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Category:   Application (Web Server/CGI)  >   Apache Tomcat Vendors:   Apache Software Foundation
Apache Tomcat Discloses Passwords to Local Users in Certain Cases
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1025712
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2011-2204   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jun 27 2011
Impact:   Disclosure of authentication information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to versions 5.5.34, 6.0.33, and 7.0.17
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Apache Tomcat. A local user can view user passwords.

When an exception occurs while creating users via JMX and using the MemoryUserDatabase (based on tomcat-users.xml), the system will write the user's password to a log file. A local user may be able to view the password without having the requisite administrative privileges.

Polina Genova reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A local user can view user passwords.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a source code fix.

The vendor plans to include the fix in version 5.5.34, 6.0.33, and 7.0.17.

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

Message History:   This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.
Dec 21 2011 (Red Hat Issues Fix) Apache Tomcat Discloses Passwords to Local Users in Certain Cases
Red Hat has issued a fix for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [Full-disclosure] [SECURITY] CVE-2011-2204 - Apache Tomcat information disclosure

CVE-2011-2204 Apache Tomcat information disclosure

Severity: Low
Vendor: The Apache Software Foundation

Versions Affected:
- Tomcat 7.0.0 to 7.0.16
- Tomcat 6.0.0 to 6.0.32
- Tomcat 5.5.0 to 5.5.33
Earlier, unsupported versions may also be affected

When using the MemoryUserDatabase (based on tomcat-users.xml) and
creating users via JMX, an exception during the user creation process
may trigger an error message in the JMX client that includes the user's
password. This error message is also written to the Tomcat logs. User
passwords are visible to administrators with JMX access and/or
administrators with read access to the tomcat-users.xml file. Users that
do not have these permissions but are able to read log files may be able
to discover a user's password.

Steps to reproduce:
The Tomcat security team has been unable to reproduce this error without
forcing an exception by modifying the Tomcat source code. In theory, an
OutOfMemoryError at exactly the right point could trigger this

Users of affected versions should apply one of the following mitigations:
- Don't manage the MemoryUserDatabase via JMX
- Use digested passwords
- Limit access to Tomcat log files
- Upgrade to a Tomcat 7.0.17, 6.0.33 or 5.5.34 or later once released
- Apply the appropriate patch
  - 7.0.x:
  - 6.0.x:
  - 5.5.x:

This issue was identified by Polina Genova and reported privately to the
Tomcat Security Team via


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