Security error

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Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Security error

Postby rramos » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:31 am

It seems the ability to forward a user to a page outside the organitation when performing authentication. This is due to incorrect data validation entry. A potential attacker could use this vulnerability to perform redirects customized without user intervention and thus modified redirect to another page. of This enables you to perform other types of attacks, such as data theft user or session.

In tests carried out in our development servers has been detected in one of the server requests that are made
during the authentication process in the application, there is a parameter "source" in which includes a return address that can be manipulated.

How can we correct this vulnerability?


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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:20 am

Re: Security error

Postby JasonNugent » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:31 am

Hi rramos,

You're correct, the redirection that occurs after login should be sanitized to ensure that it is to a page within OJS. However, the risk in the current situation is quite low -- someone wishing to redirect you to a page of their choosing would need to a) know that you had an account within an OJS installation or an active session, and b) convince you somehow to follow their crafted link.

I have filed this as a bug at if you wish to add yourself to the CC list in order to be notified when it is fixed.


Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Re: Security error

Postby rramos » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:13 am

thank you very much for your help

Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Re: Security error

Postby rramos » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:27 am

If anyone is interested I modified the code:

In this file I created a small patch:

Code: Select all

        function antiXSS(&$source) {
      $str = strpos($source,'/');
      if($str == 0 ) {

and in this other function called my function:

Code: Select all

 function signIn() {
      if (Validation::isLoggedIn()) {
         PKPRequest::redirect(null, 'user');

      if (Config::getVar('security', 'force_login_ssl') && Request::getProtocol() != 'https') {
         // Force SSL connections for login

      $user = Validation::login(Request::getUserVar('username'), Request::getUserVar('password'), $reason, Request::getUserVar('remember') == null ? false : true);
      if ($user !== false) {
         if ($user->getMustChangePassword()) {
            // User must change their password in order to log in
            PKPRequest::redirect(null, null, 'changePassword', $user->getUsername());

         } else {
            $source = Request::getUserVar('source');
            $this->antiXSS($source); // MY FUNCTION

It's silly but it works


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