iDefense Security Advisory 06.03.08: Sun Java System Active Server Pages Multiple Directory Traversal Vulnerabilities

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2008-06-05T00:00:00


iDefense Security Advisory 06.03.08 Jun 03, 2008


Sun Java System Active Server Pages is a multi-platform ASP application server. It provides provides ASP (Active Server Pages) functionality to a web server. More information is available at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of multiple directory traversal vulnerabilities in Sun Microsystem's Java System Active Server Pages allows attackers to obtain the contents of, and delete, sensitive files on the system.

Both vulnerabilities exist within ASP applications included with the product. When accessed via the administration server, the ASP engine does not prevent directory traversal using the "../" construct. By supplying a specially crafted HTTP request to one of the affected ASP applications, an attacker is able to read from arbitrary files.

One of the applications will disclose only the first and third lines of the file. Once the application is finished processing the file, it will delete it.


Exploitation allows an attacker to gain sensitive information from the server. No authentication is required to reach the affected ASP applications. The attacker only needs to be able to establish a session with the administration server on TCP port 5100.

Since the server process runs with root privileges, an attacker could obtain the contents of, or delete, any file on the system. It is interesting to note that attempting to exploit these vulnerabilities via the web server results in an error as shown below.

[Fri Feb 23 18:16:49 2007] Server object, 80004005, ASP 0175~Disallowed Path Characters~The '..' characters are not allowed in the Path parameter for the MapPath method.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of these vulnerabilities within version 4.0.2 of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java System Active Server Pages. Older versions are suspected to be vulnerable.


In order to prevent exploitation of these vulnerabilities, disable administration server by executing the following command as the 'root' user.

# /opt/casp/admtool -e

Additionally, removing the affected ASP applications will prevent exploitation of these vulnerabilities.


Sun Microsystems has addressed these vulnerabilities with the release of version 4.0.3 of Sun Java System Active Server Pages. For more information, refer to Sun Alert 238184 at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-2403 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


04/04/2007 Initial vendor notification 04/05/2007 Initial vendor response 06/03/2008 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of these vulnerabilities wishes to remain anonymous.

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