OSEC

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Subject: Blackboard Courseinfo v4.0 User Authentication
From: Pedram Amini (aminiEECS.TULANE.EDU)
Date: Tue Jul 18 2000 - 19:59:57 CDT


Apparently Courseinfo (or at least the implementation I was playing with)
has no user authentication, meaning that anyone can force feed their own
form values and Perl with merrily modify the database. So for instance
running:
(all form input is in caps for readability)

/bin/common/user_update_passwd.pl?user_id=VICTIM&firstname=FIRST&lastname=LA
ST&course_id=SOMECOURSE&password1=NEWPASSWD&password2=NEWPASSWD

will set victims password to whatever you please. Of course the downside to
this is that the next time the user attempts to login and his/her password
doesn't work some suspicion is bound to arise. Another thing you can do is
change your "role". Example:

/bin/common/user_update_admin.pl?user_id=MYID&course_id=SOMECOURSE&role=T&av
ailable_ind=Y

will up my "role" to TA. 's' will change you back to a student, and 'g' will
make you an instructor (grader?) (I guess Blackboard decided to get sneaky
here and not to use the obvious 'i' for instructor).

Blackboard advertises that over 1600 educational institutes use their
software, I haven't verified whether or not these methods work on other
schools.

You can find a brief list of schools using Courseinfo v4.0 at:
http://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?sc=on&hl=on&q=%2B%22courseinfo+v4.0%2
2+%2B.edu&kl=XX&pg=q

The only prerequisite needed to launch these attacks is a valid account,
which is no big deal at all since just about every site I've seen allows you
to create one. Even if the create account button wasn't on the main page my
guess is that one could add an account with the following:

/bin/create_user_account.pl?runfirst=0&firstname=FIRST&lastname=LAST&email=M
EME.COM&user_id=MYID&password1=MYPASS&password2=MYPASS

I thought that maybe the runfirst=0 determines whether or not the account
being created is the first one or not. I imagine that the first account gets
some kind of special privileges, however feeding it a value of '1' doesn't
seem to have any effect.

I contacted Blackboard on February 15 of this year and all I've heard is a
thank you over the phone. I've tried writing again, and was ignored. Seeing
the other post on Courseinfo I figured this would be an appropriate time to
mention mine.

Pedram Amini
aminieecs.tulane.edu