Apache Struts security update disables vulnerable feature

Version 2.3.15.2 of the development framework also fixes an issue with the action mapping mechanism

A new version of the Apache Struts development framework released Friday fixes two problems that had developers worried.

Apache Struts is a popular open-source framework for developing Java-based Web applications and is maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. The newly released Struts 2.3.15.2 fixes issues that the software's developers had flagged as important.

A mechanism called the Dynamic Method Invocation (DMI) that's known to be a source of possible security vulnerabilities is disabled by default in the new Struts version.

The feature was enabled in previous versions, but users were advised to switch it off if possible. This can be done by setting the struts.enable.DynamicMethodInvocation option to false in struts.xml.

As a result of this latest change, developers who maintain applications that rely heavily on DMI might need to refactor them if they upgrade to Struts version 2.3.15.2.

The new release also addresses an issue with the "action:" prefix of the action mapping mechanism that can be used to attach navigation information to buttons within forms.

"In Struts 2 before 2.3.15.2, under certain conditions this can be used to bypass security constraints," the Struts developers said in a security advisory.

Additional details about this problem have been intentionally withheld for security reasons until a large number of users upgrade to the new version.

The Struts default action mapping mechanism has been a source of critical security vulnerabilities in the past. Version 2.3.15.2 of the framework released in July added code to sanitize "action:"-prefixed information and completely removed support for the "redirect:" and "redirectAction:" prefixes.

One alternative is for developers to write their own action mapping implementation and stop using the "action:" prefix completely if their applications don't need support for multiple submit buttons, the Struts developers said.

Client-side Java attacks have been under the spotlight this year, but Java Web applications, including those created with Struts, can also be a target for hackers.

Last month, researchers from security vendor Trend Micro warned that attackers from China are using an automated tool to exploit known Struts vulnerabilities to break into servers that host applications developed with the framework.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patch managementsoftwaretrend microapplication developmentpatchesApache Software FoundationExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?