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Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 22:55:29 +0100
Subject: phpBB 2.06 search.php SQL injection

Hello bugtraq readers,

A vulnerability exists in phpBB 2.06 that could allow an attacker to manipulate SQL 
queries and gain administrative control over the forum.
The search.php script of the application does not sufficiently sanitize the input of the 
"search_id" parameter. As a result of this an attacker could manipulate the SQL 
query the script performs and potentially extract information such as password 
hashes from the database.


The impact depends on the database solution in use. When testing the bug with 
MySQL 4 on Apache 2 with PHP4, I was able to obtain my board administrator MD5 
password hash. Armed with this hash an attacker could modify his cookie accordingly 
and log in as administrator without having to decode the hash. The attacker would 
then have complete control over the board and could execute other SQL queries from 
the admin panel.


I notified the the phpBB 2.06 developers and they have patched the script. phpBB 
users should download the latest 2.06 version from
A way to manually fix the issue can be found here:

A simple way to test if the bug is patched is:
If patched, this should return the message "No topics or posts met your search 
criteria". If unpatched you will get an SQL error (or just a general error if DEBUG 
mode is off).


Niels Teusink

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