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From: Matt Moore (matt_at_westpoint.ltd.uk)
Date: Wed Jul 10 2002 - 06:09:18 CDT
Westpoint Security Advisory
Title: Apache Tomcat Cross Site Scripting
Risk Rating: Low
Software: Apache Tomcat v4.0.3
Platforms: WinNT, Win2k, Linux
Vendor URL: jakarta.apache.org
Author: Matt Moore <mattwestpoint.ltd.uk>
Date: 10th July 2002
Advisory ID#: wp-02-0008
Apache Tomcat is the servlet container that is used in the official
Implementation for the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies.
Tomcat has a couple of Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities.
Cross Site Scripting
By using the /servlet/ mapping to invoke various servlets / classes it is
possible to cause Tomcat to throw an exception, allowing XSS attacks:
Linux and Win32 versions of Tomcat are vulnerable.
(angle brackets omitted)
The DOS device name physical path disclosure bug reported recently by
can also be used to perform XSS attacks, e.g:
This is obviously Win32 specific.
Upgrading to v4.1.3 beta resolves the DOS device name XSS issue.
The workaround for the other XSS issues described above is as follows:
The "invoker" servlet (mapped to /servlet/), which executes anonymous
classes that have not been defined in a web.xml file should be unmapped.
The entry for this can be found in the /tomcat-install-dir/conf/web.xml
Two Nessus plugins should be available to test for these vulnerabilities
This advisory is available online at: