Executive Summary

Titlemahara security update
NameDSA-2246First vendor Publication2011-05-29
VendorDebianLast vendor Modification2011-05-29
Severity (Vendor) N/ARevision1

Security-Database Scoring CVSS v2

Cvss vector : (AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P)
Cvss Base Score6.8Attack RangeNetwork
Cvss Impact Score6.4Attack ComplexityMedium
Cvss Expoit Score8.6AuthenticationNone Required
Calculate full CVSS 2.0 Vectors scores


Several vulnerabilities were discovered in mahara, an electronic portfolio, weblog, and resume builder. The following Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ids identify them:


It was discovered that previous versions of Mahara did not check user credentials before adding a secret URL to a view or suspending a user.


Due to a misconfiguration of the Pieform package in Mahara, the cross-site request forgery protection mechanism that Mahara relies on to harden its form was not working and was essentially disabled. This is a critical vulnerability which could allow attackers to trick other users (for example administrators) into performing malicious actions on behalf of the attacker. Most Mahara forms are vulnerable.


Many of the JSON structures returned by Mahara for its AJAX interactions included more information than what ought to be disclosed to the logged in user. New versions of Mahara limit this information to what is necessary for each page.


Previous versions of Mahara did not escape the contents of HTML emails sent to users. Depending on the filters enabled in one's mail reader, it could lead to cross-site scripting attacks.


It has been pointed out to us that if Mahara is configured (through its wwwroot variable) to use HTTPS, it will happily let users login via the HTTP version of the site if the web server is configured to serve content over both protocol. The new version of Mahara will, when the wwwroot points to an HTTPS URL, automatically redirect to HTTPS if it detects that it is being run over HTTP.

We recommend that sites wanting to run Mahara over HTTPS make sure that their web server configuration does not allow the serving of content over HTTP and merely redirects to the secure version. We also suggest that site administrators consider adding the HSTS headers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_Strict_Transport_Security) to their web server configuration.

For the oldstable distribution (lenny), these problems have been fixed in version 1.0.4-4+lenny10.

For the stable distribution (squeeze), these problems have been fixed in version 1.2.6-2+squeeze2.

For the testing distribution (wheezy), these problems have been fixed in version 1.3.6-1.

For the unstable distribution (sid), these problems have been fixed in version 1.3.6-1.

We recommend that you upgrade your mahara packages.

Original Source

Url : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2246

CWE : Common Weakness Enumeration

CWE-264Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls
CWE-352Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
CWE-79Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure ('Cross-site Scripting')

CPE : Common Platform Enumeration


OpenVAS Exploits

2011-08-03Name : Debian Security Advisory DSA 2246-1 (mahara)
File : nvt/deb_2246_1.nasl
2011-05-23Name : Mahara Multiple Remote Vulnerabilities
File : nvt/gb_mahara_mult_vuln.nasl

Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB)

73458Mahara wwwroot https URL Parsing Credential Disclosure
73457Mahara HTML Email Message XSS
73456Mahara Multiple Script AJAX Call Parsing Information Disclosure
73455Mahara Admin User Addition CSRF
73454Mahara Multiple Script Access Restriction Bypass

Nessus® Vulnerability Scanner

2011-06-10Name : The remote Debian host is missing a security-related update.
File : debian_DSA-2246.nasl - Type : ACT_GATHER_INFO

Alert History

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2014-02-17 11:30:12
  • Multiple Updates