. HttpOnly blocks script access to the cookie property (document.cookie), but does not prevent a scripting object from reading the cookie out of an HTTP TRACK response.

IIS 6 is reported to be not vulnerable.


Attackers may abuse HTTP TRACK functionality to gain access to information in HTTP headers such as cookies and authentication data. In the presence of other cross-domain vulnerabilities in web browsers, sensitive header information could be read from any domains that support the HTTP TRACK method.


Microsoft IIS 6 is reported to be not vulnerable. The TRACK method can be added to Microsoft's URLScan DenyVerbs section. It should not be in the AllowVerbs section in the urlscan.ini file.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
Microsoft Corporation| | -| 05 Jan 2004
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | N/A | N/A


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Thanks to Parcifal Aertssen for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jason A Rafail and Art Manion.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • Date Public: 28 Dec 2003
  • Date First Published: 05 Jan 2004
  • Date Last Updated: 09 Jan 2004
  • Document Revision: 9