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Saturday, July 14, 2007, 17:26

Multiviews Apache, Accept Requests and free listing

This is a small post about a way to easily get backup files on Apache web servers with MultiViews option enabled.
I really don't know if this is a known attack technique, but IMO it should be implemented in every web scanner and it should be added in the OWASP Testing Guide - section Information Gathering.

Let's start:

MultiViews is an Apache option which acts with the following rules:

if the server receives a request for /some/dir/foo, if /some/dir has MultiViews enabled, and /some/dir/foo does not exist, then the server reads the directory looking for files named foo.*, and effectively fakes up a type map which names all those files, assigning them the same media types and content-encodings it would have if the client
had asked for one of them by name. It then chooses the best match to the client's requirements.

How the best match is chosen by Apache?
It depends on several Accept* headers in the client Request.


Let's see how it works:

Let's suppose i just saved an backup copy of my index.php on a Web Server with the MultiView option enabled.

If an attacker requests "index" without any extension:

GET /index HTTP/1.1
Host: myhost
Accept: */*

the web server will reply with:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:46:22 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.55 (Ubuntu)
Content-Location: index.php
Vary: negotiate,accept
TCN: choice
Last-Modified: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 10:58:38 GMT
ETag: "8d15d-0-1c1d5380;498a0540"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: #ofBytes
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

Now, it could be noticed that in the server response several interesting headers are out:

Content-Location: index.php
Vary: negotiate,accept
TCN: choice

This means there is MultiViews enabled on / directory.

Let's see if in the request we use a "Accept:" header with an inexistent mime type:

GET /index HTTP/1.1
Host: myhost
Accept: application/whatever; q=1.0

the server will reply with:

HTTP/1.1 406 Not Acceptable
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:51:29 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.55 (Ubuntu)
Alternates: {"index.bak" 1 {type application/x-trash} {length 3}},
{"index.php" 1 {type application/x-httpd-php} {length 3}}
Vary: negotiate,accept
TCN: list
Content-Length: NNNN
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<title>406 Not Acceptable</title>
<h1>Not Acceptable</h1>
<p>An appropriate representation of the requested resource /index could not
be found on this server.</p>
Available variants:
<li><a href="index.php">index.php</a> , type text/html</li>
<li><a href="index.bak">index.bak</a> , type application/x-trash</li>

aha! With a single request we get a listing of all the files!
And for free..as in free speech ;)

Well, ok. Not really *all* the files but every file with the same name requested and with an extension listed in mime-types file.

This means that if index.whatever is on the server it won't be listed.

Obviously an attacker could request every known extension for index.* but it would be a bit noisy, isn't it?

As usual i prefer to leave discussion open than give everything i think on the subject...so feel free to leave a comment.
...as in free beer :)


Tim Brown, Saturday, July 14, 2007, 18:40

Nice work :)


nEUrOO, Monday, July 16, 2007, 22:12

Nice find! I didn't thought about that type of testing, but this is definitely one of the checks for information disclosure!


Bunyamin Demir, Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 13:02

Stefano, nice work!

When i use on FreeBSD it isnt work. it is so weird. :)

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