Directory Traversal Affecting static-dev-server package, versions *



    Attack Complexity Low
    Confidentiality High

    Threat Intelligence

    EPSS 0.18% (55th percentile)
Expand this section
7.5 high

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  • published 28 Nov 2022
  • disclosed 28 Nov 2022
  • credit Liran Tal

How to fix?

There is no fixed version for static-dev-server.


static-dev-server is an A simple http server to serve static resource files from a local directory and auto reload when file change.

Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to Directory Traversal. This is because when paths from users to the root directory are joined, the assets for the path accessed are relative to that of the root directory.


  1. Install the latest version of static-dev-server: npm install static-dev-server@1.0.0

  2. Make sure you have a public/ directory with files in it

  3. Make sure you have a public-isprivate directory with files in it

4)Make sure you have a private/ directory with files in it

5)All directories above should share the same relative parent, meaning the directory structure should look as follows:

├── private
│   └── index.html
├── public
│   └── index.html
└── public-isprivate
    └── index.html

Then, run a server powered by static-dev-server as follows:

var StaticServer = require('static-dev-server');
var server = new StaticServer({
  rootPath: 'public',            // required, the root of the server file tree
  name: 'my-http-server',   // optional, will set "X-Powered-by" HTTP header
  port: 3000,               // optional, defaults to a random port
  host: '',       // optional, defaults to any interface
  cors: '*',                 // optional, defaults to undefined
  followSymlink: true,      // optional, defaults to a 404 error
  templates: {
    index: 'foo.html',      // optional, defaults to 'index.html'
    notFound: '404.html'    // optional, defaults to undefined

server.start(function () { console.log('Server listening to', server.port); });

which sets the public root directory to the public/ directory that we previously created:

The server should run within the local folder where all private/, public/, and public-isprivate are subfolders.

Next, verify the following:

  1. curl --path-as-is "http://localhost:3000/../private/index.html" -> this request is denied, as expected with prior vulnerability fix.

  2. curl --path-as-is "http://localhost:3000/../public/index.html" -> this request is allowed, as expected with the functionality of this local http server

  3. curl --path-as-is "http://localhost:3000/../public-isprivate/index.html" -> this request SHOULD BE DENIED because it is outside the public/ folder, but it is actually allowed.

Case (3) shouldn't happen, but it does, due to an improper fix in the library's source code.


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