Vulnerabilities > CVE-2004-2769 - Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls vulnerability in Cerberusftp FTP Server

Attack vector
Attack complexity
Privileges required
Confidentiality impact
Integrity impact
Availability impact
low complexity


Cerberus FTP Server before allows remote authenticated users to list hidden files, even when the "Display hidden files" option is enabled, via the (1) MLSD or (2) MLST commands.

Vulnerable Configurations

Part Description Count

Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC)

  • Accessing, Modifying or Executing Executable Files
    An attack of this type exploits a system's configuration that allows an attacker to either directly access an executable file, for example through shell access; or in a possible worst case allows an attacker to upload a file and then execute it. Web servers, ftp servers, and message oriented middleware systems which have many integration points are particularly vulnerable, because both the programmers and the administrators must be in synch regarding the interfaces and the correct privileges for each interface.
  • Leverage Executable Code in Non-Executable Files
    An attack of this type exploits a system's trust in configuration and resource files, when the executable loads the resource (such as an image file or configuration file) the attacker has modified the file to either execute malicious code directly or manipulate the target process (e.g. application server) to execute based on the malicious configuration parameters. Since systems are increasingly interrelated mashing up resources from local and remote sources the possibility of this attack occurring is high. The attack can be directed at a client system, such as causing buffer overrun through loading seemingly benign image files, as in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-028 where specially crafted JPEG files could cause a buffer overrun once loaded into the browser. Another example targets clients reading pdf files. In this case the attacker simply appends javascript to the end of a legitimate url for a pdf ( http://path/to/pdf/file.pdf#whatever_name_you_want=javascript:your_code_here The client assumes that they are reading a pdf, but the attacker has modified the resource and loaded executable javascript into the client's browser process. The attack can also target server processes. The attacker edits the resource or configuration file, for example a web.xml file used to configure security permissions for a J2EE app server, adding role name "public" grants all users with the public role the ability to use the administration functionality. The server trusts its configuration file to be correct, but when they are manipulated, the attacker gains full control.
  • Blue Boxing
    This type of attack against older telephone switches and trunks has been around for decades. A tone is sent by an adversary to impersonate a supervisor signal which has the effect of rerouting or usurping command of the line. While the US infrastructure proper may not contain widespread vulnerabilities to this type of attack, many companies are connected globally through call centers and business process outsourcing. These international systems may be operated in countries which have not upgraded Telco infrastructure and so are vulnerable to Blue boxing. Blue boxing is a result of failure on the part of the system to enforce strong authorization for administrative functions. While the infrastructure is different than standard current applications like web applications, there are historical lessons to be learned to upgrade the access control for administrative functions.
  • Restful Privilege Elevation
    Rest uses standard HTTP (Get, Put, Delete) style permissions methods, but these are not necessarily correlated generally with back end programs. Strict interpretation of HTTP get methods means that these HTTP Get services should not be used to delete information on the server, but there is no access control mechanism to back up this logic. This means that unless the services are properly ACL'd and the application's service implementation are following these guidelines then an HTTP request can easily execute a delete or update on the server side. The attacker identifies a HTTP Get URL such as http://victimsite/updateOrder, which calls out to a program to update orders on a database or other resource. The URL is not idempotent so the request can be submitted multiple times by the attacker, additionally, the attacker may be able to exploit the URL published as a Get method that actually performs updates (instead of merely retrieving data). This may result in malicious or inadvertent altering of data on the server.
  • Target Programs with Elevated Privileges
    This attack targets programs running with elevated privileges. The attacker would try to leverage a bug in the running program and get arbitrary code to execute with elevated privileges. For instance an attacker would look for programs that write to the system directories or registry keys (such as HKLM, which stores a number of critical Windows environment variables). These programs are typically running with elevated privileges and have usually not been designed with security in mind. Such programs are excellent exploit targets because they yield lots of power when they break. The malicious user try to execute its code at the same level as a privileged system call.


NASL familyFTP
descriptionThe version of Cerberus FTP server on the remote host is earlier than Such versions are potentially affected by a security bypass vulnerability. The
last seen2020-06-01
plugin id47588
reporterThis script is Copyright (C) 2010-2018 and is owned by Tenable, Inc. or an Affiliate thereof.
titleCerberus FTP Server MLSD and MLST Command Hidden Files Security Bypass
# (C) Tenable Network Security, Inc.


if (description)
  script_cvs_date("Date: 2018/11/15 20:50:22");

  script_xref(name:"Secunia", value:"40370");

  script_name(english:"Cerberus FTP Server MLSD and MLST Command Hidden Files Security Bypass");
  script_summary(english:"Does a version check");

  script_set_attribute(attribute:"synopsis", value:
"The FTP server installed on the remote Windows host has a security
bypass vulnerability.");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"description", value:
"The version of Cerberus FTP server on the remote host is earlier than  Such versions are potentially affected by a security bypass
vulnerability.  The 'MLSD' and 'MLST' commands list hidden files despite
the 'Display hidden files' option being disabled.  A remote attacker,
possibly uncredentialed, may be able to leverage this issue to enumerate
hidden files on the affected system.");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"see_also", value:"");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"see_also", value:"");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"solution", value:"Upgrade to Cerberus FTP server 4.0.3 or later.");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"exploitability_ease", value:"No known exploits are available");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"exploit_available", value:"false");

  script_set_attribute(attribute:"vuln_publication_date", value:"2010/06/27");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"patch_publication_date", value:"2010/06/30");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"plugin_publication_date", value:"2010/07/02");

  script_set_attribute(attribute:"plugin_type", value:"local");
  script_set_attribute(attribute:"cpe", value:"cpe:/a:cerberusftp:ftp_server");

  script_copyright(english:"This script is Copyright (C) 2010-2018 and is owned by Tenable, Inc. or an Affiliate thereof.");



installs = get_kb_list("SMB/CerberusFTP/*/version");
if (isnull(installs)) audit(AUDIT_NOT_INST, "Cerberus FTP");

fixed = '';

info = "";
not_vuln_installs = make_list();

foreach install (keys(installs))
  ver = installs[install];
  path = (install - "/version") - "SMB/CerberusFTP/";;

  if (ver_compare(ver:ver, fix:fixed) < 0)
    info +=
      '\n' +
      '\n  Path              : ' + path  +
      '\n  Installed version : ' + ver   +
      '\n  Fixed version     : ' + fixed +
  else not_vuln_installs = make_list(not_vuln_installs, ver + " under " + path);

if (vuln_found)
  port = get_kb_item("SMB/transport");

  if (report_verbosity > 0) security_warning(port:port, extra:info);
  else security_warning(port);

  installs = max_index(not_vuln_installs);
  if (installs == 0) audit(AUDIT_NOT_INST, "Cerberus FTP");
  else if (installs == 1) audit(AUDIT_INST_VER_NOT_VULN, "Cerberus FTP " + not_vuln_installs[0]);
  else exit(0, "The Cerberus FTP installs (" + join(not_vuln_installs, sep:", ") + ") are not affected.");