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CERT Coordination Center

Apache allows arbitrary code execution via crafted POST request containing MS-DOS device name

Vulnerability Note VU#825177

Original Release Date: 2003-02-12 | Last Revised: 2003-02-12


Due to a flaw in the Apache web server's handling of MS-DOS device names, an attacker may be able to remotely execute code on systems running the Apache web server under some versions of Microsoft Windows.


The Apache HTTP server fails to filter POST requests for MS-DOS style device names. As a result, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary script commands on systems running Apache under versions of Windows that use these device names (i.e., Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millenium Edition).

An attacker issuing a carefully crafted POST may be able to execute a filtered type as a CGI, thereby allowing them to execute abitrary script commands.


Intruders may be able to remotely execute code on the vulnerable system. Since Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Millenium Edition do not provide any separation of user privileges, exploitation of this vulnerability results in a root compromise of the affected system.


Apply a patch from the vendor

The Apache Software Foundation has released version 2.0.44 of the Apache HTTP server to address this vulnerability. Users are encouraged to upgrade to this version of the software.

Furthermore, users of the Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows 98 Second Edition operating systems are encouraged to apply the patches referenced in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS00-017 in order to prevent other applications from exploiting this vulnerability.

Vendor Information


Apache Software Foundation Affected

Notified:  December 10, 2002 Updated: January 29, 2003



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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Thanks to Matthew Murphy for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Chad R Dougherty.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2003-0016
Severity Metric: 0.59
Date Public: 2003-01-21
Date First Published: 2003-02-12
Date Last Updated: 2003-02-12 18:44 UTC
Document Revision: 14

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