jQuery File Upload Plugin Leaves Web Servers Vulnerable to Unauthenticated File Upload Attacks

Ryan Seguin

Akamai disclosed that the popular jQuery File Upload plugin has been vulnerable to an unauthenticated file upload flaw since November 2010.

Background

Akamai’s Security Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) recently disclosed that the popular jQuery File Upload plugin -- the second most-starred plugin on Github in the jQuery project -- has been vulnerable to an unauthenticated file upload flaw (CVE-2018-9206) on Apache web servers since November 2010.

Impact assessment

Larry Cashdollar, a security researcher for Akamai's SIRT, said in an interview with ZDNet that he’s seen active exploitation of this vulnerability dating back to 2016, but he gave no details or impression of scope. According to the jQuery File Upload Github repository, there are over 7,800 forks of this plugin, which are likely vulnerable as well.

Vulnerability details

The jQuery File Upload plugin relies on an .htaccess file with custom security settings to restrict access to its upload folder, but beginning with Apache version 2.3.9, administrators can ignore these custom security settings. This change allows attackers to bypass file upload security on Apache web servers that use the jQuery File Upload plugin.

Urgently required actions

Sebastian Tschan, the creator of jQuery File Upload, has since patched the plugin on Github. However, developers who use the plugin or any of its forks on Github will need to update their web applications with the new version of the plugin.

Identifying affected systems

Tenable’s Container Security has checks for the most common variations of php to help identify potentially vulnerable systems. A list of Tenable plugins to identify this vulnerability will appear here as they’re released.

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Published on Oct 19, 2018

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