Publique! CMS SQL Injection Vulnerabilities
Publique! CMS SQL Injection Vulnerabilities
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=====[ Tempest Security Intelligence - Advisory #01 / 2010 ]============
SQL injection vulnerability in Publique! Framework
Christophe de la Fuente
Gustavo Pimentel Bittencourt
=====[ Table of Contents ]================================
2. Detailed description
3. Additional context & Solutions
=====[ Overview ]=====================================
* System affected: Publique! version 2.3 (Other versions may be vulnerable)
* Release date: 25 January 2010
* Impact: Successful exploitation of this vulnerability may lead to remote
server compromise due the ability to recover administrative
credentials of Publique! management interface.
Publique! is a Content Management System (CMS) for Web applications by F=E1brica
Digital . This framework claims to be designed for non-computer specialists,
enabling them to update web site content directly from the internet.
This product is largely used in Brazil by companies from various areas such as
universities, government organizations, banks and independent product
A remotely exploitable vulnerability was found in the framework core component.
Exploitation of this bug does not require authentication and will lead to
remotely exposed potentially sensitive information from the Publique! database.
Particularly, an attacker can extract usernames and passwords needed to
authenticate to the administrative interface and gain full control of the web
site and (depending on certain conditions) the server itself.
=====[ Detailed description ]===============================
Publique! references each page with a specific ID ("sid") that the framework
uses in most of URLs. For instance, to access the page referred by ID=1, the
following URL is used:
It was found that Publique! does not validate properly the "sid" parameter
value and causes this input to be interpreted as a SQL command instead of
The following error is displayed when a simple quote is added after the
original value (sid=1'):
Lua error on configuration (or extension)
Error: unexpected type to index table
function _ERRORMESSAGE at C code
function _initStart at //S/Publique/work/carregal/sys/reader/start.lua
main of //S/Publique/work/carregal/sys/reader/start.lua
function old_dofile at C code
function dofile at
main of string " write("") dofile(ReaderDir.."start.bin")
write("\n") det", 2
function dostring at C code
function: 0042E0D0 at
function: 0042A8C8 at
function: 0035CE60 at
function: 0035D650 at
main of //S/Publique/work/carregal/cgi/cgilua/cgilua.conf/cgilua.lua
CGILua 3.2.1 CGI =C2=A91995-99.
After several tests, it appears that the framework is executing two SQL queries
sequentially and the error is issued by the first query. It is unlikely that
the bug could be exploited using conventional methods. However, it is possible
to extract information from the database using Time-Based Blind SQL
Basically, this consists of using some time-taking SQL operations (e.g.
the BENCHMARK() MySQL built-in function) that will delay server responses if
the specific condition is satisfied. By monitoring the response time, it is
possible to know if the conditional expression is True or False.
Using this technique, it is possible to extract the usernames and passwords
needed to authenticate into the Publique! management interface. Database
information can be retrieved by testing the ASCII value of each character
returned by the injected query.
For example, the following payload may be used to extract the ASCII value of
the first character returned by the query:
This query first concatenates "F_Login" and "F_Password" columns of the
internal table "T_Actor" and returns the first row (thanks to the "LIMIT 1
OFFSET 0" statement). Then, it checks if the ASCII value of the first character
returned is greater than 97 (the letter 'a'). If the condition is satisfied it
will trigger the BENCHMARK function, causing a significant delay in the server
response (approximately 4 seconds using our test lab). By repeating the query
with different values to compare to, it is possible to retrieve the exact value
of the first character. The complete string can be extracted by reproducing the
process for each character.
Although the password is encrypted, it is possible to discover it. After
further investigation and reverse engineering the Lua pre-compiled binaries of
Publique! framework, it appears that the encryption algorithm used is
reversible (i.e. is not a hashing function).
Basically, before storing passwords in the database, the framework encrypts
them with two CGILUA  built-in functions: "crypt()"  and "encode()" .
Since the key used by the encryption algorithm is hard-coded in Publique!
binaries, it is possible to retrieve the plain password from the cypher by
using the two following built-in functions: "decrypt()" and "decode()".
These plain credentials could be used to log into the Publique! management
interface, enabling the framework upload functionality, and eventually
permitting an attacker to install malicious code on the remote server, for
=====[ Other contexts & Solutions ]===========================
As usual , we contacted the vendor. After 45 days waiting, F=E1brica Digital
did not provide us a public URL to a fix which addresses this problem to attach
in this publication.
=====[ Thanks ]=======================================
- Tempest Security Intelligence  - Tempest Pentest Team
- Evandro Curvelo Hora
=====[ References ]=====================================