Authored by Thorger Jansen, Florian Stuhlmann | Site

HAWKI version 1.0.0-beta.1 before commit 146967f suffers from cross site scripting, arbitrary file overwrite, and session fixation vulnerabilities.

advisories | CVE-2024-25975, CVE-2024-25976, CVE-2024-25977

  SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab Security Advisory < 20240527-0 >
title: Multiple vulnerabilities
product: HAWKI (Interaction Design Team at the University of Applied
Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim/Germany)
vulnerable version: 1.0.0-beta.1, versions before commit 146967f
fixed version: Github commit 146967f
CVE number: CVE-2024-25975, CVE-2024-25976, CVE-2024-25977
impact: high
found: 2024-03-05
by: Florian Stuhlmann (Office Bochum)
Thorger Jansen (Office Bochum)
SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

An integrated part of SEC Consult, an Eviden business
Europe | Asia


Vendor description:
"HAWKI is a didactic interface for universities based on the OpenAI API.
It is not necessary for users to create an account, the university ID
is sufficient for login - no user-related data is stored."


Business recommendation:
The vendor provides a patch which should be installed immediately.

SEC Consult highly recommends to perform a thorough security review of the
product conducted by security professionals to identify and resolve potential
further security issues.

Vulnerability overview/description:
1) Arbitrary File Overwrite (CVE-2024-25975)
The application implements an up- and downvote function which alters a
value within a JSON file. The POST parameters are not filtered properly
and therefore an arbitrary file can be overwritten. The file can be
controlled by an authenticated attacker, the content cannot be controlled.
It is possible to overwrite all files for which the webserver has write access.
It is required to supply a relative path (path traversal).

2) Reflected Cross-Site-Scripting (CVE-2024-25976)
When LDAP authentication is activated in the configuration it is possible
to obtain reflected XSS execution by creating a custom URL that the
victim only needs to open in order to execute arbitrary JavaScript code in
the victim's browser.

3) Session Fixation (CVE-2024-25977)
The application does not change the session token when using the login or
logout functionality. An attacker can set a session token in the victim's
browser (e.g. via XSS) and prompt the victim to log in (e.g. via a redirect
to the login page). This results in the victim's account being taken over.

Proof of concept:
1) Arbitrary File Overwrite (CVE-2024-25975)
The following POST request can overwrite the file "AvatarFinanzen.png". This
file is a default file located within the "img" folder.

POST /downvote.php HTTP/2
Host: $host
Cookie: PHPSESSID=<Session Id>
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 25


Both upvote.php and downvote.php are vulnerable. The vulnerable part in
downvote.php is:

$id = file_get_contents("php://input");
$sanitizedId = htmlspecialchars($id, ENT_QUOTES, 'UTF-8');
$file = "feedback/" . $sanitizedId;
file_put_contents("feedback/$sanitizedId", json_encode($json));

2) Reflected Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) (CVE-2024-25976)
A call to the following URL will trigger an alertbox:


This is due to a fault in the file login.php where the content of
"$_SERVER['PHP_SELF']" is reflected into the HTML of the website. Hence
the attacker does not need a valid account in order to exploit this issue
The following code is vulnerable:

$server = $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'];
echo '<form action = "' . $server . '" class="column" method = "post" >

The vulnerability is exploitable with the Apache2 default configuration.
For other webservers, the vulnerability might not be exploitable.

3) Session Fixation (CVE-2024-25977)
The attacker changes the value of PHPSESSID within the victim's browser to
something like "abc". An attacker with the same value for PHPSESSID is now
authenticated as well after the victim uses successfully logs in.

Vulnerable / tested versions:
The following version has been tested which was the latest version available
at the time of the test:
* 1.0.0-beta.1

Vendor contact timeline:
2024-03-21: Contacting vendor through email referenced on Github
2024-03-22: Asking about email encryption, sending report unencrypted
as requested.
2024-04-17: Asked the vendor again to receive details regarding the timeline.
2024-04-18: Vendor provides a patch pushed to the public repository.
2024-05: Fix verification phase.
2024-05-27: Release of security advisory.

The vendor provides a patch which can be downloaded from

No workaround available.

Advisory URL:


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Europe | Asia

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EOF Florian Stuhlmann & Thorger Jansen / @2024