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Category:   Application (Forum/Board/Portal)  >   TWiki Vendors:
TWiki debugenableplugins Parameter Lets Remote Users View and Modify Files
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1030981
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2014-7236   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Oct 9 2014
Impact:   Disclosure of system information, Disclosure of user information, Modification of system information, Modification of user information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 4.0.x, 4.1.x, 4.2.x, 4.3.x, 5.0.x, 5.1.x, 6.0.0
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in TWiki. A remote user can view and modify files on the target system.

A remote or remote authenticated user can supply a specially crafted 'debugenableplugins' parameter value to the view script to execute arbitrary Perl code to view and modify arbitrary files on the target system with the privileges of the web process.

A demonstration exploit URL is provided:


The vulnerability resides in 'twiki/lib/TWiki/'.

The vendor was notified on October 1, 2014.

Netanel Rubin of Check Point reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A remote user can view and modify files on the target system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fix (6.0.1). A hotfix is also available for 6.0.0.

The vendor's advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error, Input validation error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any), Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  TWiki Security Alert CVE-2014-7236: Remote Perl code execution with query string to debug TWiki plugins

This is an advisory for TWiki administrators: The debugenableplugins request parameter allows arbitrary Perl code execution.

TWiki ( ) is an Open Source Enterprise Wiki and Web Application Platform used by millions of people.

   * Vulnerable Software Version
   * Attack Vectors
   * Impact
   * Severity Level
   * MITRE Name for this Vulnerability
   * Details
   * Countermeasures
   * Hotfix for TWiki Production Release 6.0.0
   * Hotfix for Older Affected TWiki Releases
   * Verify Hotfix
   * Authors and Credits
   * Action Plan with Timeline
   * External Links
   * Feedback

---++ Vulnerable Software Version

   * TWiki-6.0.0 (TWikiRelease06x00x00)
   * TWiki-5.1.x (TWikiRelease05x01x00 to TWikiRelease05x01x04)
   * TWiki-5.0.x (TWikiRelease05x00x00 to TWikiRelease05x00x02)
   * TWiki-4.3.x (TWikiRelease04x03x00 to TWikiRelease04x03x02)
   * TWiki-4.2.x (TWikiRelease04x02x00 to TWikiRelease04x02x04)
   * TWiki-4.1.x (TWikiRelease04x01x00 to TWikiRelease04x01x02)
   * TWiki-4.0.x (TWikiRelease04x00x00 to TWikiRelease04x00x05)

---++ Attack Vectors

Using an HTTP GET request towards a TWiki server, add a specially crafted 'debugenableplugins' request parameter to TWiki's view script (typically port 80/TCP). Prior authentication may or may not be necessary.

---++ Impact

A remote attacker can execute arbitrary Perl code to view and modify any file the webserver user has access to.

---++ Severity Level

The TWiki SecurityTeam triaged this issue as documented in TWikiSecurityAlertProcess [1] and assigned the following severity level:

   * Severity 1 issue: The web server can be compromised 

---++ MITRE Name for this Vulnerability

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the name CVE-2014-7236 [7] to this vulnerability. 

---++ Details

It is possible to execute arbitrary Perl code by adding a =debugenableplugins= parameter with a specially crafted value. Example:"Content-Type:text/html\r\n\r\nVulnerable!")%3bexit

The TWiki site is vulnerable if you see a page with text "Vulnerable!".


TWiki allows enabling specific plugins for debug purposes using a 'debugenableplugins' parameter that lists the plugins to enable. In order to support this dynamic loading of plugins, TWiki inserts the plugin name into the following Perl =eval= statement without sanitizing the plugin name:
my $p = $this->{module};
eval "use $p;";

---++ Countermeasures

   * Apply hotfix (see patch below).
   * Upgrade to the latest patched production release TWiki-6.0.1 (TWikiRelease06x00x01) [2]

---++ Hotfix for TWiki Production Release 6.0.0

Apply the patch listed in the TWiki bug item at TWikibug:Item7558 [8]. The patch is also listed here, but due to whitespace changes in e-mail it is not recommended to use below patch.

NOTE: In case you use a Perl accelerator make sure to clear the script cache. For example, in case of SpeedyCGI remove the speedy cache (tmp/speedy.*) before restarting Apache.

Affected file: twiki/lib/TWiki/

Patch to sanitize the 'debugenableplugins' parameter:

=======( 8>< CUT )===============================================
--- TWiki/   2014-01-09 02:10:56.000000000 -0500
+++ TWiki/   2014-10-01 20:30:36.000000000 -0400
@@ -186,8 +186,11 @@
     unless( $allDisabled ) {
         if ( $query && defined( $query->param( 'debugenableplugins' ))) {
-            @pluginList = split( /[,\s]+/,
-                                 $query->param( 'debugenableplugins' ));
+            @pluginList =
+              grep { /Plugin$/ }
+              map { s/[^a-zA-Z0-9]//go; $_ } # Item7558: Sanitize parameter
+              split( /[,\s]+/, $query->param( 'debugenableplugins' ));
         } else {
             if( $TWiki::cfg{PluginsOrder} ) {
                 foreach my $plugin( split( /[,\s]+/,
=======( 8>< CUT )===============================================

---++ Hotfix for Older Affected TWiki Releases

Apply above patch (line numbers may vary).

---++ Verify Hotfix

To verify the patch add the following parameter to any TWiki topic:


The site is vulnerable if a page is returned with text "Vulnerable!"

---++ Authors and Credits

   * Credit to Netanel Rubin (netanelr[at] for disclosing the issue to the twiki-security@lists.sourceforge.netmailing list
   * PeterThoeny for creating the fix, patch and advisory
   * HideyoImazu for creating the TWiki-6.0.1 production release [2]

---++ Action Plan with Timeline

   * 2014-10-01 - Netanel Rubin of Check Point Software discloses issue to TWikiSecurityMailingList [4]
   * 2014-10-01 - developer verifies issue - PeterThoeny
   * 2014-10-01 - developer fixes code - PeterThoeny
   * 2014-10-05 - developer creates new TWiki-6.0.1 patch release [2] with fix - HideyoImazu
   * 2014-10-06 - security team creates advisory with hotfix - PeterThoeny
   * 2014-10-07 - send alert to TWikiAnnounceMailingList [5] and TWikiDevMailingList [6] - PeterThoeny
   * 2014-10-09 - publish advisory in Codev web and update all related topics - PeterThoeny
   * 2014-10-09 - issue a public security advisory to fulldisclosure[at], cert[at], vuln[at], bugs[at], submissions[at] - PeterThoeny

---++ External Links

[3]: (will be created on 2014-10-09)
[7]: - CVE on

---++ Feedback

Please provide feedback at the security alert topic, once it exists (this topic will be created on Mon, 2014-10-09).

Please send an e-mail to if you have any questions before Monday.

-- Peter Thoeny - 2014-10-09

> Peter Thoeny     - Peter09[at]
> - consulting on enterprise collaboration
> - is your team already TWiki enabled?
> Knowledge cannot be managed, it can be discovered and shared
> This e-mail is:   (_) private    (_) ask first    (x) public


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