Vulnerability Note VU#343355

Apache Tomcat UTF8 Directory Traversal Vulnerability

Original Release date: 19 Aug 2008 | Last revised: 19 Aug 2008


Apache Tomcat contains a vulnerability that may allow directory traversal.


Apache Tomcat is an implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Page (JSP) technologies. Apache Tomcat contains a vulnerability in the way malformed requests are handled. According to the Apache Tomcat 6.x Vulnerabilities page:

    If a context is configured with allowLinking="true" and the connector is configured with URIEncoding="UTF-8" then a malformed request may be used to access arbitrary files on the server.

This vulnerability affects versions 4.1.0-4.1.37, 5.5.0-5.5.26, and 6.0.0-6.0.16.

Note that we are aware of publicly-available exploit code for this vulnerability.


A remote attacker could gain access to arbitrary files on the server.


Apply an update
This vulnerability is addressed in Apache Tomcat 4.1.38, 5.5.27, and 6.0.18. Please check the Apache Tomcat Security page for availability of fixes for this and other versions of Tomcat.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apache TomcatAffected-19 Aug 2008
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



This issue was reported by William A. Rowe of Apache.

This document was written by Chris Taschner.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2008-2938
  • Date Public: 11 Aug 2008
  • Date First Published: 19 Aug 2008
  • Date Last Updated: 19 Aug 2008
  • Severity Metric: 7.14
  • Document Revision: 4


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