Struts 2.3 Vulnerable to Two Year old File Upload Flaw

Published: 2018-11-05
Last Updated: 2018-11-05 20:40:44 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
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Apache today released an advisory, urging users who run Apache Struts 2.3.x to update the commons-fileupload component [1]. Struts 2.3.x uses by default the old 1.3.2 version of commons-fileupload. In November of 2016, a deserialization vulnerability was disclosed and patched in commons-fileupload [2]. The vulnerability can lead to arbitrary remote code execution.

You are vulnerable if you run Struts 2.3.x, and if your site makes use of the file upload mechanism built into Struts. You are not vulnerable if you are running Struts 2.5.x. This newer version of Struts includes a patched commons-fileupload component.

There is no simple "new Struts version" to fix this. You will have to swap out the commons-fileupload library manually. Download version 1.3.3 and place it inside WEB-INF/lib, replacing the old version. For Maven-based projects, you will also need to update your dependencies (see the advisory for details). You can find the latest version here:

And while you are at it: Double check that you don't have any other copies of the vulnerable library sitting on your systems. Struts isn't the only one using it, and others may have neglected to update it as well.


Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D. , Dean of Research, SANS Technology Institute

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