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CERT Coordination Center

PHP contains vulnerability in "php_mime_split" function allowing arbitrary code execution

Vulnerability Note VU#297363

Original Release Date: 2002-02-27 | Last Revised: 2002-02-27


Vulnerabilities in PHP versions 3 and 4 could allow an intruder to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the web server.


PHP is a scripting language widely used in web development. PHP can be installed on a variety of web servers, including Apache, IIS, Caudium, Netscape and iPlanet, OmniHTTPd and others. Vulnerabilities in the php_mime_split function may allow an intruder to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the web server. For additional details, see

Web servers that do not have PHP installed are not affected by this vulnerability.


Intruders can execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the web server, or interrupt normal operations of the web server.


Upgrade to PHP version 4.1.2, available from If upgrading is not possible, apply patches as described at

For PHP 4.10/4.11

For PHP 4.06

For PHP 3.0

If you are using version 4.20-dev, you are not affected by this vulnerability. Quoting from, "users running PHP 4.2.0-dev from cvs are not vulnerable to any of the described bugs because the fileupload code was completly rewritten for the 4.2.0 branch. "

If upgrading is not possible or a patch cannot be applied, you can avoid these vulnerabilities by setting file_uploads = Off in the php.ini file for version 4.0.3 and above. This will prevent you from using fileuploads, which may not be acceptable for your operation. 

Vendor Information


Apache Software Foundation Affected

Updated:  February 27, 2002



Vendor Statement

Information about this vulnerability is available from

Vendor Information

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


CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

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

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Our thanks to Stefan Esser, upon whose advisory this document is based.

This document was written by Shawn V. Hernan.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2002-0081
Severity Metric: 55.08
Date Public: 2002-02-27
Date First Published: 2002-02-27
Date Last Updated: 2002-02-27 18:13 UTC
Document Revision: 9

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