• Advisory ID: DRUPAL-SA-CORE-2012-003
  • Project: Drupal core
  • Version: 7.x
  • Date: 2012-October-17
  • Security risk: Highly critical
  • Exploitable from: Remote
  • Vulnerability: Information Disclosure, Arbitrary PHP code execution


Multiple vulnerabilities were discovered in Drupal core.

Arbitrary PHP code execution

A bug in the installer code was identified that allows an attacker to re-install Drupal using an external database server under certain transient conditions. This could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary PHP code on the original server.

This vulnerability is mitigated by the fact that the re-installation can only be successful if the site's settings.php file or sites directories are writeable by or owned by the webserver user. Configuring the Drupal installation to be owned by a different user than the webserver user (and not to be writeable by the webserver user) is a recommended security best practice. However, in all cases the transient conditions expose information to an attacker who accesses install.php, and therefore this security update should be applied to all Drupal 7 sites.

CVE: CVE-2012-4553

Information disclosure - OpenID module

For sites using the core OpenID module, an information disclosure vulnerability was identified that allows an attacker to read files on the local filesystem by attempting to log in to the site using a malicious OpenID server.

CVE: CVE-2012-4554

Versions affected

  • Drupal core 7.x versions prior to 7.16.

Drupal 6 is not affected.


Install the latest version:

If you are unable to deploy the security release immediately, removing or blocking access to install.php is a sufficient mitigation step for the arbitrary PHP code execution vulnerability.

Also see the Drupal core project page.

Reported by

  • The arbitrary PHP code execution vulnerability was reported by Heine Deelstra and Noam Rathaus working with Beyond Security's SecuriTeam Secure Disclosure Program. Heine Deelstra is also a member of the Drupal Security Team.
  • The information disclosure vulnerability in the OpenID module was reported by Reginaldo Silva.

Fixed by

Contact and More Information

The Drupal security team can be reached at security at drupal.org or via the contact form at http://drupal.org/contact.

Learn more about the Drupal Security team and their policies, writing secure code for Drupal, and securing your site.