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From Joshua Slive <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Re: Bug Versions 1.3.28/29 Fixed In 1.3.31 Or Not?
Date Mon, 17 May 2004 16:11:28 GMT

[I'm sorry to reply again.  I suggest most people simply ignore this
thread.  I just can't let false information stand unchallenged.]

On Mon, 17 May 2004, Purl Gurl wrote:
> This WebDav bug, I have doubts Apache will ever address
> this bug. It is a bug because Apache allows "any" request
> method, and should not. Request methods should be limited
> to only those actually in use. Other supporting evidence
> for this being a bug is ip blocking is disabled for
> request methods; Apache hooks this before ip blocking.
> Additionally, Apache writes the WebDav garbage to a
> log file and does not allow an administrator to parse
> before it is written.
> In short, WebDav script kiddies have complete control
> over Apache. This is inexcusable.

False.  The only thing script kiddies can do is cause log entries to be
written, and they can do that lots of different ways.

> Why this is inexcusable is WebDav idiots can send in this
> hack at a rate of one per second, around the clock, and
> suffer no consequences. Requests at one per second is not
> a sufficient rate to kick in preventative denial of service
> functions. A script kiddie can pump log records at a rate
> of eight kilobytes per second, with no effort. Apache
> claims this is not a problem. I strongly disagree.

If you were somehow able to magically prevent SEARCH requests, the exact
same attack would be possible with GET requests.  There is absolutely
nothing apache can do to prevent people from sending huge requests to the
server.  This is part of being on the Internet.  What apache can do is
deal with those requests in the most efficient and expedient way: deny
them immediately and do no further processing (other than logging).

If your log file can't handle requests of this size, you better reduce the
value of LimitRequestLine in httpd.conf.  That will prevent the
logfile-growing-too-quickly problem.

> True problem here is Apache does not allow hooking in a
> module to address those request methods which are handled
> by Apache's frontend, well before administrative methods.

It is true that this is a missing feature.  But it is missing by design
choice.  If a request is malformed, then it would be a possible security
hazard to let it go through all the normal processing.  So it is simply
denied and logged.  Now, with the present apache architecture, this means
the only way to prevent the logging is with a piped-log program.  But as
I've said, I don't see that as a significant flaw.

> In summary, Apache affords no method to deal with request methods
> which generate an error return response. This causes serious
> problems for administrators, problems which are exceptionally
> well documented, despite being denied by Apache Org.

False again.  It is only very specific error responses that short-circuit
normal processing: those caused by malformed requests.  And the only
"problem" this causes is logfile lines, which most people WANT to have
in order to monitor their server.


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