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BEA WebLogic Server fails to properly associate re-created groups

Vulnerability Note VU#470470

Original Release Date: 2004-04-16 | Last Revised: 2004-04-19


WebLogic Server contains a vulnerability that could result in the creation of new groups inheriting the privileges of a previously deleted group if members of the deleted group still exist.


BEA Systems describes WebLogic Server as "an industrial-strength application infrastructure for developing, integrating, securing, and managing distributed Java applications." The WebLogic Authentication provider is the default authentication mechanism and allows system administrators to manage users and group memberships. Under certain circumstances, members of one group may be unintentionally granted the privileges of a legacy group. If the legacy group had administrative access, then the new group would also inherit these privileges.

According to the BEA Security Advisory,

This vulnerability affects sites that are using the WebLogic Authentication provider as the default authentication provider in a security realm and the following sequence of events occurs.

    1. The system administrator creates a group (for example, Group1).

    2. The system administrator then creates a second group (for example, Group2).
    3. The system administrator makes Group1 a member of Group2.
    4. The system administrator deletes Group2 and then later creates it again.

Even though Group2 is a new group, it has Group1 as a member. If Group1 has administrative privileges, now Group2 will also have administrative privileges even though it was never explicitly granted those privileges when it was created the second time.

The BEA Security Advisory states that the following versions of WebLogic Server and Express are affected by this vulnerability:
    • WebLogic Server and WebLogic Express version 8.1 through Service Pack 2, on all platforms
    • WebLogic Server and WebLogic Express version 7.0 through Service Pack 4, on all platforms


A group of users may be unintentionally granted administrative privileges.


UpgradeBEA has released an advisory to address this issue. According to the BEA Security Advisory, it is recommended that users take the following action:

WebLogic Server and WebLogic Express version 8.1

1. Upgrade to WebLogic Server and WebLogic Express version 8.1 Service Pack 2.

2. Rename the patch available from: to wlSecurityProviders.jar.

3. Locate the wlSecurityProviders81.jar in the directory structure of 8.1 Service Pack 2.

4. Replace the wlSecurityProviders81.jar with the renamed .jar file.

WebLogic Server version 8.1 Service Pack 3 will include the functionality in this patch.

WebLogic Server and WebLogic Express version 7.0

1. Upgrade to WebLogic Server and WebLogic Express version 7.0 Service Pack 5.

Vendor Information


BEA Systems Inc. Affected

Updated:  April 16, 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.


Please refer to BEA Security Advisory BEA04-52.00.

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

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



This vulnerability was reported by BEA Systems Inc.

This document was written by Damon Morda.

Other Information

CVE IDs: None
Severity Metric: 0.52
Date Public: 2004-04-14
Date First Published: 2004-04-16
Date Last Updated: 2004-04-19 15:54 UTC
Document Revision: 20

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