ACROS Security: HTML Injection in BEA (Oracle) WebLogic Server Console (ASPR #2009-01-27-1)

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2009-01-28T00:00:00




========================================================================= ACROS Security Problem Report #2009-01-27-1

ASPR #2009-01-27-1: HTML Injection in BEA WebLogic Server Console

Document ID: ASPR #2009-01-27-1-PUB Vendor: ORACLE ( Target: Oracle WebLogic Server 10.0 Impact: There is an HTML Injection vulnerability in WebLogic Server 10 Administration Console that allows the attacker to gain administrative access to the server. Severity: High Status: Official patch available, workarounds available Discovered by: Sasa Kos of ACROS Security

Current version


There is an HTML Injection vulnerability in WebLogic Server 10 Administration Console that allows the attacker to gain administrative access to the server. It is possible to craft such URL that will, when requested from the server, return a document with arbitrarily chosen HTML injected. An obvious use for this type of vulnerability is cross- site scripting that can be used, among other things, for obtaining session cookies from WebLogic administrators. These cookies, when stolen, provide the attacker with administrative access to WebLogic Administration Console, compromising the security of the entire web server.

This vulnerability is exploitable even if the Administration Console is only being accessed via HTTPS, and even if the Administrative Port is enabled.

Product Coverage

  • WebLogic Server 10.0

Note: Our tests were only performed on the above product version. Other versions may or may not be affected.


Some URL argument in the WebLogic Server 10 Administration Console is not properly sanitized against HTML injection, which allows the attacker to introduce additional, malicious HTML to the server's response. The most common type of HTML injection is injection of malicious client-side script, commonly known as cross-site scripting.

In an actual attack the user would not be required to open URLs specified by the attacker. Instead, a malicious web page visited by the logged-in WebLogic administrator would mount the entire attack automatically and covertly. For instance, a tiny 0x0 pixel iframe could be used for loading the URL from the demonstration immediately upon administrator's visit to the malicious page, injecting the malicious script to the WebLogic server's response. This malicious script would then silently send these cookies to the attacker's server, where she could pick them up and use them for entering the administrator's session in the Administration Console.

Mitigating Factors

  • In order to execute the above attack, the attacker would need to make the administrator's browser visit a malicious web page while the administrator is logged into the Administration Console. This can be achieved using social engineering, network traffic modification or a combination of both.

  • If the attacker manages to obtain a valid ADMINCONSOLESESSION cookie (and optionally _WL_AUTHCOOKIE_ADMINCONSOLESESSION cookie), these will only be useful until the administrator logs out of the Administration Console. However, the attacker knowing that might rush to create a new administrative user in the console and use that user for WebLogic administration after the legitimate administrator has logged off.


ORACLE has issued a security bulletin [1] and published a patch which fixes this issue.


  • WebLogic administrators can be trained not to browse other web pages while logged in to the Administration Console. However, since some hyperlinks in the console point to servers on the Internet (e.g., the attacker could watch the administrator's Internet traffic and detect such requests as a strong sign that the administrator is currently logged in to the Administration Console. She would then slightly modify the Internet server's response so as to include the malicious code. Such an attack could only be mounted by attackers capable of monitoring and modifying the administrator's Internet traffic (most likely an ISP or someone who broke into an ISP).

  • The WebLogic Administration Console can be disabled, which would neutralize this vulnerability.


[1] Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - January 2009 updates/cpujan2009.html


We would like to acknowledge BEA Systems and Oracle Corporation for professional handling of the identified vulnerability.


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Revision History

January 27, 2009: Initial release


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