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Category:   Application (Forum/Board/Portal)  >   vBulletin Vendors:   Jelsoft Enterprises
vBulletin 'search.php' Input Validation Flaw Permits Cross-Site Scripting Attacks
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1009036
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Feb 13 2004
Impact:   Disclosure of authentication information, Disclosure of user information, Execution of arbitrary code via network, Modification of user information
Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 3.0.0 Release Candidate 4
Description:   Rafel Ivgi (The-Insider) reported an input validation vulnerability in vBulletin. A remote user can conduct cross-site scripting attacks.

It is reported that the 'search.php' script does not filter HTML code from user-supplied input in the query before displaying that information. A remote user can create a specially crafted URL (or POST request) that, when loaded by a target user, will cause arbitrary scripting code to be executed by the target user's browser. The code will originate from the site running the vBulleting software and will run in the security context of that site. As a result, the code will be able to access the target user's cookies (including authentication cookies), if any, associated with the site, access data recently submitted by the target user via web form to the site, or take actions on the site acting as the target user.

A demonstration exploit URL is provided:


Alternately, a search can be performed on the following string:


Impact:   A remote user can access the target user's cookies (including authentication cookies), if any, associated with the site running the vBulletin software, access data recently submitted by the target user via web form to the site, or take actions on the site acting as the target user.
Solution:   No solution was available at the time of this entry.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any), Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  vBulletin PHP Forum Version


Software:        vBulletin PHP Forum Version
Vendor:           Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd
Versions:        3.0.0 Release Candidate 4
Platforms:       Unix/Windows
Bug:                 Cross Site Scripting Vulnerabillity
Risk:                Low
Exploitation:   Remote with browser
Date:               24 Jan 2004
Author:            Rafel Ivgi, The-Insider


1) Introduction
2) Bug
3) The Code


1) Introduction

Cross Site Scripting attacks are the most trusted evil urls when it concerns
to forums, because
forum messages are always long and contain many parameters.
vBulletin is a very trusted forum, it is considered to be a very safe and
security validated forum.


2) Bug

The Vulnerabillity is Cross Site Scripting. If an attacker will search the
following quert from the server:


OR in case you have problems:
<!-- / main error
message --></p></p></blockquote>aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa<script>ale

OR just reffer to

XSS appears and the server allows an attacker to inject & execute scripts.

In the words of :

If all of these circumstances are met, an attacker may be able to exploit
this issue
via a malicious link containing arbitrary HTML and script code as part of
the hostname.
When the malicious link is clicked by an unsuspecting user, the
attacker-supplied HTML
and script code will be executed by their web client. This will occur
because the server
will echo back the malicious hostname supplied in the client's request,
without sufficiently
escaping HTML and script code.

Attacks of this nature may make it possible for attackers to manipulate web
content or to
steal cookie-based authentication credentials. It may be possible to take
arbitrary actions as the victim user.


3) The Code

http://<host>/forum/search.php?do=process&showposts=0&query=<!-- / main
message --></p></p></blockquote>aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa<script>ale


Rafel Ivgi, The-Insider

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