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phpThumb 1.7.12 Server Side Request Forgery

phpThumb 1.7.12 Server Side Request Forgery
Posted Dec 2, 2013
Authored by Rafay Baloch, Deepankar Arora

phpThumb version 1.7.12 allows for arbitrary request forgery server-side that can be used maliciously.

tags | exploit, arbitrary
SHA-256 | e913a843b81d9d2b74184a8e642eab8b19aa74dddc1489ee2c4b3c63fb7f54b4

phpThumb 1.7.12 Server Side Request Forgery

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#phpThumb 'phpThumbDebug' Server Side Request Forgery
#Google Dork: inurl:phpThumb.php
#Author: Rafay Baloch And Deepanker Arora
#Company: RHA InfoSEC
#Impact: High
#Vendor: http://phpthumb.sourceforge.net/#download
#Version: 1.7.12
#Status: Reported And Fixed


A server side request forgery is not a single vulnerability, however it
represents different classes of vulnerability. In a server side request
forgery an attaker creates forged packets to communicate with the
intra/internet by using the vulnerable server as a pivot point. Several
other different attacks can be performed, however we will keep it at a
basic level for a better understanding.


The debug mode in phpThumb was introduced for trouble shooting purposes,
however the debug mode when turned can result in a server side request
forgery. By exploiting it a SSRF vulnerability an attacker may be able to
scan local or remote ports, fingerprint services etc. Let's take a look at
the piece of code responsible for fetching an external image:

if ($rawImageData = phpthumb_functions::SafeURLread($phpThumb->src, $error,

$phpThumb->config_http_follow_redirect)) {
succeeded'.($error ? ' with messsages: "'.$error.'"' :

''), __FILE__, __LINE__);
$phpThumb->DebugMessage('Setting source data from URL
"'.$phpThumb->src.'"', __FILE__, __LINE__);
$phpThumb->setSourceData($rawImageData, urlencode($phpThumb->src));
} else {
if ($rawImageData = phpthumb_functions::SafeURLread($_GET['src'], $error,

$phpThumb->config_http_follow_redirect)) {
$md5s = md5($rawImageData);

The above code is responsible for fetching an external image file with the
"src" parameter. The code doesn't checks if the image retrived is actually
a valid image. Therefore, under debug mode set to "True" it would display
the error message received from the lower layer network sockets which would
enable an attacker to launch a server side request forgery attack.

Furthurmore, I noticed that there was a validation being perfomed for
protocols such as file://.

if (preg_match('#^(f|ht)tp\://#i', $phpThumb->src)) {

However, this doesn't prevent this attack completly, as an attacker may be
able to leverage other protocols such as gopher://, dict:// etc in order to
exploit this vulnerability.

Proof of Concept

Scanme.nmap.org has known ports 22, 80 and 25 open, In case where the
server errors are turned on, there would be a distinct response by probing
open ports vs closed ports.

Open Port

Open port

Closed port


It is recommended to turn off the "debug" mode. The debug mode can be
modfying by changing the following lines inside the php code.

"$PHPTHUMB_CONFIG['disable_debug']= false;"


"$PHPTHUMB_CONFIG['disable_debug']= true;".


1) The authors explicitly disabled all other protocols then http/https/ftp
protocols. This minimizes few of the attack vectors.


2) The debug_mode has been disabled and the "High Security Mode" has been
enabled by default in version phpThumb 1.7.12. Take a look at the author's

3) Further security improvements are to be done in the future versions.


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