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Category:   Application (Forum/Board/Portal)  >   vBulletin Vendors:   Jelsoft Enterprises
vBulletin Input Validation Hole in 'redirect' Parameter Permits Cross-Site Scripting Attacks
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1020322
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2008-2744   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Jul 17 2008
Original Entry Date:  Jun 18 2008
Impact:   Disclosure of authentication information, Disclosure of user information, Execution of arbitrary code via network, Modification of user information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  Exploit Included:  Yes  
Version(s): 3.6.10, 3.7.1; and prior versions
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in vBulletin. A remote user can conduct cross-site scripting attacks.

The login page of the administrative control panel does not properly filter HTML code from user-supplied input in the 'redirect' parameter before displaying the input. A remote user can create a specially crafted URL 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 vBulletin 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:


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:   The vendor has issued a fix (3.6.10 PL1, 3.7.1 PL1).

The vendor's advisory is available at:

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:  Exploit for vBulletin


Advisory : Exploit for vBulletin "obscure" XSS
Release Date : June 13th 2008
Application : vBulletin
Version : vBulletin 3.7.1 and lower, vBulletin 3.6.10 and lower
Platform : PHP
Vendor URL :
Authors : Jessica Hope (



Due to various failures in sanitising user input, it is possible to
construct XSS attacks that are rather damaging.



vBulletin released PL1 for their 3.7.1 and 3.6.10 versions of vBulletin:

In the above topic they try to pass off the XSS as difficult to exploit,
with low exposure and damage. This advisory is here to detail what the
XSS is and how wrong Jelsoft are for assuming that XSS is harmless.

First, the discussion of exactly what the exploit is. The XSS in question
exists on the login page for the ACP (admin control panel). The login
script takes a redirect parameter that lacks sanitation, allowing a
rather easy XSS:


Yes, here goes the obscure. What is even better is that the exploit will
work outright if the admin is already logged in; if the admin is not, they
will be required to log in. If you Base64-encode your attack vector using
the data: URI scheme, the XSS survives the login request and activates after
the admin is logged in. A simple example of the above:


Now to address the quote "potential for exposure and damage is limited".
Clearly Jelsoft have never seen what one can do with an XSS. In this case
you have an unlimited and unaltered XSS space, so you're free to invoke some
AJAX and have fun. Just to give ideas on how this could turn into something
larger, vBulletin has hooks that operate using eval(), and new hooks can
be added via the ACP itself. It is trivial to write some JS that not only
enables hooks but also inserts a nice RFI hook. Here's one using the data


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