The PHP application uses an old method for processing uploaded files by referencing the four global variables that are set for each file (e.g. $varname, $varname_size, $varname_name, $varname_type). These variables could be overwritten by attackers, causing the application to process unauthorized files.
These global variables could be overwritten by POST requests, cookies, or other methods of populating or overwriting these variables. This could be used to read or process arbitrary files by providing values such as "/etc/passwd".
The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.
Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.
PHP (Undetermined Prevalence)
The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.
As of 2006, the "four globals" method is probably in sharp decline, but older PHP applications could have this issue.
In the "four globals" method, PHP sets the following 4 global variables (where "varname" is application-dependent):
Example Language: PHP
$varname = name of the temporary file on local machine
$varname_size = size of file
$varname_name = original name of file provided by client
$varname_type = MIME type of the file
"The global $_FILES exists as of PHP 4.1.0 (Use $HTTP_POST_FILES instead if using an earlier version). These arrays will contain all the uploaded file information."
Example Language: PHP
$_FILES['userfile']['name'] - original filename from client
$_FILES['userfile']['tmp_name'] - the temp filename of the file on the server
** note: 'userfile' is the field name from the web form; this can vary.
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
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