[VULNERABILITY] PHP 'poster version.two'

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2003-05-15T00:00:00


Hi Guys,

This is my first time posting a vulnerability since most of my private research has been done on very small projects, many of which were never released.

Anyways, down to the vulnerability:

Poster version.two privilege escalation:

Poster version.two is an up and coming php news posting system which has already been put into use by many websites, mostly minor ‘blog’ style sites, but due to its growing popularity this may soon change.

If a user has their account type set to 'normal' by the administrator, then they cannot edit other peoples accounts, nor can they edit other peoples posts, they are harmless to the site.

Sadly, there is a fairly dangerous vulnerability within the 'index.php' file in the 'edit account' section of the code, which places data from the username, password and email address fields straight into the 'mem.php' (user password and privileges) file.

A normal 'mem.php' file looks like this:

[-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- =-]

<? James|password|email@address.com|admin| Jack|password|email@address.com|normal| ?>

[-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- =-]

Where James has an administrator account, and Jack doesn't.

The normal user, Jack, could decide to change his account details to:

Username: Jack Password: password Email: email@address.com|admin|

Notice the '|admin|' appended to the end of the address. When Jack saved his details his account would appear as:


The 'index.php' file would take the first four parameters as the account details and type, then seeing that parameter four was '|admin|', it would assign Jack administrator privilidges.

Jack could then delete all the posts and accounts on the site when he next logged in.

Although I do not know PHP very well, this is a very common vulnerability, or so I have found, and this should be addressed within all sorts of applications as soon as possible!

Thank-you for reading this,

-Peter Winter-Smith

[About Me]

I am 16 years old, I study at Christ Church high school, in London, England, and I am taking my GCSEs this year. My personal interests are Visual Basic and 16 bit assembly language programming. I usually don't release vulnerabilites unless they need wide-spread attention.

Please feel free to contact me at: Email: peter4020@hotmail.com Aim: GenericCode