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Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 10:16:18 +0200
From: Magnus Holmgren <>
Subject: Re: PHPCentral Login Script Remote Command Execution Vulnerability

On Sunday 12 August 2007 17:12, wrote:
> include.php ;
> Lines 4 ;
> include("".$_SERVER[DOCUMENT_ROOT]."/$folder/config.php");
> PoC :

*Of course* this does not work. Setting register_globals to "On" causes the 
contents of the "superglobals" ($_SERVER, $_GET, $_COOKIES, etc.) to be 
registered in the global variable namespace. But the superglobals 
*themselves* are special. They shadow everything - you cannot define your own 
$_SERVER array, nor can it be overridden with HTTP GET or POST values. If 
that were possible, using the superglobals would be useless; all scripts 
would be vulnerable unless register_globals is off.

[DOCUMENT_ROOT], "<br/>";

$_SERVER[DOCUMENT_ROOT] = /home/www/docs

If the query string is _SERVER[DOCUMENT_ROOT]=/foo


Now, register_globals has defaulted to off ever since PHP 4.2.0. I think it 
would be fair to let PHP scripts rely on this, and not consider all scripts 
that don't initialize their variables as vulnerable unless they require 
register_globals to be on (this is not to say that it's not a good idea to 
initialize variables).

And it would of course be nice if people posting to Bugtraq actually tested 
their PoCs first. Can't the moderator spot obvious cases like this, or are 
all vaguely relevant posts accepted, potentially for public ridicule?

Magnus Holmgren

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