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AWStats fails to properly filter user-supplied input

Vulnerability Note VU#272296

Original Release Date: 2005-02-10 | Last Revised: 2005-02-21


A lack of input validation in AWStats may allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary commands.


AWStats is a Perl CGI script that collects and graphically displays statistics from web, FTP, and mail servers. The configdir parameter, within the Perl script, is supplied user-controlled data and then passed as a parameter to the Perl routine open(). A lack of input validation on the configdir parameter may allow an attacker to compromise a vulnerable server. If an attacker supplies this parameter with arbitrary commands prefixed with the '|' character, those commands will be executed on the server.

Please note that according to public reports, this vulnerability is being actively exploited.


If a remote attacker supplies AWStats with specially crafted input, that attacker may be able to execute arbitrary commands with the privileges of the attacked server process, in most cases user nobody.



This issue has been corrected in AWStats version 6.3. Users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to this version.

Vendor Information


AWStats Affected

Updated:  February 10, 2005



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


According to AWStats website:

    Warning, a security hole was recently found in AWStats versions from 5.0 to 6.2 when AWStats is used as a CGI: A remote user can execute arbitrary commands on your server using permissions of your web server user (in most cases user "nobody"). If you use AWStats with another version or with option AllowToUpdateStatsFromBrowser to 0, you are safe. If not, it is highly recommanded to update to 6.3 version that fix this security hole.

    If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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This vulnerability was reported by iDEFENSE.

This document was written by Jeff Gennari.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2005-0116
Severity Metric: 13.39
Date Public: 2005-01-18
Date First Published: 2005-02-10
Date Last Updated: 2005-02-21 16:39 UTC
Document Revision: 44

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