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Security Alert CVE-2011-3010: XSS Vulnerability with Topic Create and Slideshows

ALERT! Get Alerted: To get immediate alerts of high priority security issues, please join the low-volume twiki-announce list - details at TWikiAnnounceMailingList

This advisory alerts you of two potential security issues with your TWiki installation: The topic create screen and the spreadsheet plugin may expose a cross-site scripting vulnerability.

Vulnerable Software Version

Attack Vectors

Attack can be done by viewing wiki pages or by logging in by issuing HTTP GET requests towards the TWiki server (usually port 80/TCP).


Specially crafted parameters open up XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks.

Severity Level

The TWiki SecurityTeam triaged this issue as documented in TWikiSecurityAlertProcess and assigned the following severity level:

  • Severity 3 issue: TWiki content or browser is compromised.

MITRE Name for this Vulnerability

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the name CVE-2011-3010 to this vulnerability.


A malicious person can use specially crafted URL parameters to TWiki scripts that execute arbitrary JavaScript code in the browser. Examples:

Specially crafted origurl parameter to the login script of TWiki:

GET /do/view/Main/Jump?create=on&newtopic=%27%22--%3E%3C/style%3E%3C/script%3E%3Cscript%3Ealert%280x0051D1%29%3C/script%3E&template=WebCreateNewTopic&topicparent=3

GET /do/view/TWiki/ATasteOfTWiki?'"--></style></script><script>alert(0x002B48)</script>

TWiki decodes the URL parameters and pops up a JavaScript alert box showing "20945"


  • Apply hotfix (see patch below).
  • Upgrade to the latest patched production TWiki-5.1.0, TWikiRelease05x01x00.
  • Use the web server software to restrict access to the web pages served by TWiki.

Hotfix for TWiki Production Releases

It is recommended to upgrade to the latest TWiki version, which can be done easily with the BackupRestorePlugin. If an immediate upgrade is not feasible you can apply below patch for Production Release TWiki-5.0.x, TWiki-4.3.x and TWiki-4.2.x by updating a topic and by upgrading the SlideShowPlugin. There is no hotfix for earlier TWiki releases; take the hotfix as a guideline. The patch sanitizes the create new topic screen and the SlideShowPlugin.

Patch Create New Topic Screen

Affected topic: TWiki.WebCreateNewTopicTemplate

Upgrade: On your TWiki, do a raw edit of topic TWiki.WebCreateNewTopicTemplate and replace its content with the content of http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/TWiki/WebCreateNewTopicTemplate?raw=on

Alternatively, apply patch indicated at http://develop.twiki.org/trac/changeset/21920

Upgrade SlideShowPlugin

Affected plugin: http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/SlideShowPlugin

Upgrade: Run configure, go to Extensions, find more extensions, and select the SlideShowPlugin to upgrade. Alternatively follow the manual installation instructions indicate in the plugin topic, or apply below patch.

Patch file: lib/TWiki/Plugins/SlideShowPlugin/SlideShow.pm

--- SlideShow.pm.save2   2011-04-02 15:06:35.000000000 -0700
+++ SlideShow.pm   2011-08-08 15:48:03.000000000 -0700
@@ -61,7 +61,8 @@
     # Build query string based on existingURL parameters
     my $qparams = '?slideshow=on;skin=print';
     foreach my $name ( $query->param ) {
-        next if ( $name =~ /(text|keywords|web|topic|slideshow|skin|\#)/ );
+        next if ( $name =~ s/[^a-zA-Z0-9_\-]//go ); # Item6789: Santize parameter name
+        next if ( $name =~ /^(text|keywords|web|topic|slideshow|skin)$/ );
         $qparams .= ';' . $name . '=' . urlEncode( $query->param($name) );

Authors and Credits

Action Plan with Timeline

  • 2011-08-20: Developer releases TWiki-5.1.0 with fix (George Trubisky)
  • 2011-09-19: Security team creates advisory with hotfix (Peter Thoeny)
  • 2011-09-20: Send alert to TWikiAnnounceMailingList and TWikiDevMailingList (Peter Thoeny)
  • 2011-09-22: Publish advisory in Codev web and update all related topics (Peter Thoeny)
  • 2011-09-22: Issue a public security advisory to full-disclosure[at]lists.netsys.com, cert[at]cert.org, vuln[at]secunia.com, bugs[at]securitytracker.com (Peter Thoeny)

External Links

-- PeterThoeny - 2011-09-22


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Topic revision: r14 - 2012-12-14 - PeterThoeny
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