12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2016 1:59 PM by Vijender Gilhotra

    Control character in cookie value or attribute

    guinotphil Apprentice

      Hi,

       

      I came across this exception due to a Tomcat/JBoss Web control in the class CookieSupport:

      Control character in cookie value or attribute

       

       

      It seems that an exception is thrown when accessing to the cookie if it contains non-ASCII characters. The cookie can be accessed from various frameworks such as Seam, RestEasy…

       

       

      It looks being a well-known Tomcat issue, and the only given advice is to properly encode the cookie before.

      Unfortunately, we can’t always control the cookie, especially with features such as Google Analytics that are setting themselves non-encoded cookies containing non-ASCII characters or even ( ) characters (which must constraint us to use V0 cookie as they parenthesis are separators in V1 cookies).

      So I try asking here instead of the Tomcat list since they don't consider this being an issue.

       

      Looking at the code, I was wondering, shouldn’t the controls:

      • org.apache.tomcat.util.http.CookieSupport.isV0Separator(char)
      • org.apache.tomcat.util.http.CookieSupport.isHttpSeparator(char)

      thrown an exception only if STRICT_SERVLET_COMPLIANCE is true ?

       

      I understand of course the possibility to have a strict compliant server, and it’s good to do such controls; but when using 3rd party software like Google Analytics it becomes impossible to use in a production environment.

      I think that to replace

      throw new IllegalArgumentException(

                              "Control character in cookie value or attribute.");

      with

      if (STRICT_SERVLET_COMPLIANCE) {

          throw new IllegalArgumentException("Control character in cookie value or attribute.");

      } else {

          log.warn("Control character in cookie value or attribute.")

      }

       

      would allow the server to accept request with non-encoded cookie. But I have no idea if it could have some side effects.

       

      What do you think?

        • 1. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
          jaikiran pai Master

          I've moved this to JBossWeb forum where you have more chances of this being answered.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
            Jean-Frederic Clere Master

            the problem is that those cookies are not parsed correctly when receiving them that is related to CVE-2007-5333

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
              guinotphil Apprentice

              In order to be able to get requests with third party cookies (for Google Analytics for example), I had to patch JBoss Web.

              I replaced the lines with the content
              throw new IllegalArgumentException(
                "Control character in cookie value or attribute.");
              by
              if (STRICT_SERVLET_COMPLIANCE) {
                throw new IllegalArgumentException(
                  "Control character in cookie value or attribute.");
              } else {
                return false;
              }

              in both methods: isHttpSeparator(char) and isV0Separator(char)

              of the org.apache.tomcat.util.http.CookieSupport class.



              With the following properties in the configuration, we are able to avoid the above mentioned exception when a request contains some V0 third party cookies.
              <property name="org.apache.catalina.STRICT_SERVLET_COMPLIANCE" value="false"/>
              <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.ALLOW_EQUALS_IN_VALUE" value="true"/>
              <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.ALLOW_HTTP_SEPARATORS_IN_V0" value="true"/>
              <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.ALWAYS_ADD_EXPIRES" value="false"/>
              <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.FWD_SLASH_IS_SEPARATOR" value="false"/>

               

              About the same topic, Glassfish introduced a new system property ("org.glassfish.web.rfc2109_cookie_names_enforced") which allows to bypass strict RFC 2109 compliance for cookie content in their grizzly Cookie implementation.

              • 4. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                Jean-Frederic Clere Master

                Again I think the problem is also when parsing the cookie sent by the browser. Did you test that?

                • 5. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                  guinotphil Apprentice

                  I am not sure to understand what you mean by "cookie sent by the browser". The problem occurs when parsing the cookies of the HTTP requests, so obviously sent by the browser. The cookies that we set to the response could be easily encoded but the third party cookies that we get in requests can not be managed from server-side.

                   

                   

                  We tested well this behavior. We got the exception described above each time a request contains a cooky having a character of the extended ASCII table (with values from 0x7F to 0xFF like the character 'é'). The parsing is made by the above mentioned CookieSupport class. We can not bypass the methods of this class because we use frameworks (e.g. RESTeasy, Seam) that rely on it. Our patch solve the issue ; i.e. makes us able to accept again requests with such cookies and allows us to parse them.

