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Ruby on Rails security update available

May 07, 20142 mins
Data and Information SecurityVulnerabilities

Ruby on Rails has released their newest version of their software

First off, what is it? Well, for those of you who may not know, Ruby on Rails is an open source web frame work that has been around since 2003. It was first developed by David Heinemeier Hansson and has since gone on to be used in thousands of web applications such as Basecamp, Twitter and Github.

Ruby on Rails has released their newest versions of their software. These iterations, versionRails 3.2.18, 4.0.5 and 4.1.1, are available for download from their website as of May 6, 2014. The reason for this update is a vulnerability that is found in CVE-2014-0130 which is a directory traversal vulnerability that affects all previous versions of Ruby on Rails.

From the advisory:

The implicit render functionality allows controllers to render a template, even if there is no explicit action with the corresponding name.  This module does not perform adequate input sanitization which could allow an attacker to use a specially crafted request to retrieve arbitrary files from the rails application server. 

In order to be vulnerable an application must specifically use globbing routes[1] in combination with the :action parameter.  The purpose of the route globbing feature is to allow parameters to contain characters which would otherwise be regarded as separators, for example ‘/’ and ‘.’.  As these characters have semantic meaning within template filenames, it is highly unlikely that applications are deliberately combining these functions. 

To determine if you are vulnerable, search your application’s routes files for ‘*action’

More reading on this is available on the National Vulnerability Database and OSVDB.

You can download the latest version for Ruby on Rails here.


(Image used under CC from Andrew)


Dave Lewis has over two decades of industry experience. He has extensive experience in IT security operations and management. Currently, Dave is a Global Security Advocate for Akamai Technologies. He is the founder of the security site Liquidmatrix Security Digest and co-host of the Liquidmatrix podcast.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Dave Lewis and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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