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Monday, 11 October 2021 18:30

More critical fixes for software once known as A Patchy Server Featured

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More critical fixes for software once known as A Patchy Server Image by Edgar Oliver from Pixabay

The Apache HTTP Server Project has been forced to issue fresh fixes for a critical bug which was originally thought to affect only version 2.4.49 and fixed last Thursday.

The directory path traversal flaw was fixed in a new point version, 2.4.50, only for a further fix to be required in a new version, 2.5.51.

In a new advisory, the project said: "It was found that the fix for CVE-2021-41773 in Apache HTTP Server 2.4.50 was insufficient. An attacker could use a path traversal attack to map URLs to files outside the directories configured by Alias-like directives.

"If files outside these directories are not protected by the usual default configuration 'require all denied', these requests can succeed.

"If CGI scripts are also enabled for these aliased paths, this could allow for remote code execution.

"This issue only affects Apache 2.4.49 and Apache 2.4.50 and not earlier versions."

Sophos researcher Paul Ducklin summed it up this way: "If the first patch arrives too quickly, then it may not have been reviewed or tested quite as much as you might like.

"So it’s not so much that the next patch in the queue catches up because the first one is too slow, but that the next one has to be completed in a rush to keep up…

"…and, if you aren’t careful, then that second patch might itself beget a third patch, needed to patch the patch that patched the first patch."

Juan Escobar from Dreamlab Technologies, Fernando Muñoz from NULL Life CTF Team, and independent researchers Shungo Kumasaka and Nattapon Jongcharoen were credited with having found the bug in 2.4.50.

Apache once had about 80% of the Web server software market, but in February this year, a survey by Netcraft found that its share had dropped to 26.3% of sites, 26.4% of domains and 32.7% of Web-facing computers.

nginx leads the Web server software market with 34.5% of sites, 30.4% of domains and 35% of Web-facing computers. But when it comes to the top million busiest sites, Apache has 25.5% of active sites, compared to 19.8% for nginx.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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