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CERT Coordination Center

phpBB does not adequately validate user input thereby allowing user to gain escalated privileges via manipulated SQL query

Vulnerability Note VU#314347

Original Release Date: 2001-09-17 | Last Revised: 2001-09-17


phpBB is an open-source bulletin board program. There exists a user input validation problem with regard to the parsing of the URL. An intruder can excute limited SQL queries and gain administrative privileges on the bulletin board.


phpBB has a user input validation problem that can lead to the execution of limited SQL queries and administrative privileges on the bulletin board. There is an algorithm (in auth.php) to remove backslash characters from the URL. Because the backslash charcters were removed, php variables may have unescaped quotes, allowing the attacker to pass these variables to an sql query in another file. For example, prefs.php is one file exploitable by this vulnerability. The intruder can register for an account on the bulletin board and then enter a specially crafted URL to exploit this vulnerability and gain administrative rights on the bulletin board.


An intruder can gain administrative privileges to the bulletin board.


The CERT/CC is currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.

Vendor Information


PHPBB Affected

Notified:  August 17, 2001 Updated: September 17, 2001



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.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

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

CVSS Metrics

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This vulnerability was discovered by kill-9 .

This document was written by Jason Rafail.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 20.25
Date Public: 2001-08-03
Date First Published: 2001-09-17
Date Last Updated: 2001-09-17 15:13 UTC
Document Revision: 7

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