Unauthenticated XSS in EdgeRouter admin interface

· by mpf · Read in about 3 min · (468 Words)

In February 2015 I discovered a cross-site scripting vulnerability in Ubiquiti’s EdgeRouter Administrative interface. These are powerful and cheap devices which are also pretty fun to use and configure, so I’d definitely recommend them even though I found this issue.

After a couple of false-starts and emails getting lost I was invited to submit details of the vulnerability via HackerOne, and they fairly quickly decided to pay me a $500 US bounty.

So, if you have an EdgeMAX device you should head to the download page on ubnt.com and grab at least version 1.8.0, which fixes this issue, as well as lots of others, and adds some cool new features. For full details see the release notes.

If you’re interested in more detais, read on!


Prior to version 1.8.0 the catchall PHP error page on EdgeRouter devices doesn’t correctly encode the contents of several URL parameters, and is vulnerable to unauthenticated reflected cross-site scripting.

This, coupled with the fact the PHPSESSIONID cookie is not marked as HttpOnly mean that remote attackers can steal session cookies, and potentially hijack active administrative sessions.


A simple proof of concept, which displays the session cookie in a popup is:


or to send the cookie’s value to a remote server, using a trick such as this:


Warning: This URL will make a request for a non-existent page on audited.netcraft.com)

This could also be used to trick a logged in administrator into perform arbitrary actions using the web interface, or perform attacks using a framework such as BeEF: http://beefproject.com/.

In all cases, the vulnerable code is in /var/www/php/app/views/errors/catchall.php:

First, the vulnerable parameters are defined:

            //define the details that are available to display in the order to display them
            $availableDetails = array(
                    'clientaddr' => 'Client address',
                    'clientname' => 'Client name',
                    'clientident' => 'Client ident',
                    'srcclass' => 'Client group',
                    'targetclass' => 'Target class',
                    'url' => 'URL'

            //determine which details were passed in the query string
            $details = array_intersect(array_keys($_GET), array_keys($availableDetails));

And then, a little later on, they’re echoed to the page:

    <?php foreach ($availableDetails as $key=>$detail): ?>
            <?php if (in_array($key, $details)): ?>
            <dl class="detail">
                    <dt><?php echo($detail); ?></dt>
                    <dd><?php echo($_GET[$key]); ?></dd>
            <?php endif; ?>
    <?php endforeach; ?>

This code echoes the parameter to the page without adequate encoding, causing this issue.


While investigating this issue, I downloaded and extracted several firmware images for EdgeRouter products, and this affects versions back to 1.4, and up to the current version at the time of testing, which was 1.7.


  • Originally discovered: Feb 2015. Attempted contact via email but didn’t get anywhere for several months. Eventually, I was invited to join HackerOne and post there.
  • Submitted to HackerOne: 31st August 2015. From this point Ubiquiti’s communications were excellent.
  • Fix released: 26th February 2016: Ubiquiti released firmware version 1.8.0, which resolved the issue.