/etc/apache2/conf.d/security – Ubuntu 12.04.1 – Default File exploitable

In Ubuntu 12.04.1 there were some rather naughty security updates in specific, /etc/apache2/conf.d/security file has important lines commented out:

#<Directory />
#        AllowOverride None
#        Order Deny,Allow
#        Deny from all

These above lines set the policy for the /var/www/ directory to forbid all access, then being commented out means that the policy is not forbidding access by default.

This is not good. In our customers case, they also had A listen 443 directive in their ports.conf, however they hadn’t added any default virtualhosts using port 443 SSL. This actually means that the /var/www directory becomes the ‘/’ for default HTTPS negotiation to the site. NOT GOOD since if directory listing is also available it will list the contents of /var/www as well, as exposing files that can be directly accessed, the directory listing option will make it possible to see all files listed, instead of just opening up the files in /var/www/ for access via http://somehost.com/somefileinvarwww.sql naturally its much harder if the attacker has to guess the files, but still, not good!

NOT GOOD AT ALL. If the customer has a /var/www/vhosts/sites and is using /var/www for their database dumps or other files it means those files could be retrieved.

The fix is simple, remove these lines from /etc/apache2/ports.conf,

Change from

Listen 443
NameVirtualHost *:443 

Change to

#Listen 443
#NameVirtualHost *:443 

Also make sure that the secure file (/etc/apache2/conf.d/secure) doesn’t have these lines commented as Ubuntu 12.04.1 and 12.10 may suffer; this is actually the main issue

Change from:

#<Directory />
# AllowOverride None
# Order Deny,Allow
# Deny from all

Change to:

<Directory />
 AllowOverride None
 Order Deny,Allow
 Deny from all

Restart your apache2

# Most other OS
service apache2 restart
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

# CentOS 7/RHEL7
systemctl restart apache2

This exploitable/vulnerable configuration was changed in later updates to the apache configurations in Ubuntu, however it appears for some people there are packages being held back for a couple of reasons. First, it appears that this server was initially deployed on Ubuntu 12.10, which is a short-term release that reached end of life May 16, 2014. As the dist-upgrade path for Ubuntu 12.10 would be to the LTS Trusty Tahr release, which reaches end of life this May.

I suspect that a significant contributor to the issue was that the releases were unsupported by the vendor at the time of being affected. The customer also used the vulnerable ports.conf file it appears with a deployment of chef.

For more information see: