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Re: [EP-tech] EPrints Security Announcement - February 2020

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Hi David,

Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention and providing the solutions.

Shamefully, we are still on 3.3.14 (I promise we are upgrading this year). The patch mentioned works on 3.3.16 and the page says it might work on earlier versions (a brief look through two of the files suggests they're more or less the same as those for 3.3.16)

In my attempt to avoid any problems that could result from "might" are these the files that need altering if I were to do it manually:

 /cgi/ajax/phrase : CVE-2021-26703
/cgi/latex2png : CVE-2021-3342
/cgi/toolbox/toolbox : CVE-2021-26704

There also appears to be some changes to be made to XML.pm

Am I interpreting it correctly where it looks as though latex2png will be left as an empty file (deleted) by the end?

I think the page makes it very clear that these are the files that are affected, but I just want to check there aren't any others that the patch addresses. I have looked at the patch, but I try not to underestimate my ability to totally misunderstand the most obvious of things.

My plan is to try the command first on a test EPrints server and if it doesn't work, do it manually.


On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 9:27 AM David R Newman via Eprints-tech <eprints-tech@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:

Hi all,

EPrints Services was recently made aware of a small number of security vulnerabilities within the EPrints codebase, affecting both EPrints 3.4 and EPrints 3.3.
I have created two patch files to fix the vulnerabilities and uploaded them to files.eprints.org.

- EPrints 3.4.2 : https://files.eprints.org/2548/
- EPrints 3.3.x : https://files.eprints.org/2549/

The former fixes the EPrints 3.4.2 release and the latter fixes EPrints 3.3 (based on the current HEAD of https://github.com/eprints/eprints). These links also provide instructions on how to apply the patch file and some more details on the affected files.  There are references to the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) IDs but as of now these are yet to be published.  All the vulnerabilities identified relate to either Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) or Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities.  All of these vulnerabilities would require analysis of the codebase to determine an exploit.  It is very unlikely that generic tools used to identify vulnerabilities would discover these, as specific knowledge is required.

I have also updated to patch these vulnerabilities on both the eprints and eprints3.4 GitHub repositories for the eprints organisation (https://github.com/eprints).  The next release of EPrints 3.4 (3.4.3) will have these security fixes in place.

EPrints Services customers both those who EPrints Services host and those that self-host have either been patched or where this has not been possible, informed of the vulnerabilities and how they can be fixed.

If you have any follow-up questions please feel free to ask. Hopefully, the CVEs will be published shortly for those interested in more detail.  However, they were raised by a third party, who I have only just given go-ahead to make these public.


David Newman

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