Popular sites with Apache server-status enabled

Apache has a very useful functionality called server-status that allows administrators to easily find how well their servers are performing.

It is basically an HTML page that displays the number of process working, status of each request, IP addresses that are visiting the site, pages that are being queried and things like that. All good.

However, this feature can also have security implications if you leave it wide open to the world. Anyone would be able to see who is visiting the site, the URLs, and some times even find hidden (obscure) admin panels or files that should not be visible to the outside.

Talk about an awkward moment.

URL mapping and server status

We started a small crawling project in our Labs that queried over 10m different web sites (some of the crawl data is at URLfind.org). And we noticed something very interesting: Lots of web sites (some big ones) keep their server-status page open the whole world.

Here are just a few popular brands showing their status:

http://php.net/server-status/
http://metacafe.com/server-status/
http://cloudflare.com/server-status/ (FIXED)
http://disney.go.com/server-status/ (FIXED)
http://www.latimes.com/server-status/
http://www.staples.com/server-status/
http://tweetdeck.com/server-status/ (FIXED)
http://www.nba.com/server-status/
http://www.ford.com/server-status/
http://www.cisco.com/server-status/
http://www.chicagotribune.com/server-status/
http://www.yellow.com/server-status/
http://apache.org/server-status/

And many many more here: http://urlfind.org/?server-status.

Is that a big deal that I can go to staples.com/server-status/ and see all those orders/connections being made and their IPs? Or go to one of them and search for “admin-p” and find a mostly unprotected admin panel (I won’t disclose the site). Or find all the internal URLs and vhost mapping for nba.com or ford.com?

Probably not a big deal by itself (well, if you don’t have an unprotected admin panel), but that can help attackers easily find more information about these environments and use them for more complex attacks.


Simple fix

For server admins, please disable server-status or restrict it to only a set of IP addresses that really need to use it. This link explains how to do so: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_status.html.

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About Daniel Cid

Daniel B. Cid is the Founder & CTO of Sucuri and also the founder of the open source OSSEC HIDS. His interests range from intrusion detection, log analysis (log-based intrusion detection), web-based malware research and secure development.

You can find more about Daniel at his site dcid.me or on Twitter: @danielcid