Directory Traversal Affecting org.graylog2:graylog2-server package, versions [0,4.0.0-beta.1)



    Attack Complexity Low

Do your applications use this vulnerable package?

In a few clicks we can analyze your entire application and see what components are vulnerable in your application, and suggest you quick fixes.

Test your applications
  • published 23 Oct 2020
  • disclosed 17 Sep 2020
  • credit Florian Hauser, Christian Fünfhaus

Introduced: 17 Sep 2020

CVE NOT AVAILABLE CWE-22 Open this link in a new tab

How to fix?

Upgrade org.graylog2:graylog2-server to version 4.0.0-beta.1 or higher.


org.graylog2:graylog2-server is a log management platform.

Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to Directory Traversal. When starting Graylog with the JVM -cp classpath options, instead of using the default -jar for the bundled classes, the API REST endpoint /api-browser/.* would allow path traversal to allow reading files on the server's filesystem.

For example, when starting graylog-server like:

/usr/local/openjdk-8/bin/java -XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions -XX:+UseCGroupMemoryLimitForHeap -XX:NewRatio=1 -XX:MaxMetaspaceSize=256m -server -XX:+ResizeTLAB -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:+CMSConcurrentMTEnabled -XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:-OmitStackTraceInFastThrow -cp /usr/share/graylog:/usr/share/graylog/graylog.jar -Dlog4j.configurationFile=/usr/share/graylog/data/config/log4j2.xml -Djava.library.path=/usr/share/graylog/lib/sigar/ -Dgraylog2.installation_source=docker org.graylog2.bootstrap.Main server -f /usr/share/graylog/data/config/graylog.conf

The use of -cp /usr/share/graylog:/usr/share/graylog/graylog.jar triggers the vulnerability.

The check for .. elements in the resulting file path for documentation resources is performed too early in the resolution process. As a result, an attacker can craft a URL that can contain .. elements and thus read files the server process has access to.

Note: This vulnerability does not apply to the standard installation methods.


A Directory Traversal attack (also known as path traversal) aims to access files and directories that are stored outside the intended folder. By manipulating files with "dot-dot-slash (../)" sequences and its variations, or by using absolute file paths, it may be possible to access arbitrary files and directories stored on file system, including application source code, configuration, and other critical system files.

Directory Traversal vulnerabilities can be generally divided into two types:

  • Information Disclosure: Allows the attacker to gain information about the folder structure or read the contents of sensitive files on the system.

st is a module for serving static files on web pages, and contains a vulnerability of this type. In our example, we will serve files from the public route.

If an attacker requests the following URL from our server, it will in turn leak the sensitive private key of the root user.

curl http://localhost:8080/public/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/%2e%2e/root/.ssh/id_rsa

Note %2e is the URL encoded version of . (dot).

  • Writing arbitrary files: Allows the attacker to create or replace existing files. This type of vulnerability is also known as Zip-Slip.

One way to achieve this is by using a malicious zip archive that holds path traversal filenames. When each filename in the zip archive gets concatenated to the target extraction folder, without validation, the final path ends up outside of the target folder. If an executable or a configuration file is overwritten with a file containing malicious code, the problem can turn into an arbitrary code execution issue quite easily.

The following is an example of a zip archive with one benign file and one malicious file. Extracting the malicious file will result in traversing out of the target folder, ending up in /root/.ssh/ overwriting the authorized_keys file:

2018-04-15 22:04:29 .....           19           19  good.txt
2018-04-15 22:04:42 .....           20           20  ../../../../../../root/.ssh/authorized_keys