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[R2] Sophos Web Protection Appliance ftp_redirect.php s Parameter Reflected XSS



While investigating and authoring a plugin for a recently disclosed open redirect weakness (NSWA-989) in Sophos Web Application that was recently patched in version 4.3.0, Tenable discovered that the same script and parameter could be used for a reflected cross-site scripting attack. The offending code can be found in ftp_redirect.php.

The disclosed open redirect is exercised by controlling the $_GET[‘s’] used to create $myself. $myself is then assigned to window.location.href which will trigger the redirect. However, the $_GET[‘s’] can also be used to trigger a reflected XSS. Unfortunately, PHP on the Sophos Web Application server is configured to escape all quotes in $_GET[‘s’]. In theory, this limits the JavaScript that we can use to carry out such an XSS attack. For example, alert(“<3”); becomes alert(\”<3\”); and would fail to execute. In reality, escaping quotes via PHP is a waste of time and it can be bypassed without much effort. We crafted a PoC that will pop up the ASCII heart for Sophos when reporting it. <3


Sophos has already released Web Protection Appliance 4.3.0 which also fixed this issue, but the XSS was not disclosed.

Sophos reintroduced the vulnerability in and a patch was released in 4.3.2.

Disclosure Timeline

2016-10-17 - Sophos Web Protection Appliance 4.3.0 released
2016-11-08 - Issue discovered
2016-11-10 - Issue reported to Sophos via [email protected]
2016-12-11 - Pinged vendor to confirm they received report
2016-12-12 - Vendor confirms receipt, confirms fixed in as part of NSWA-989
2016-12-12 - Tenable says we will try to confirm (eval copy updates were not working for us previously)
2017-01-09 - Tenable confirms not vulnerable, so fix as vendor notes is correct
2017-05-04 - Tenable notices a regression in
2017-05-08 - Issue reported to vendor via [email protected]
2017-05-08 - Vendor acks report
2017-06-05 - Vendor publishes fix in 4.3.2

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