SEC Consult Security Advisory < 20091217-0 >
title: Authentication bypass and file manipulation in
Sitecore Staging Module
products: Sitecore Staging Module
vulnerable version: Sitecore Staging Module <= 5.4.0 rev.080625
fixed version: Staging 5.4.0 rev.091111
by: L. Weichselbaum / SEC Consult / www.sec-consult.com
Sitecore CMS makes it effortless to create content and experience rich
websites that help you achieve your business goals such as increasing
sales and search engine visibility, while being straight-forward to
integrate and administer. Sitecore lets you deliver sites that are highly
scalable, robust and secure. Whether you're focused on marketing,
development and design, or providing site content, Sitecore delivers for
The main purpose of the Sitecore Staging module is to update two or more
Sitecore installations across a firewall.
The Staging Webservice (normally found in "/sitecore modules/staging/
service/api.asmx") used for transmitting files between the Sitecore Master
and Slave Server is vulnerable to authentication bypass and therefore
* files can be uploaded in arbitrary directories on the server
* files can be downloaded from arbitrary directories on the server
* directory listings of the whole server can be received
* the webserver cache can be deleted
An attacker is able to upload a shell, modify or delete sensitive data or
gain the whole source code of the application. Furthermore it is possible
to retrieve directory listings of directories of the whole server and the
webroot. All these actions are performed with the rights of the webserver
user. One tested server allowed us to compromise the whole server by
uploading a shell into the webroot.
Proof of concept:
Authentication bypass and file manipulation
To exploit this vulnerability, the example of "api.asmx?op=Upload" can be
used in a slightly modified form. The parameters "Username" and "Password"
can be set at random, but they must not be empty. The parameter "File"
contains the base64 encoded content of the file which should be uploaded.
For the parameters "append" and "isEncrypted" the value "false" is most
suitable. In "Destination" the location of the file on the remote system
can be specified. The following POST-request creates a file named test.txt
in C:\temp. It would also be possible to upload a shell into the Webroot.
POST /sitecore%20modules/staging/service/api.asmx HTTP/1.1 Host: hostToExploit Content-Type: application/soap+xml; charset=utf-8 Content-Length: 599 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <soap12:Envelope xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:soap12="http://www.w3.org/2003/05/soap-envelope"> <soap12:Body> <Upload xmlns="http://Sitecore/modules/Staging/API/"> [Soap-Stuff] </Upload> </soap12:Body> </soap12:Envelope>
The same applies to the webservice operations "Download", "List" and
Sitecore Staging Module
* <= v5.4.0 rev.080625
Vendor contact timeline:
2009-10-09: Contacting Sitecore.
2009-10-12: Reply from Sitecore.
2009-10-12: Preliminary advisory with full vulnerability details was sent
2009-12-02: Requested status of the planned security fixes.
2009-12-03: Reply from Sitecore, fixes are now in second iteration in their
QA department and they expect to release this before Christmas.
2009-12-03: Reply from Sitecore, vulnerabilities have been fixed and new
version has been released.
2009-12-16: Final version of the advisory sent to Sitecore and release
date was scheduled.
2009-12-16: Reply from Sitecore.
2009-12-17: Release of the advisory.
Update to Sitecore Staging Module v5.4.0 rev.091111
Delete the Staging Webservice (normally found in "/sitecore modules/
staging/service/api.asmx") to prevent arbitrary file manipulation.
The Sitecore Staging Module can thereby only use FTP for transmitting
files between the Sitecore Master and Slave with the Sitecore Staging
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EOF L. Weichselbaum / @2009