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CA-2002-05 Multiple Vulnerabilities in PHP fileupload


CERT Advisory CA-2002-05 Multiple Vulnerabilities in PHP fileupload

Original release date: February 27, 2002
Last revised: --
Source: CERT/CC

A complete revision history can be found at the end of this file.

Systems Affected

* Web servers running PHP


Multiple vulnerabilities exist in the PHP scripting language. These
vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary
code with the privileges of the PHP process.

I. Description

PHP is a scripting language widely used in web development. PHP can be
installed on a variety of web servers, including Apache, IIS, Caudium,
Netscape and iPlanet, OmniHTTPd and others. Vulnerabilities in the
php_mime_split function may allow an intruder to execute arbitrary
code with the privileges of the web server. For additional details,

Web servers that do not have PHP installed are not affected by this

The CERT/CC is tracking this set of vulnerabilities as VU#297363. At
this time, these vulnerabilities have not been assigned a CVE

II. Impact

Intruders can execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the web
server, or interrupt normal operations of the web server.

III. Solution

Apply a Patch

Upgrade to PHP version 4.1.2, available from

If upgrading is not possible, apply patches as described at
* For PHP 4.10/4.11
* For PHP 4.06
* For PHP 3.0

If you are using version 4.20-dev, you are not affected by this
vulnerability. Quoting from

"[U]sers running PHP 4.2.0-dev from cvs are not vulnerable to any
of the described bugs because the fileupload code was completly
rewritten for the 4.2.0 branch."

Disable fileuploads

If upgrading is not possible or a patch cannot be applied, you can
avoid these vulnerabilities by disabling fileupload support. Edit the
PHP configuration file php.ini as follows:

file_uploads = off

Note that this setting only applies to version 4.0.3 and above.
However, this will prevent you from using fileuploads, which may not
be acceptable in your environment.

Appendix A. - Vendor Information

This appendix contains information provided by vendors for this
advisory. When vendors report new information to the CERT/CC, we
update this section and note the changes in our revision history. If a
particular vendor is not listed below, we have not received their

Apache Software Foundation

Information about this vulnerability is available from


FreeBSD does not include any version of PHP by default, and so is not
vulnerable. However, the FreeBSD Ports Collection does contain both
PHP3 and PHP4 packages. Updates to the PHP packages are in progress
and corrected packages will be available in the near future.


MandrakeSoft distributes PHP in all distributions and we are currently
working on patching our versions of PHP for Linux-Mandrake 7.1 and
7.2; Mandrake Linux 8.0, 8.0/ppc, 8.1, and 8.1/ia64; Single Network
Firewall 7.2; Corporate Server 1.0.1.

We anticipate having the updates out by the end of the week.


We do not use PHP in any products.


NCSA does not include PHP as an add-in or bundled component in any
products distributed.

Red Hat

Red Hat was notified of this issue on 27th February 2002. All
supported versions of Red Hat Linux ship with PHP packages that are
affected by these vulnerabilities. We will shortly be releasing errata
packages which contain patched versions that are not vulnerable. The
errata packages and our advisory will be available on our web site at
the URL below. At the same time users of the Red Hat Network will be
able to update their systems to patched versions using the up2date

The CERT Coordination Center thanks Stefan Esser, upon whose advisory
this document is largely based.

Author: Shawn V. Hernan

Appendix B. - References


This document is available from:

CERT/CC Contact Information

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Fax: +1 412-268-6989
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Copyright 2002 Carnegie Mellon University.

Revision History
February 27, 2002: Initial release

Version: PGP 6.5.8


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