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ActiveWeb Contentserver CMS Editor Permission Settings Problem

RedTeam Pentesting discovered a problem with the permission settings in the management interface of the activeWeb contentserver CMS during a penetration test. The ability of an editor to create and edit documents can be restricted to specific folders. RedTeam Pentesting was still able to create arbitrary documents in all directories, regardless of the restrictions set on the editor account.


  • Product: activeWeb contentserver
  • Affected Versions: <= 5.6.2929
  • Fixed Versions: 5.6.2964
  • Vulnerability Type: Permission Problem
  • Security-Risk: medium
  • Vendor-URL: http://www.active-web.de/aw/home/Produkte/~gf/contentserver/
  • Vendor-Status: informed, fixed version released
  • Advisory-URL: https://www.redteam-pentesting.de/advisories/rt-sa-2007-007
  • Advisory-Status: public
  • CVE: CVE-2007-3018
  • CVE-URL: https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2007-3018


contentserver is the comprehensive, scalable Content Management System for professional requirements. It combines editorial system, website management and development platform for web applications in one package.

(translation of the description on the vendor’s homepage)

More Details

When creating new editor accounts, the administrator has the ability to impose restrictions on it. The editor can be restricted to be only able to create and modify files in certain folders. All other folders should be inaccessible to him. The vulnerability lies in the fact that an editor with such a restricted account is still able to create files in arbitrary locations. He will not be able to edit already existing pages though.


The vulnerability is fixed in release 5.6.2964.

Security Risk

Editors may create arbitrary files in locations they are not supposed to modify. This can include the usage of Javascript for malicious purposes or other ways of exploiting users. They cannot modify existing files, and the creation of new files is easily traceable and revertable through the system. Additionally, editors are normally considered trustworthy. The risk is therefore labeled as medium.


  • 2007-05-23 Problem found during a penetration test
  • 2007-05-30 Vendor notified by customer
  • 2007-06-01 Vendor called back to discuss next steps and to announce
  • 2007-06-29 Vendor confirmed the vulnerability
  • 2007-06-30 CVE number assigned
  • 2007-07-11 Vendor released fixed version
  • 2007-07-13 Advisory released
  • 2009-05-08 Updated Advisory URL The vendor was very cooperative. There was always a competent contact person available who answered any questions.

RedTeam Pentesting GmbH

RedTeam Pentesting offers individual penetration tests, short pentests, performed by a team of specialised IT-security experts. Hereby, security weaknesses in company networks or products are uncovered and can be fixed immediately.

As there are only few experts in this field, RedTeam Pentesting wants to share its knowledge and enhance the public knowledge with research in security-related areas. The results are made available as public security advisories.

More information about RedTeam Pentesting can be found at https://www.redteam-pentesting.de.