Thanks for the feedback. Replies below.
On Nov 5, 2013, at 9:54 AM, Ido Tamir wrote:
I'm not sure I'd agree that it's often - we've had 4 or 5 vulnerabilities
over the life of the project. 2 allowed arbitrary code execution, the others were less
a) are there general guidelines in the wiki on how to avoid these
problems when creating tools?
The guidelines for writing a Galaxy tool are no different from best practices for writing
secure code. In specific for this vulnerability, execution of user input should be
handled with extreme care, and this tool had some gaps in its input validation and
sanitization. For what it's worth, the filter tool (on which the other vulnerable
tools were based) is one of the few tools surviving from the very early days of Galaxy,
and would not be implemented the same way if written today.
b) is there a way to check automatically if all input fields are
correctly escaped in a tool?
I am not sure how Galaxy could do this. Galaxy sanitizes the command line so that input
fields passed to a tool as command line arguments cannot be crafted to exploit the
shell's parsing rules. What the tool itself does with its inputs are out of
A search for security in the wiki brings up:
• Admin/Data Libraries/Library Security
0.0k - rev: 1 (current) last modified: 2013-01-02 23:54:33
19.2k - rev: 4 (current) last modified: 2013-01-03 00:12:36
1.9k - rev: 1 (current) last modified: 0
• Learn/Security Features
7.0k - rev: 3 (current) last modified: 2011-09-13 16:52:08
1.3k - rev: 3 (current) last modified: 2013-04-08 16:56:41
"escape" does not bring up anything.
thank you very much,
On Nov 5, 2013, at 12:45 AM, Nate Coraor <nate(a)bx.psu.edu> wrote:
> A security vulnerability was recently discovered by John Chilton with Galaxy's
"Filter data on any column using simple expressions" and "Filter on
ambiguities in polymorphism datasets" tools that can allow for arbitrary execution of
code on the command line.
> The fix for these tools has been committed to the Galaxy source. The timing of this
commit coincides with the next Galaxy stable release (which has also been pushed out
> To apply the fix and simultaneously update to the new Galaxy stable release, ensure
you are on the stable branch and upgrade to the latest changeset:
> % hg branch
> % hg pull -u
> For Galaxy installations that administrators are not yet ready to upgrade to the
latest release, there are three workarounds.
> First, for Galaxy installations running on a relatively new version of the stable
release (e.g. release_2013.08.12), Galaxy can be updated to the specific changeset that
that contains the fix. This will include all of the stable (non-feature) commits that
have been accumulated since the 8/12 release plus any new features included with (and
prior to) the 8/12 release, but without all of the new features included in the 11/4
release. Ensure you are on the stable branch and then upgrade to the specific changeset:
> % hg pull -u -r e094c73fed4d
> Second, the patch can be downloaded and applied manually:
> % wget -o security.patch
> and then:
> % hg patch security.patch
> % patch -p1 < security.patch
> Third, the tools can be completely disabled by removing them from the tool
configuration file (by default, tool_conf.xml) and restarting all Galaxy server processes.
The relevant lines in tool_conf.xml are:
> <tool file="stats/dna_filtering.xml" />
> <tool file="stats/filtering.xml" />
> The full 11/4 Galaxy Distribution News Brief will be available later today and will
contain details of changes since the last release.
> Galaxy Team
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