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Parallels Plesk Panel: PHP-CGI remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2012-1823)

Article ID: 113818, created on May 4, 2012, last review on Aug 12, 2014

  • Parallels Plesk 9.2 for Linux/Unix
  • Parallels Plesk 9.0 for Linux/Unix


On May 3rd, 2012, PHP-CGI remote code execution vulnerability was disclosed to the general public (CVE-2012-1823).
This is a Critical Vulnerability affecting software that contains PHP-CGI.
PHP-FastCGI is not vulnerable to this exploit.

Parallels Plesk Panel (PP) for Windows versions 10.4 and earlier versions are NOT affected.

PP for Linux versions 9.3 - 10.4 are NOT affected by the PHP-CGI remote code execution vulnerability due to their use of the special cgi_wrapper script.
PP for Linux versions 8.6 and earlier versions are NOT affected due to their use of mod_php only.

PP for Linux versions 9.0 - 9.2.3 might be vulnerable.


To fix this issue on PP for Linux 9.0 - 9.2.3, apply one of the following workarounds:

1. It is strongly recommended that you update PP to the latest version that is not vulnerable.

Parallels's End of Life policy is available here:

2. CGI wrapper is the recommended way to work around the issue if a PP update is not possible.

Parallels has prepared a script for automatic updating the server with the wrapper.
Download the archived script cve-2012-1823-wa_pp.tgz from the attachment on the server with Parallels Plesk Panel for Linux 9.0 - 9.2.3.
Extract it from the archive and execute it:

# wget
# tar xfz cve-2012-1823-wa_pp.tgz
# cd cve-2012-1823-wa_pp
# bash

3.  It is also possible to work around the problem with .htaccess rules for each website.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^[^=]*$
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} %2d|\- [NC]
RewriteRule .? - [F,L]

This workaround requires such configuration to be applied per webspace, which makes it complicated when thousands of webspaces are hosted.

Additional information

Note that this vulnerability affects websites created with the help of Parallels Operations Automation. For more details, read the following article:

113814 PHP-CGI remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2012-1823) in Parallels Automation


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