Apache Week
Issue 266, 12thOctober2001:

Copyright 2020 Red Hat, Inc

In this issue

Apache 1.3.22 Released

Apache 1.3.22 was released on 12th October 2001 and is now the latest version of the Apache server. The previous release was 1.3.20, released on the 22nd May 2001. Version 1.3.21 was never released. See what was new in Apache 1.3.20.

Apache 1.3.22 is available in source form for compiling on Unix or Windows, for download from the main Apache site or from any mirror download site.

This is a security fix, bug fix and minor upgrade release, with a few new features. Users should upgrade if they will be affected by the security problems, have noticed particular bugs mentioned below, or would like to use any of the new features.

Due to security issues, any sites using versions prior to Apache 1.3.14 on Unix, or all versions on Windows or OS2, should upgrade as soon as possible.

Security vulnerabilities

  • A vulnerability was found in the Win32 port of Apache 1.3.20. A client submitting a very long URI could cause a directory listing to be returned rather than the default index page. A 403 Forbidden will now be returned. CAN-2001-0729
  • A vulnerability was found in the split-logfile support program. A request with a specially crafted Host: header could allow any file with a .log extension on the system to be written to. PR#7848, CVE-2001-0730
  • A vulnerability was found when Multiviews are used to negotiate the directory index. In some configurations, requesting a URI with a QUERY_STRING of M=D could return a directory listing rather than the expected index page. CVE-2001-0731

The security issues above have been assigned standardized names, CAN- by the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project

New features

The main new features in 1.3.22 (compared to 1.3.20) are:

  • The user manual has been updated. As well as a number of small fixes these updates include new translations into French and Japanese, a guide to using Apache httpd on Cygwin, a lexicon of Apache error messages, updated TPF documentation, and a comprehensive guide to using log files
  • The user manual can now be moved out of the htdocs DocumentRoot during installation by invoking configure with the --manualdir= switch, to allow separation of on-line docs from regular contents.
  • The supplied icons are now also distributed in PNG format
  • A significant overhaul to the the Apache Bench program, ab has taken place, as first reported in April. The new Apache Bench includes fixes, additional statistics, csv and gnuplot output, and SSL support
  • New directives have been added to the mod_usertrack module, The first, CookieDomain, can be used to customise the Domain attribute. The patch to add the CookieDomain directive was first submitted over two years ago. Historically mod_usertrack has used the obsolete Netscape cookie syntax. The new CookieStyle directive allows use of the RFC2109 or RFC2965 syntax instead. PR#5023,PR#5920,PR#6140.
  • The server will now display a warning if line-end comments (#) are found in the configuration file. Not all directives are able to handle comments on the same line
  • A new directive, AcceptMutex, allows run-time configuration of the mutex type used for accept serialization, currently a compile-time only setting in 1.3. Since different types of mutex have different performance characteristics on different platforms, this directive will allow administrators to tune their Apache server more easily. The current list of possible methods is: uslock, pthread, sysvsem, fcntl, flock, os2sem, tpfcore, none. Not all platforms support all methods
  • mod_auth has been enhanced to allow access to a document to be controlled based on the owner of the file being served. Require file-owner will only allow files to be served where the authenticated username matches the user that owns the document. Require file-group works in a similar way checking that the group matches

New features that relate to specific platforms:

  • A new directive, AcceptFilter, has been added to control BSD accept filters at run-time. This should make it easier to move server binaries across different BSD machines without requiring recompilation. Support for accept filters was first added to version 1.3.14, the functionality can postpone the requirement for a child process to handle a new connection until an HTTP request has arrived, therefore increasing the number of connections that a given number of child processes can handle
  • On Win32 mod_unique_id, mod_mime_magic, and the mod_vhost_alias modules are now enabled
  • On Win32 the code to allow the server to run under Cygwin has had a number of fixes and updates. Cygwin support was first added to version 1.3.20
  • On Windows NT or 2000, the service display names can now be modified by the user (use the service control panel applet)
  • On Win32 add a new option -W that can set up a service dependancy
  • The server will now take advantage of recent improvements to the TPF operating system which include an enhanced system fork and exec, updates to allow non-blocking file descriptors, and an update to shutdown processing
  • The server has been ported to a new OS, Atheos

Bugs fixed

The following bugs were found in Apache 1.3.20 and have been fixed in Apache 1.3.22

  • Under certain circumstances a child may crash due to a bug in mod_include. If a server uses an ErrorDocument for 404 (request not found) errors which points to a server-parsed HTML file which uses a <!--#include virtual="file" --> section, then a request containing %2f will result in a segfault. The segfault is harmless and does not cause a security problem, but is being triggered by the recent IIS worm
  • The Multiviews functionality has been fixed to prevent mod_negotiation from serving any multiview variant that contains unknown filename extensions. PR#8130
  • Apache will prefer installed version of the Expat library over the bundled version. This fixes conflicts when multiple copies of the Expat library get loaded (notably when using mod_perl and XML::Parsers::Expat)
  • UnsetEnv now works from the main body of a configuration file. PR#8254
  • When used as a reverse proxy any headers set by other modules (such as mod_usertrack or mod_securid) now get passed on to the back-end server. PR#6055
  • Server response headers can now be logged via the proxy. PR#7461
  • mod_proxy will now pay attention to HTTP headers that specify the request is not to be cached. PR#5668
  • When a client making a request via mod_proxy died unexpectedly, mod_proxy did not close its connection. PR#8090
  • The CacheForceCompletion directive has been fixed PR#7383, PR#8067, PR#6585
  • A memory leak has been fixed in the mod_mime_magic module
  • A Satisfy All option has been added to the default container designed to stop access to .htaccess files. Without this directive, these files could still be fetched if they were within the scope of a Satisfy Any directive.

The following bugs relate to specific platforms:

  • A number of fixes for NetWare have been added. These include: enabling long file names in htpasswd and htdigest, protection against ill behaved modules, better handling of abnormal shutdowns, dealing with the limited stack space during server side includes, and recognising special filenames such as proxy:http:// correctly
  • A shutdown hang could occur on Solaris when using lots of piped TransferLogs and at least one piped ErrorLog
  • On EBCDIC platforms a bug in the proxy module stopped SSL proxying working
  • On Win32, mod_unique_id did not guarantee a unique ID due to threading
  • The Win32 Makefiles are now 100% compatible with the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler versions 5,6,7

Apache Week giveaway

We ran a competition last week to give away four copies of the "Apache Desktop Reference" to lucky readers. But so far we've only had under 400 entries, around a third of what we normally get for a competition.

So for a chance to get your hands on a copy of this book, answer this simple question:

Which of the following servers is vulnerable to the Code Red worm:
A) Apache, B) Tux, C) IIS

Send your answer (A, B, or C) to worms@apacheweek.com to reach us no later than 22nd October 2001. Your e-mail address will not be used for anything other than to let you know if you won. Four winners will be drawn at random from all correct entries submitted, we disquality people who make more than one entry, no cash alternative, void where prohibited, we do mean "which unpatched server" is vulnerable, editors' decision is final, so there.

This issue brought to you by: Mark J Cox