                  • 6. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                    Jean-Frederic Clere Master

                    Ok right that could work with a new flag like org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.ALLOW_CONTROLS_IN_VALUE but are you really sure that all browsers do that the right way?

                    • 7. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                      guinotphil Apprentice

                      Yeah, the issue happens with all the main browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer..

                       

                      I’ve included a small Seam 2.2.2 project with a jsf page which call a JS that emulates the creation of a Google Analytics cookie (which is – I know – not properly encoded).

                       

                      It set the following cookie:

                      __utmz         28835944.1347261359.59.13.utmcsr=company|utmccn=newsletter|utmctr=La%20rentrée|utmcmd=email|utmcct=n°2

                       

                      With the default configuration, parsing it as a V1 cookie, the value get truncated:

                      __utmz         28835944.1347261359.59.13.utmcsr

                       

                      So, I add the following properties in standalone.xml :

                       

                      <system-properties>

                            <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.ALLOW_EQUALS_IN_VALUE" value="true"/>

                            <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.ALLOW_HTTP_SEPARATORS_IN_V0" value="true"/>

                            <property name="org.apache.tomcat.util.http.ServerCookie.FWD_SLASH_IS_SEPARATOR" value="false"/>

                      </system-properties>

                       

                       

                      And then I get the error:

                      java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Control character in cookie value or attribute.

                             at org.apache.tomcat.util.http.CookieSupport.isHttpSeparator(CookieSupport.java:177) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.tomcat.util.http.Cookies.getTokenEndPosition(Cookies.java:454) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.tomcat.util.http.Cookies.processCookieHeader(Cookies.java:332) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.tomcat.util.http.Cookies.processCookies(Cookies.java:157) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.tomcat.util.http.Cookies.getCookieCount(Cookies.java:98) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.catalina.connector.CoyoteAdapter.parseSessionCookiesId(CoyoteAdapter.java:673) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.catalina.connector.CoyoteAdapter.postParseRequest(CoyoteAdapter.java:615) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.catalina.connector.CoyoteAdapter.service(CoyoteAdapter.java:369) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Processor.process(Http11Processor.java:877) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol$Http11ConnectionHandler.process(Http11Protocol.java:679) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at org.apache.tomcat.util.net.JIoEndpoint$Worker.run(JIoEndpoint.java:931) [jbossweb-7.0.17.Final.jar:]

                             at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:662) [rt.jar:1.6.0_33]

                       

                       

                       

                      To run it, just unzip the content in the standalone/deployments folder and run the server.

                      Go to: http://localhost:8080/Cookie_Test/index.jsf

                       

                      The page shows the cookies as parsed by Tomcat and have a couple of links.

                       

                      The second link show the actual cookies sent by the browser.

                       

                      And the first link set the Google-Analytics-like cookie. Click on the link and refresh the page to reproduce the problem.

                       

                       

                      Thank you,

                       

                      Philippe

                      • 8. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                        Jean-Frederic Clere Master

                        "Yeah, the issue happens with all the main browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer.."

                        and with your fix it works correctly?

                        • 9. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                          guinotphil Apprentice

                          Yeah, it seems to work well ! With any browser.

                          • 10. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                            Jean-Frederic Clere Master

                            Ok could you create a JIRA (change request) with some explainations and assigned it to me.

                            • 11. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                              Egor Zablotsky Newbie

                              Hi,

                               

                              we use jboss 7.1.1.Final. and we faced with the same issue on production.

                              what is the status of this issue: Should we fix it by our selfs or it will be included in some release in future?

                              • 12. Re: Control character in cookie value or attribute
                                Vijender Gilhotra Newbie

                                Hi,

                                 

                                We are facing same issue in jbossweb-7.2.2 but it is working fine on 6.2.

                                 

                                Can anyone please confirm is it issue with 7.2.2 only.

                                 

                                Thanks