Multiple vulnerabilities in I, Librarian PDF manager

SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20170509-0 >


title: Multiple vulnerabilities

product: I, Librarian PDF manager

vulnerable version: <=4.6 & 4.7

fixed version: 4.8

CVE number: -

impact: Critical


found: 2017-01-30

by: Wan Ikram (Office Kuala Lumpur)

Fikri Fadzil (Office Kuala Lumpur)

Jasveer Singh (Office Kuala Lumpur)

SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab


An integrated part of SEC Consult

Bangkok - Berlin - Linz - Luxembourg - Montreal - Moscow

Kuala Lumpur - Singapore - Vienna (HQ) - Vilnius - Zurich




Vendor description:


"I, Librarian is a PDF manager or PDF organizer, which enables researchers,

scholars, or students to create an annotated collection of PDF articles. If

used as a groupware, users may build their virtual library collaboratively,

sharing the workload of literature mining. I, Librarian will make your work

with scientific literature incredibly efficient."



Business recommendation:


By combining the vulnerabilities documented in this advisory an attacker can

fully compromise the web server which has the "I, Librarian" software installed.


SEC Consult recommends to install the latest version available immediately and

perform a thorough security review of this software.


Vulnerability overview/description:


The application doesn't apply proper validation on some user inputs. As a

result, below vulnerabilities can be exploited by authenticated attackers with

any roles to fully compromise the system.


1. OS Command Injection

Arbitrary OS commands are possible to be executed from "batchimport.php". This

is a serious vulnerability as the chances for the web server to be fully

compromised are very high.


2. Server-Side Request Forgery

This vulnerability allows an attacker to send HTTP requests originating from the

web server. As some functions in the web application require requests to

be done from localhost, the risk for this vulnerability is considered high.


3. Directory Enumeration

It is possible to enumerate all directories in any directory on the server through



4. Reflected Cross Site Scripting

This vulnerability was found in "temp.php". It allows an attacker to inject

malicious client side scripting which will be executed in the browser of users

if they visit the manipulated site.


Proof of concept:


1. OS Command Injection

Below is the detail of a HTTP request that needs to be sent to execute arbitrary

OS commands through "batchimport.php":


URL : http:// $DOMAIN/batchimport.php


PAYLOAD : directory=.&commence=&user="||<os-commands-here>||"


2. Server-Side Request Forgery

Below shows an example of the exploitation for this vulnerability. An attacker

can reset any user's password which by design requires the request to be sent

from localhost.

URL : http:// $DOMAIN/ajaxsupplement.php


PAYLOAD : form_new_file_link=http:// $DOMAIN/resetpassword.php?username=<username>&new_password1=<new-password>&new_password2=<new-password>


3. Directory Enumeration

Available directories can be enumerated simply by navigating through the "dir"

parameter in "jqueryFileTree.php".


URL : http:// $DOMAIN/jqueryFileTree.php


PAYLOAD : dir=<path-to-directory>


4. Reflected Cross Site Scripting

The following payload shows a simple alert message box:

URL : http:// $DOMAIN/temp.php


PAYLOAD : tempfile=<script>alert(42)</script>



Vulnerable / tested versions:


"I, Librarian" version 4.6 has been tested. This version was the latest

at the time the security vulnerabilities were discovered. It is assumed

that previous version are affected as well.



Vendor contact timeline:


2017-01-31: Contacting vendor through

2017-01-31: Vendor replied with their PGP public key.

2017-02-03: Provided encrypted advisory and proof of concept to the vendor.

2017-02-09: Patch released, version 4.7.

2017-02-21: Informed vendor on some issues which were not addressed correctly.

2017-03-30: Patch released by the vendor - I, Librarian version 4.8.

2017-05-09: Public release of advisory





Upgrade to I, Librarian 4.8


For further information see:








Advisory URL:






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EOF Jasveer Singh / @2017