phplist 3.2.6: XSS

phplist 3.2.6: XSS

Author: Tim Coen
Date: 2017-02-20 14:19:49
Security Advisory – Curesec Research Team

1. Introduction

Affected Product: phplist 3.2.6
Fixed in: 3.3.1
Fixed Version Link:
Vendor Website:
Vulnerability Type: XSS
Remote Exploitable: Yes
Reported to vendor: 01/10/2017
Disclosed to public: 02/20/2017
Release mode: Coordinated Release
CVE: n/a (not requested)
Credits Tim Coen of curesec GmbH

2. Overview

phplist is an application to manage newsletters, written in PHP. In version 3.2.6, it is vulnerable to reflected and persitent Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities. The persistent XSS vulnerability is only exploitable by users with specific privileges and may be used for escalating privileges.

3. Details

Reflected XSS

CVSS: Medium 6.1 CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:C/C:L/I:L/A:N

The page parameter is vulnerable to reflected XSS.

Proof of Concept:


Persistent XSS

CVSS: Medium 5.5 CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:H/UI:N/S:C/C:L/I:L/A:N

Various components of the administration interface are vulnerable to persistent XSS. While a user account is required to exploit these issues, they may be used by less privileged users to escalate their privileges.

Persistent XSS: List Name

The name of a list is echoed in various locations without encoding, leading to persistent XSS. An account with the privilege to create a list is required.

Add new List: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=editlist&tk=c as name use : list'"><img src=no onerror=alert(1)> To trigger the payload, visit - Add new subscribers to list: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=importsimple&list=84&tk=c - Overview of all lists: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=list&tk=c - List members of list: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=members&id=3&tk=c - View member (loaded as part of the lists tab): http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=user&id=4 - Creating a Campaign (in step 4): http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=send&id=2&tk=c&tab=Lists

Persistent XSS: Subscribe Page

Various parameters of the subscribe page - such as the title - are vulnerable to persistent XSS. An account with the privilege to edit the subscribe page is required.

Add a new subscribe page: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=spage as title use: subscribe'"><img src=no onerror=alert(1)> To trigget the payload: - Visit the subscribe page: http://localhost/lists/index.php?p=subscribe&id=1 - Visit the subscribe page overview: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=spage

Persistent XSS: Bounce Rule

The expression parameter of bounce rules is vulnerable to persistent XSS. An account with the privilege to edit bounce rules is required.

Add a new bounce rule:http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=bouncerules&type=active as regular expression use: test'"&ht;<img src=no onerror=alert(1)&ht; To trigger the payload: - Visit the bounce rule overview: http://localhost/lists/admin/?page=bouncerules&type=active

4. Solution

To mitigate this issue please upgrade at least to version 3.3.1:

Please note that a newer version might already be available.

5. Report Timeline

01/10/2017 Informed Vendor about Issue
01/16/2017 Vendor confirms
02/15/2017 Asked Vendor to confirm that new release fixes issues
02/15/2017 Vendor confirms
02/20/2017 Disclosed to public