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Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) vulnerable to cross-site scripting via HTTP TRACK method

Vulnerability Note VU#288308

Original Release Date: 2004-01-05 | Last Revised: 2004-01-09


Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) servers support a HTTP method called TRACK. The HTTP TRACK method returns the contents of client HTTP requests in the entity-body of the TRACK response. This behavior could be leveraged by attackers to access sensitive information, such as cookies or authentication data, contained in the HTTP headers of the request.


Microsoft IIS servers support the HTTP TRACK method. The HTTP TRACK method asks a web server to echo the contents of the request back to the client for debugging purposes. The TRACK request is not RFC compliant and not well documented.

The complete request, including HTTP headers, is returned in the entity-body of a TRACK response. This leads to a Cross-site Scripting attack. Using features that provide client-side HTTP protocol support, such as XMLHTTP ActiveX or XMLDOM scripting objects, a web site can cause browsers to issue TRACK requests. The site can read the TRACK response, including sensitive header information such as cookies or authentication data.

Because the TRACK method is similar to the TRACE method, when combined with cross-domain browser vulnerabilities (VU#244729, VU#711843, VU#728563), HTTP TRACK and client-side HTTP support can be leveraged by attackers to read sensitive header information from third-party domains. This technique has been termed "Cross-Site Tracing," or XST, in a report published by WhiteHat Security. As noted in the report, the technique can be used to bypass the HttpOnly cookie attribute introduced in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1. HttpOnly blocks script access to the cookie property (document.cookie), but does not prevent a scripting object from reading the cookie out of an HTTP TRACK response.

IIS 6 is reported to be not vulnerable.


Attackers may abuse HTTP TRACK functionality to gain access to information in HTTP headers such as cookies and authentication data. In the presence of other cross-domain vulnerabilities in web browsers, sensitive header information could be read from any domains that support the HTTP TRACK method.


Microsoft IIS 6 is reported to be not vulnerable. The TRACK method can be added to Microsoft's URLScan DenyVerbs section. It should not be in the AllowVerbs section in the urlscan.ini file.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  January 05, 2004



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.


IIS 6 is reported as not vulnerable.

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CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base 0 AV:--/AC:--/Au:--/C:--/I:--/A:--
Temporal 0 E:Not Defined (ND)/RL:Not Defined (ND)/RC:Not Defined (ND)
Environmental 0 CDP:Not Defined (ND)/TD:Not Defined (ND)/CR:Not Defined (ND)/IR:Not Defined (ND)/AR:Not Defined (ND)



Thanks to Parcifal Aertssen for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jason A Rafail and Art Manion.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2003-1567
Date Public: 2003-12-28
Date First Published: 2004-01-05
Date Last Updated: 2004-01-09 19:06 UTC
Document Revision: 12

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