Westpoint Security Advisory

Title:        VisitorBook LE Mail Relay and Cross Site Scripting
Risk Rating:  Moderate
Software:     FreeScripts VisitorBook LE
Platforms:    Most Unix
Vendor URL:   http://www.freescripts.com/
Author:       Paul Johnston <paul@westpoint.ltd.uk>
Date:         10th December 2003
Advisory ID#: wp-03-0001
CVE:          CAN-2003-0979, CAN-2003-0980, CAN-2003-0981


VisitorBook is a "customizable, database-driven guestbook software ... used all
over the net", which fails to escape various control characters in user input.
This results in:

  * Mail relaying
  * Data loss
  * Cross site scripting

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the names
CAN-2003-0979, CAN-2003-0980 and CAN-2003-0981 to these issues. These are
candidates for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which
standardizes names for security problems.


Open mail relay [CAN-2003-0979]
If $mailuser is set to 1 (not the default) then the script can be used as a
mail relay. This arises because line breaks are not escaped in the email field,
so you can relay mail by setting the email address to something like:

  From: spammer@example.com
  Subject: $$$ hardcore XXX

Guestbook database deleting / DoS
Another consequence of the script failing to escape line breaks is that anyone
can remotely delete the log - they just need to submit an entry with more line
breaks that the value of $max_posts. Because this is caused by the same coding
error as the previous vulnerability, it does not have its own identifier.

If you do this with Windows line breaks, then the database file is so corrupted
afterwards that the script always gives "500 Internal Server Error".

The script also fails to escape pipe "|" characters, which it uses as a field
deliminator, although it's unlikely this can be exploited.

Cross site scripting [CAN-2003-0980]
The "do" parameter is not escaped at all, which you can exploit like:

The user parameter is also not escaped. To exploit this you need to use a rogue
DNS server to poison the script with a malicious reverse DNS response. More
about this below. Note: this would be difficult to exploit in practice and was
not actually exploited in my tests.

Quote marks are not escaped in any parameters. You can exploit this by signing
an entry with a web link like this:
  http://" onmouseover="alert('hello')" crap="

Also, ampersands (&) are not escaped in any parameters, although it's unlikely
this can be exploited.

Trust of reverse dns [CAN-2003-0981]
The script uses the logic that it logs the user's reverse DNS name if
available, or IP address otherwise. The problem with this is that the reverse
DNS is untrusted data - someone can easily change their identity by setting
their reverse DNS to, say, "www.whitehouse.gov". This also leads to the cross-
site scripting attack mentioned above.


Mail relay
  Disable user mails, by setting $mailuser to 0
Data deleting
  Modify code to escape line break characters on all parameters
Cross site scripting
  Modify code to escape <>&" characters on all parameters
Trusting reverse DNS
  In Apache config set HostNameLookups to Off


4 Nov 2003    Mailed all the email addresses in the source code, whois contacts
              for domain.
              No response.

5 Nov 2003    Raised a support ticket.
              The vendor indicated that the free version of the code had not
              been maintained for some time, but that sharing security related
              findings would be much appreciated.

10 Nov 2003   First detailed notification of vulnerabilities.
              No response.

21 Nov 2003   Passed draft advisory to vendor; indicated intention to publish
              on 10 Dec.
              No response.

9 Dec 2003    Reminded vendor of impending publication.
              No response.

11 Dec 2003   Advisory updated to include CVE identifiers.

This advisory is available online at:

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