The software receives data from an upstream component, but only accounts for special elements positioned relative to a marker (e.g. "at the beginning/end of a string; the second argument"), thereby missing remaining special elements that may exist before sending it to a downstream component.
The following code takes untrusted input and uses a regular expression to filter a "../" element located at the beginning of the input string. It then appends this result to the /home/user/ directory and attempts to read the file in the final resulting path.
Example Language: Perl
my $Username = GetUntrustedInput();
$Username =~ s/^\.\.\///;
my $filename = "/home/user/" . $Username;
Since the regular expression is only looking for an instance of "../" at the beginning of the string, it only removes the first "../" element. So an input value such as:
will have the first "../" stripped, resulting in:
This value is then concatenated with the /home/user/ directory:
which causes the /etc/passwd file to be retrieved once the operating system has resolved the ../ sequences in the pathname. This leads to relative path traversal (CWE-22).
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