Monday, August 29, 2011

Phorum Phixes Phast

I was paying a visit to the FreeBSD Diary reading Dan Langille's post grep, sed, and awk for fun and profit (a great read, worthy of your time) when my Spidey sense kicked in.
Specific to log messaging he'd created for captcha failures, Dan mentioned that "these messages are created by some custom code I have added to Phorum."
Oh...Phorum, CMS/BBS/forum/gallery software I'd not seen before.
I installed Phorum 5.2.16 in my test environment, ran it through my normal web application security testing regimen, and found a run-of-the-mill cross-site scripting (XSS) bug. There's no real story there, just another vuln in a realm where they are commonplace.
What is not commonplace in this tale though is the incredibly responsive, timely, and transparent nature with which the Phorum project's Thomas Seifert addressed this vulnerability. I truly appreciate devs and teams like this. He even kindly tolerated my completely misreading the Github commit's additions and deletions.

August 22nd - XSS vuln advisory submitted to Yay! They have a security alias, and they read what's submitted to it. :-)

August 25th - Thomas replies and says "Thanks for your report.
We fixed the issue in the git repository,, and will push out a new release in the next 2 days." Sweet, not only is the project responsive and transparent, they're open with their source and change management.

August 26th - Thomas replies again, Phorum 5.2.17 is live. "Release is out:,149490,149490#msg-149490." Outstanding! And a day early than the suggested release window. Advisory published.

One need only read the changelog to see the level of dedication and commitment Thomas and team afford their project.

Nothing else to say but bloody well done. Thank you, Thomas and the Phorum team. More smiles and less middle finger make for happier security grunts.


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